Western leaders visit Kyiv, pledge long-term support on war anniversary

KYIV, Ukraine — Prime Ministers of Italy and Canada pledged enduring support to Ukraine during their visit to Kyiv on Saturday, Feb. 24, marking the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion. The leaders signed security agreements amid continued conflict with no immediate resolution in sight.

Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, accompanied by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, arrived in Kyiv to reaffirm Western commitment as concerns mount over waning interest in the prolonged conflict.

“(Russian president Vladimir) Putin pretends to be powerful. But truly strong leaders don’t assassinate their opponents. Truly strong leaders don’t use police and military to oppress people’s voices. Ukrainians already won their freedom. They freed themselves from the shackles of Soviet oppression in 1991. They fought back against Putin’s attempt to control their country in the Maidan revolution a decade ago,” Traudeau said.

Despite initial gains against Russian forces, Ukraine faces challenges in its eastern regions, grappling with a shortage of arms and personnel. The visit aimed to bolster Ukrainian morale and demonstrate unified Western backing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy escorted the delegation to Hostomel Airport, a key battleground in the early days of the conflict, underscoring the fierce resistance to Russian attempts to capture Kyiv.