‘Horrible’: Freeland promises justice for victims of sexual violence in Ukraine
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is committed to seeking justice for Ukrainian women and children as allegations of sexual violence by Russian soldiers grow.
On Thursday, Freeland was asked about the war crimes Russia has accused against Ukrainian citizens and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
“War crimes have been committed in Ukraine, they are being carried out in Ukraine. The evidence that we have seen in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine that has been occupied by Russia is absolutely horrifying,” Freeland said later. tour of the carbon capture facility in Calgary.
“I want to take a moment to emphasize that one of the things that is happening is the systematic rape against Ukrainian women and children.”
Freeland said Canada will work with its democratic allies to prosecute those responsible.
“Rape is being used as a weapon in this war and I want Ukrainian women to know that we see them, we will not forget and we will work with Ukraine and with its democratic allies. We’re around the world to bring the perpetrators to Justice.”
Freeland, who also serves as finance minister, said she spoke with her Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday to show Canada’s support.
She also said it was appropriate to declare Russia’s occupation a genocide – as US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have said – because thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and brutalized.
Freeland points to a “cold document” on a Russian website published 10 days ago that “effectively outlined a genocide in Ukraine, calling for suffering, punishment for those chose, in view of this document, the wrong and misleading way to describe himself as Ukrainian.”
“That calling from Ukraine deleted.”
Freeland said the Russian occupation signaled a war between democracy and dictatorship and that Canada was in favor of supporting Ukraine.
“Honestly, we are really lucky that the Ukrainians were prepared so bravely to fight for us, they were ready to stand there and die in this war.”
Up to 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are deployed to Poland to help care for, coordinate and resettle Ukrainian refugees.
With files by Alanna Smith of Calgary and The Associated Press
This Canadian Press report was first published on April 14, 2022.