In a show of both solidarity and remembrance, thousands gathered for a march and vigil in the downtown core to mark one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
Starting at Yonge Dundas Square, gatherers marched down Yonge St. to Nathan Phillip Square outside of city hall at 7PM on Feb.24.
Hundreds of Ukrainian flags were held as the crowd chanted “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine).
At Nathan Phillip Square, the crowd heard speeches from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie and other leaders.
All leaders denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin and his continued push into Ukrainian land.
Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s ongoing support for Ukraine, including financial and military aid.
“Putin thought his invasion would be a quick victory, but he was mistaken,” Trudeau said to the gathered crowd. “Ukrainians have stood strong over the last 365 days and counting, and as Russia continues its brutal war against Ukraine, Canada and Canadians will stand by the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes.”
Ford acknowledged Ontario’s continued acceptance of Ukrainian war refugees, as well as the province’s large Ukrainian communities across the Greater Toronto Area.
We will never waiver in our support for Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian people in their fight to uphold freedom and democracy,” said Ford. “We will always stand with Ukraine.”
In a statement on Feb. 26, which marks nine years since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Trudeau writes that Canada committed over $5 billion in assistance to Ukraine – around $1 billion of this funding is towards military aid.
More details to come.
Listen to CJRU’s coverage of Toronto marking one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: