Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday visited Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv, a town devastated by fierce fighting between Ukrainian and Russian armies before being occupied by the Russians in March, the town’s mayor said.
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“(Justin Trudeau) came to Irpin to see with his own eyes all the horrors that the Russian occupiers have done to our city,” Oleksandre Markouchine wrote on Telegram, accompanying his message with photos taken with Mr. Trudeau in the devastated city became.
Justin Trudeau’s visit to Ukraine was not announced.
“The Prime Minister is in Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy and reiterate our unwavering support for the Ukrainian people,” his services said.
Mr Markouchine wanted to “sincerely thank” the Prime Minister for “the support Canada is giving to Ukraine today”.
“We believe in continued cooperation between our countries in rebuilding Ukrainian cities after our victory,” he said.
Justin Trudeau will be accompanied by his Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.
At the end of the morning, the Prime Minister confirmed his visit to Irpin on Twitter.
“Our message to President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainians is: Canada will always be with you,” Justin Trudeau said.
Irpin, just outside Kyiv’s north-western gates, was the scene of fierce fighting between Russians and Ukrainians in the early days of the Russian invasion in late February.
The Russian army quickly took control of this city, which had a population of 60,000 before the war, and then occupied it throughout March.
Since then, Kyiv has accused Russian forces of massacres there, as well as in the neighboring town of Boutcha, after dozens of bodies in civilian clothes were discovered in those locations occupied by the Russian army and then abandoned.