Putin Has Chosen To ‘Specifically Target Civilians,’ Says Canada’s Trudeau

March 10 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a choice to “specifically target civilians” and any further targeting of civilians in Ukraine is going to be met with the “severest of responses.”

“Putin’s callous disregard for human life is absolutely unacceptable. It is very clear that he has made the choice to specifically target civilians now,” Trudeau told reporters in Warsaw.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Russia of carrying out genocide after Ukrainian officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children’s hospital on Wednesday, killing three people including a child.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” and has said its forces do not fire on civilian targets. On Thursday, it shifted its stance over the bombing of the hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, with a mix of statements that veered between aggressive denials and a call by the Kremlin to establish clear facts. Read full story

“Putin needs to know that the consequences for his actions already will be severe, and further escalations by him, further targeting of civilians, further use of problematic ways to kill civilians is going to be met with the severest of responses both globally and individually on him,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau added that his government will match up to C$30 million ($23.5 million) in donations made by Canadians for Ukraine, raising the amount from an earlier commitment of C$10 million.

Canada, like many other Western nations, has imposed broad sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. It has also closed its airspace and ports to Russian vessels, sent lethal military aid to Ukraine and asked the International Criminal Court to probe alleged war crimes by Russian forces.Read full story

($1 = 1.2784 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Ismail Shakil in BengaluruEditing by Alistair Bell)

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