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dated: 2022-11-19 23:59:14 .
OTTAWA – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on Canada to lead a long-term peace plan with Russia as Ukraine’s nearly 10-month war enters a critical phase as winter approaches.
The Ukrainian leader threw down the gauntlet in a pre-recorded video address at the Halifax International Security Forum, where senior government and military officials from Canada and around the world are gathering this weekend.
Zelenskyy, whose country was invaded by Russia in February, told attendees that real and lasting peace between Kiev and Moscow would require an agreement on 10 different areas.
These include the withdrawal of Russian forces, the release of prisoners, ensuring Ukraine’s nuclear, food and energy security, the restoration of its country’s territorial integrity, and the establishment of a tribunal to hold those responsible accountable.
The president of Ukraine further encouraged the countries to “choose at what point they can help,” adding, “I believe that Canada, which strongly supports us, will also choose one of the points of the peace formula for itself and everyone.” will show the power of leadership.”
Among the participants of the forum was Defense Minister Anita Anand, who in her own speech informed the audience that the Ukrainian army was winning the war, and Russian President Vladimir Putin only united NATO and renewed its purpose.
“The spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people and President Zelensky continues to inspire us all. Ukrainian armed forces are motivated, disciplined and better trained – and they are winning,” said Anand.
Russia is facing a growing backlash after nearly nine months of fighting and recently withdrew troops from the key city of Kherson in southern Ukraine. But Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy and power plants have fueled fears of what winter will bring.
The head of Ukraine’s power grid warned of hours-long power outages on Friday as Russia targeted its energy infrastructure with heavy artillery and missile strikes that cut power to up to 40 percent of the country’s population.
Low temperatures create additional pressure on energy networks, said network operator Ukrenergo.
“You always have to prepare for the worst. We understand that the enemy generally wants to destroy our energy system in order to cause long-term outages,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrenergo, told Ukrainian state television.
“We have to prepare for possible long outages, but for now we are setting up planned schedules and will do everything we can to make sure the outages are not too long.”
Kyiv already has a “big deficit of electricity,” said Mayor Vitaly Klitschko. An estimated 1.5 to 2 million people – about half the city’s population – are regularly left in the dark when authorities shift power from one neighborhood to another.
“This is a critical situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian and international investigators worked to uncover alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces during the nearly seven-month occupation of the Kharkiv region.
Ukraine’s national police said on Friday that its officers had opened more than 3,000 criminal cases against Russian soldiers.
Reports of torture and other crimes by Russian forces also emerged from the southern Kherson region, where Ukrainian officials said they had opened more than 430 war crimes cases and were investigating four sites where torture was suspected.
This Canadian Press report was first published on November 18, 2022.
— With files from the Associated Press.
Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls on Canada to help achieve long-term peace
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