World leaders condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Web Editor
On Feb. 24 in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin released a televised speech about Russia’s intentions to conduct “a special military operation” in Ukraine. According to Putin’s speech, “[The] goal is the protection of people who, during eight years, suffer from abuse and genocide from the Kyiv regime.” Several world leaders have condemned this decision— the following are some statements and reactions from leaders and figures around the world from the time this article was written.
Alberta and Canada
On Feb. 23, the office of the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, released a statement condemning the attacks. The statement quotes that “in the face of these attacks on Ukraine, Canada will take additional action to stop Russia’s unwarranted aggression. We continue to stand with Ukraine, its people, and the Ukrainian Canadian community here in Canada. Russia’s brazen acts will not go unpunished.”
On the same day, Jason Kenney stated in a livestream that “…The people of Alberta stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the people of Ukraine at this moment of great challenge.” On Feb. 24, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek released a statement stating support for the Ukraine — the statement quotes that “The City of Calgary has raised the flag of Ukraine at the Municipal Building to show support for a sovereign nation under a horrifying and unprovoked attack.”
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) agency has pulled any Russian-made liquor off the shelves in Alberta and banned the sale of it, effective on Feb. 27.
The Government of Canada prohibited any Russian-owned, chartered, or operated aircrafts from entering Canadian airspace on Feb. 27, effective immediately. The closure will remain until further notice.
The United States
US President Joe Biden has released a statement censuring Russia’s attack on Ukraine on Feb. 23. The statement proclaims that “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring.” The statement also announces the White House is regularly monitoring the situation.
According to TIME Magazine, Biden has offered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a chance to evacuate but he refused to do so. In a tweet by the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK, Zelensky is quoted as saying “The fight is here; I need ammunition not a ride,” to Biden.
EU European Council President Charles Michel and European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen also released a statement condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24. The release quotes that “The EU stands firmly by Ukraine and its people as they face this unparalleled crisis. The EU will provide further political, financial and humanitarian assistance.”
In another release by Michel on Feb. 27, the EU is organizing humanitarian, financial and defensive assistance. Sanctions are also imposed and European airspace is closed to Russian airlines. Michel also states that he is in constant contact with Zelensky.
In a statement released on Feb. 25, NATO informs the public that the North Atlantic countries, along with the EU, Finland and Sweden, have gathered to discuss Russia’s attack on Ukraine. NATO has deployed defensive land, air and maritime forces across the NATO area and have incited defence plans. According to NATO, these measures are “preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”
The Treaty organization condemns the invasion and states that Russia is wholly responsible for this conflict.
A joint statement from the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada and the United States condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Rigid economic and financial measures are applied on Russian banks and institutions, as well as President Putin.
These measures include the following:
• Removal of Russian Banks from the SWIFT messaging system. This will prevent Russian banks from access to the international financial networks and halt their ability to operate on a global scale.
• Imposing of stern measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from using its international reserves.
• A commitment to limiting the sale of citizenships (or golden passports) for Russian oligarchs to avoid access to financial systems.
• A commitment to launching a transatlantic force that identifies and freezes assets of sanctioned individuals and companies. These sanctions also go beyond Russian officials, elites with close connections to the Russian government, their families and enablers with additional enforcement measures.
• A coordination against disinformation and other hybrid warfare.
Ukrainians have known Zelensky, a former comedian, after playing a high school teacher turned president on the Ukrainian TV series Servant of the People. According to BBC, his 2019 presidential candidacy was seen by the public as a joke, but came to win 73 per cent of Ukraine’s vote. The president promised to fight corruption as well as bringing peace in Eastern Ukraine. Zelensky also graduated with a law degree and co-founded a TV production company.