UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia’s partial military mobilization is a sign that it is “failing and floundering” in its invasion of Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau charged Wednesday, condemning what he called an escalation of the war.
Trudeau said the activation of some reservists was in conjunction with President Vladimir Putin’s veiled nuclear threats and plans for referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine showed that the Russian leader is desperate.
“Putin was fundamentally wrong in a bunch of different ways,” the prime minister told reporters gathered at the UN headquarters, where the General Assembly meets. “Putin was wrong and he is currently failing and faltering in his response to the situation.”
Calling for mobilization, Putin cited the length of the front line and said Russia was effectively fighting the combined military power of Western countries.
Trudeau pledged that Canada would continue to strengthen sanctions against Russia and provide military aid to Ukraine, but did not offer specifics. Putin, he said, is getting closer to “admitting what he didn’t want to admit” that his country is, in fact, at war.
The Canadian leader accused Putin of “war crimes” and said that Russia, one of the founders of the United Nations, is violating the basic principles of this institution.
“We continue to make sure that we do whatever it takes to make sure that Putin and his cronies are held accountable,” Trudeau said.
Pushed by reporters to wade into American politics, Trudeau skirted one point and dove into another. Asked if President Joe Biden was wrong to declare the COVID-19 pandemic over, Trudeau said people are struggling in hospitals and said “we all want this pandemic to end as soon as possible.”
However, on the topic of overturning Roe v. Wade, he enthusiastically said that Canada will fight for reproductive rights around the world.
“We will also help the United States if necessary,” he said.
AP National Writer Matt Sedensky can be reached at email@example.com and https://twitter.com/sedensky. For more AP coverage of the UN General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly