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

The announcement by Canada’s Minister of National Defense of $98 million of artillery for Ukraine is being applauded by the local Ukrainian community.

The invasion started three months ago with Russian bombardments of major Ukrainian cities including Kviv.

Now the fight is focused in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine with Russian forces making slow, but devastating advances.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, announced another $98 million of artillery going to the war effort.

“I can confirm that Canada has purchased over 20,000 round of 155-millimetre artillery which is NATO’s standard artillery caliber,” Anand said.

That artillery will be used by Ukraine forces on the eastern front.

Reaction from the Ukrainian Cultural Center president, Devon Sereda Goldie, is positive.

“We are thrilled they are actually sending defensive weaponry,” said Sereda Goldie. “Something that our community has been advocating for some time.”

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

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

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

He and his wife have many family members in Ukraine including parents and siblings.

“When you know that someone cares, when you know that someone is like, sharing a burden, it’s so much easier and lighter to carry,” Vyshnevskyy said. “So this is great news. Any news that we receive that Canadian government, or any other country 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 Ukrainian forces hold on.

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