Canada PM Trudeau, US First Lady Jill Biden In Ukraine But Visits Unlikely To Deter Putin

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau visited Irpin and was seen alongside the town’s mayor, Oleksandr Markushyn. Markushyn said that Trudeau was shocked to see the devastation in Irpin – a town Ukrainian soldiers seized from Russian forces between March and April.

Trudeau later met with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky. Chrystia Freeland, deputy PM, Mélanie Joly, the foreign minister, and Canadian ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza were with Trudeau, who then reopened the Canadian embassy in Kyiv. “Canada will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. More to come on our visit,” Trudeau said.

Separate trips undertaken by US First Lady Jill Biden and Canadian prime minister Jill Biden was the West’s plan to ramp up soft pressure on Russian president Vladimir Putin in a bid to halt him on his tracks.

US first lady Jill Biden met her counterpart Olena Zelenskiy and also travelled to the town of Uzhhorod.

The high-profile visit by both leaders comes a day before Russia celebrates its Victory Day. Putin is expected to put up a brave face and support his actions despite sanctions crippling the lives of Russian citizens.

Defence analyst Michael Clarke while writing for the news agency BBC pointed out that there will not be a direct win for Russia. He argued that Russia is pressing on with Plan C under which its forces will aim to capture Slovyansk and Kramatorsk which are strategic points for control of the whole Donbas region.

Putin has shifted his stance as Ukrainian forces thwarted Russian forces from several western Ukrainian cities as well cities in south and southwest Ukraine.

The chances that it will turn into an insurgency is high and the US earlier indicated that it will not shy away from fuelling one as Russian occupied territories also have millions of Ukrainians who do not want to be a part of the Russian regime.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky also met leaders of the G7 nations who pledged to reinforce Russia’s economic isolation and “elevate” a campaign against Russian elites who support Putin, news agency Reuters reported. It is likely that following this statement more money and weapons will flow into Ukraine to boost its defence against Russia who are keen to carve out south Ukraine.

The analyst also said that Putin will have to keep fighting on grimly against Ukraine since Kyiv clarified earlier that Russian forces will have to fall back before any concessions can be contemplated.

Russia is likely to display its entire military arsenal during the Victory Day parade on Monday thus sending Putin’s message to the entire world – that he will not stop anytime soon.

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