Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau makes surprise visit to Kyiv on same day as Jill Biden and U2 make unannounced visits to war-torn Ukraine
Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau has paid a surprise visit to Kiev on the same day First Lady Jill Biden and the rock group U2 travelled separately to Ukraine.
Trudeau paid an unannounced visit on Sunday to Irpin, a Kiev suburb targeted during Russia’s attempt to take over the capital, and met with Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn, according to the Associated Press.
‘I just had the privilege of meeting the Prime who Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, came to Irpin to see with his own eyes all the horror that the Russian occupiers caused to our city,’ Markushyn stated on his Telegram channel.
Markushyn has published pictures of Trudeau walking with Ukrainian army chiefs and scouring the damage in a bombed apartment complex. The mayor said that the Canadian leader was shocked by the damage he found to civilian houses.
Trudeau’s office said in a statement: The prime minister is in Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky and pledged Canada’s unflinching support for the Ukrainian people.
Trudeau took a flight on Saturday evening and is expected to spend a day in Ukraine, reports the Toronto Star.
Canada, along with other NATO allies, has shown its support for Ukraine by sending billions of dollars in aid and arms as Russia embarks on its 10th week of the invasion.
The Trudeau government has come under increasing pressure to reopen the Canadian embassy in Kiev after it closed in February at the beginning of the war.
On Sunday, he joined a number of other global leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who recently travelled to Kiev after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal determined there was no danger of hosting political visits.
Jill Biden also visited the war-torn country on Sunday, where she met with her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelensky and voiced U.S. support for the struggling nation.
The visit was not announced because of safety concerns. The First Lady drove to Uzhhorod, about 10 minutes drive from a Slovak village bordering Ukraine. She was in Ukraine for a couple of hours.
The first ladies visited a public school in Uzhhorod which is used as temporary housing and refuge for 163 displaced Ukrainians, 47 of whom are children.