Statement marking one year of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine


February 24, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Government of Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence; the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada; and the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:

“It has been one year since President Putin escalated his war on Ukraine to a brutal, full-scale invasion. From the beginning, his objectives were clear: to conquer and erase Ukraine from the world map and to expand Russia’s sphere of influence by force. He thought victory would be swift.

“One year later, Ukrainians continue to bravely resist Russia and relentlessly defend their homeland. They are standing firm against indiscriminate missile and drone strikes on their homes and cities as well as on their water, heat, electricity supplies and other infrastructure. They face appalling brutality: torture chambers, mass graves, sexual violence and other atrocities are revealed with every liberation of occupied territory.

“Canada honours the incredible courage and resilience of Ukrainians and we will continue to provide Ukraine with economic, humanitarian and military support until the war is over.

“During the last year, Canada and its allies and partners have stood with Ukraine and worked to mitigate the impact of Russia’s illegal war. Canada has committed over $5 billion in financial, humanitarian, development, military, peace and stabilization and other support for Ukraine. This multifaceted assistance continues to help Ukrainians defend their country and support the Government of Ukraine, civil society and those most vulnerable to the impacts of Russia’s invasion. Canada has also sanctioned more than 1,600 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus and supporters of the invasion in Ukraine to impose severe economic costs on Russia and its enablers and pressure President Putin’s regime to end its atrocities and crimes. We’re also part of a core group of partners seeking justice for Ukrainians through the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and other accountability measures. In addition, at home and abroad, Canada is fighting Russian disinformation with transparency and the facts.

“Canada’s military assistance to Ukraine in the past year includes donations of armoured vehicles, battle tanks, combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, artillery, small arms, drone cameras and a surface-to-air missile system. Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been assisting with the delivery of military aid and training Ukrainians through Operation UNIFIER. Since 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces has trained over 35,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We support Ukraine’s right to self-defence—as enshrined in the UN Charter—and stand firm in our support. We must ensure President Putin’s regime does not win.

“Our urgent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine has included emergency basic health services, safe drinking water, food, shelter and essential relief items. Our development assistance has helped to increase grain storage and supported other food security efforts. Meanwhile, here in Canada, we have welcomed more than 160,000 Ukrainian nationals and permanent residents of Ukrainian origin  fleeing the war. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel measures allow Ukrainians and their family members to stay in Canada for up to three years. These measures also give Ukrainians who are already in Canada the option to extend their visitor status or work or study permit so that they can continue to stay here temporarily. Settlement services, temporary accommodations and transitional financial support are also being provided. We’re committed to offering a safe haven to Ukrainian families while their loved ones are fighting on the front lines of this war. 

“This is a critical moment in the war and in our collective history. We see no sign of President Putin acknowledging his error or changing his objectives. We condemn this unjustifiable aggression and we will continue to increase pressure on President Putin and his enablers until they end this senseless war.

“Our commitment to Ukraine will not waver. Slava Ukraini [Glory to Ukraine]!”


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Daniel Minden
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Bahoz Dara Aziz
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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