Hamilton raising Ukraine flag at city hall, after Russian attack


Published February 24, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Mayor from across the GTA and Hamilton want more financial support from senior levels of government to assist with Ukrainian refugees.

Like many cities, Hamilton is raising the flag of Ukraine in solidarity with its people following the military attacks by Russia that began on Thursday.

A statement released late this afternoon said Hamilton’s elected leadership “stand(s) with everyone who is appalled by this disturbing attack on a sovereign, democratic country.” It also highlighted the connections Canada has with the eastern European nation. In 1991, after the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Canada was the first western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence. Nearly 5 per cent of Hamilton’s population, about 27,000 people, identify as Ukrainian-Canadians.

“It is with the greatest concern that we are witnessing the invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” said the statement, which was posted to Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s Twitter account.

“Canada has deep ties with Ukraine. Canada was the first western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence on December 2, 1991 and there are over 1.35 million Canadians of Ukrainian heritage. Ray Hnatyshyn, our 24th Governor General of Canada, was Ukrainian-Canadian.

“As such, the City of Hamilton is raising the flag of Ukraine at City Hall in solidarity with the Ukrainian people abroad and the more than 27,000 Ukrainian-Canadians who call Hamilton home. We stand with everyone who is appalled by this disturbing attack on a sovereign, democratic country.”

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly held a press conference on Thursday to announce a string of economic sanctions against Russia. The actions, which the federal government says were coordinated with other G7 nations, focus on barring Russian exports to Canada and stopping Canadians from purchasing Russian sovereign debt and dealing with two state-backed Russian banks.

Canada is moving artillery units, electronic warfare units, a CP-140 surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and a maritime helicopter unit to Latvia in order to fortify a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) response force. This is considered a defensive action and Canada is not sending soldiers into Ukraine.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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