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Russian actions in Ukraine are “pure evil”, McPherson says. NDP’s Foreign Affairs Critic takes a side trip to Ukraine during committee tour

Mar 8, 2023 | News, Ukraine, Canada, Featured, Politics

Heather McPherson in Irpin with Irpin City Councilor, Makeeva Angela. MP McPherson’s Office

Marco Levytsky
National Affairs Editor

What the Russians are doing in Ukraine is just “pure evil”, says the NDP’s Foreign Affairs Critic.
“The worst part was going to Irpin (a suburb of Kyiv which was under Russian occupation before liberation by Ukrainian forces) and just seeing the total devastation, the total attacks on civilians,” Edmonton Strathcona MP Heather McPherson told New Pathway – Ukrainian News following a three-day visit to Ukraine March 4.

“To stand on the bridge where civilians were hiding and trying to get across, trying to get to safety while the Russian Army was firing on them. You know, it’s just horrendous. It’s just pure evil, pure evil what I saw there. And I think to me the real takeaway is your really have to see it to really understand just how horrendous it was and just how much the Russians are targeting civilians. They are not targeting military infrastructure,” she added in a telephone interview from Warsaw.

McPherson said she was on a tour of European allies with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, but the Liberal Whip did not give them permission to go to Ukraine, so she decided to go one her own.

She met with a number of officials in Kyiv to find out how Canada can help.
“They want to start rebuilding. They want to see Ukrainians come back. They want Canada to help,” McPherson said.

One way Canadians can help is with demining, which we are experts at. The areas surrounding Kyiv have been heavily mined and the residents cannot return to their homes.

Another way is to make sure that the law passed to seize the assets of oligarchs can actually be used for rebuilding. The EU and other countries are looking to Canada for leadership on that, she noted.

With regards to military assistance, Canada is limited in what materials we can send, but we need to put pressure upon other countries to support Ukraine and to continue doing so. However, Ukraine should get what it needs to win the war rather than getting this aid in “dribs and drabs””

“If we had given them the things they need urgently at the beginning, then we would be in a different situation right now,” she said

“The longer this takes the more people suffer the more people dies the more damage is done”
McPherson said that because Canadians are so far from the war it’s sometimes easy to forget.

”It’s easy to think it’s over there. (But) Ukrainians don’t forget. People who live next to Russia don’t forget,” she said.

“I want to come back and tell these stories so Canadians don’t forget. The war is not over. We need to support Ukraine…. There is only one option. Ukraine has to win.”

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Nadia Prokopiw
Federal Provincial Child Care
Serving Ukrainian New Comers in Toronto

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