Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admonished a heckler at an event Friday night that marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The confrontation took place in downtown Toronto as Trudeau delivered a speech expressing solidarity with the Ukrainians as they continue to fend off the attack, according to CTV News.
“A year ago today, Ukrainians woke up to the horror of war in their…” Trudeau said before pausing to address a man shouting from the audience.
“Hey sir, I think Ukrainians could tell you a little bit about freedom and liberty.” Trudeau snapped. “So why don’t you settle down?”
“This is a night for them, not for you,” Trudeau continued while cheers broke out in the crowd. “This is a night for Ukrainians, not for you.”
“If you want to stand and cheer with Ukraine, do that,” he continued. “You want to wave that Ukrainian flag, please do. But let people celebrate that Ukraine is still standing and Canada stands with it.”
Russia began what it called a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in a conflict that has led to thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions of people.
Canada’s government says it has committed billions of dollars worth of assistance to Ukraine in the past year. And during his remarks Friday, Trudeau said more than 167,000 Ukrainians have received refuge in Canada since the beginning of the conflict, per CBC News.
“We are all inspired by the courage and tenacity of those who stayed behind to defend Ukraine,” he said.
“The Government of Canada will stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Trudeau’s office said in a press release outlining the prime minister’s latest commitment to levy more sanctions against Russia and to send tanks and ammunition to the Ukrainian defenders.
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