News

Russians planted mines in playgrounds, parks in Ukrainian town: Joly

Article content

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says Russian troops planted mines in playgrounds, parks and in front of family homes in Irpin, a town she recently visited with the prime minister.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Joly visited Kyiv and Irpin on Sunday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a surprise visit to Ukraine to reopen Canada’s embassy.

The foreign minister said she was told not to step off the sidewalk in Irpin because the Russians planted so many mines in the town, including around people’s homes, before troops retreated.

“They were putting mines everywhere, not only around condo complexes that we saw that are completely bombarded … but they were putting mines in playgrounds, in parks, in front of houses, behind houses,” she said in an interview Tuesday from Berlin.

Joly said Irpin was strategically important to the Russians in their push to capture Kyiv. It is next to Bucha, where Russian atrocities directed at civilians are being investigated as war crimes.

Advertisement 3

Article content

She said 50,000 civilians were evacuated from Irpin, which was popular with young families before Russia invaded.

“Irpin is a city that could be compared to a suburb of Toronto or Montreal,” she said. “It is a city that is very much a place where first-time homebuyers go. Young families buy their first homes there, their first condo apartment, that is where they have their children. There are lots of playgrounds, usually lots of strollers.”

Even though Russian troops have left, she said it is still too dangerous for families with children from the Kyiv suburb to return until the mines are mapped, so they can be avoided, and then cleared.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

The minister said Canada is skilled in mine clearance and is providing expertise to Ukraine, as well as $2 million in funding for the Halo Trust, which clears mines and explosives.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“We are specialists in demining,” she said. “We were the ones who created the international convention on landmines. We also have Canadian technology to deal with landmines. We have a lot of expertise.”

She said Canada is also supporting education about the danger of mines for Ukrainian adults and children.

During the visit with Joly and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Trudeau reopened the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv and expressed unwavering support for the embattled country.

He met Volodymyr Zelenskyy in person for the first time since Russia invaded in late February, and announced $50 million in fresh Canadian military support for Ukraine, including drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms and ammunition, as well as funding for demining.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.