Ukrainian officials say at least 45 people died in Saturday's missile strike
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly summoned Russia's ambassador on Wednesday to condemn a missile strike on an apartment building in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
The death toll from the Saturday afternoon strike now stands at 45 people, including six children, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday.
"We do not accept the sheer brutality of Russia's recent attacks against civilians," Joly told a press conference Wednesday.
The nine-story apartment tower that took the direct hit housed about 1,700 residents and stood between two identical buildings. About 400 people lost their homes, 72 apartments were completely destroyed and another 236 were severely damaged, said the Dnipro City Council.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack "despicable, abhorrent and completely unacceptable."
"Canada condemns this violence unequivocally – we stand with the people of Ukraine, and we'll continue to make sure they have the support they need," Trudeau said in a tweet on Saturday.
It's the fourth time Ambassador Oleg Stepanov has been summoned by Joly in the past year.
Asked about the strike Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian military doesn't target residential buildings and suggested the Dnipro building was hit as a result of Ukrainian air defence actions.
The strike on the building came during a wider barrage of Russian cruise missiles across Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said Sunday that it did not have the means to intercept the type of Russian missile that hit the residential building in Dnipro.
Joly said Canada intends to work with allies to hold Russia accountable for Dnipro and other such attacks in Ukraine.
"We will ensure that those responsible for the horrific scenes in … Ukraine answer [for] their crimes," she said.
Joly met with the U.K.'s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly in Toronto on Wednesday. Both committed to working together to support Ukraine.
"We must make good on our commitment to back Ukraine until it succeeds," Cleverly said.
Earlier Wednesday, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced that Canada would be donating 200 Canadian-made armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Last week, Canada announced it would spend $406 million to purchase a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System from the United States to donate to Ukraine. Wednesday's armoured vehicle announcement, combined with the promised air defences, make up the $500 million in military aid Trudeau announced in the fall.
Cleverly also praised Canada for committing a contingent of troops to Operation Unifier, a British-led training program for Ukrainian soldiers.
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