Trudeau Offers Support to Ukraine as Heavy Battles Rage and Floods Worsen
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first foreign leader to visit Ukraine since the devastating floods caused by a breach in a Dnieper River dam. During his visit, Trudeau extended monetary, military, and moral support to Ukraine. He pledged an additional $500 million in military aid, supplementing the $8 billion already provided by Canada since the war began in February 2022. Trudeau also announced $10 million for humanitarian assistance to aid the flood response.
While addressing the situation, Trudeau expressed his ongoing communication with Ukraine’s top military leaders and their positive outlook. He urged that this message be conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine’s General Staff reported intense battles in the country’s industrial east, with 34 clashes recorded in the previous day. Russian forces were reported to be defending themselves and launching air and artillery strikes in Ukraine’s southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
At the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, occupied by Russian forces, five out of six reactors were in a state of cold shutdown. The shutdown process involves inserting control rods into the reactor core to halt the nuclear fission reaction and the generation of heat and pressure. Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom assured that there was “no direct threat” to the plant due to the dam breach downstream, which caused flooding and reduced water levels in the cooling reservoir. However, Energoatom had to shut down the final reactor due to the breach and shelling near the site, damaging overhead power lines.
As a result of ongoing conflict, at least four civilians lost their lives in various attacks across Ukraine. Russian forces launched Iranian-made Shahed drones, missiles, and artillery strikes. The Black Sea port of Odesa experienced an attack that resulted in three deaths and several injuries, including children and a pregnant woman. In the Kharkiv region, more than 10 drones targeted the area, killing one person and injuring three others. In the Poltava region, a military airfield was damaged in a Russian drone and missile attack.
The Ukrainian air force reported shooting down 20 out of 35 Shahed drones and two out of eight missiles launched by Russian forces. The conflict escalated further as water levels declined in a vast area beneath the breached dam, intensifying the impact of the floods. The Ukrainian environment minister warned that nearly one-third of protected natural areas in the Kherson region could be obliterated. The dam’s collapse submerged a national park, drained rivers and lakes, and raised the risk of groundwater rising in the Dnieper delta, occupied by Russian forces.
Despite the challenges, Trudeau’s visit and the international attention brought hope to Ukraine. The United Nations‘ humanitarian aid chief, Martin Griffiths, emphasized the dire situation, revealing that around 700,000 people were in urgent need of drinking water.
As the conflict rages on and the floods worsen, the international community closely watches the developments in Ukraine, striving to provide support and mitigate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.