Ottawa’s $98 million for artillery praised by Victoria’s Ukrainians

The announcement by Canada’s Minister of National Defense of $98 million in artillery for Ukraine has been welcomed by the local Ukrainian community.

The invasion began three months ago with Russian bombing of major Ukrainian cities, including Kviv.

Now the battle is centered in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine as Russian forces make slow but devastating progress.

Canadian Secretary of National Defense Anita Anand announced that an additional $98 million in artillery will go toward the war effort.

“I can confirm that Canada has purchased more than 20,000 155-millimeter artillery shells, NATO’s standard artillery caliber,” Anand said.

That artillery will be used by Ukrainian troops on the Eastern Front.

The reaction of the president of the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Devon Sereda Goldie, has been positive.

“We’re really happy they’re actually sending defensive weapons,” said Sereda Goldie. “Something our community has been advocating for a while.”

dr. Kenneth Christie, professor of Human Conflict and Peacekeeping at Royal Roads University, said this will make a difference in the war.

“That’s actually the largest donation of military equipment since the invasion began about three months ago,” he said. “And we’re talking 20,000 artillery shells that Canada hasn’t actually taken from its own stockpile.”

One person present at the minister’s announcement is Father Yuriy Vyshnevskyy, whose home in Victoria is still under investigation after a suspected arson attack in April.

He and his wife have many relatives in Ukraine, including parents and siblings.

“When you know someone cares about you, when you know someone is sharing a burden, it’s so much easier and lighter to bear,” Vyshnevskyy said. “So this is great news. Any news we receive that the Canadian government, or any other country, is stepping up and helping to provide this military aid that is so necessary for Ukraine.”

Ukraine is urging Western countries to send even more weapons, such as long-range artillery to help detain Ukrainian troops.

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