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  4. 'Russia must win this war': Trudeau's embarrassing gaffe after Ukraine visit | WATCH

'Russia must win this war': Trudeau's embarrassing gaffe after Ukraine visit | WATCH

In the embarrassing gaffe, Trudeau said 'Russia must win this war' before correcting himself and apologising for the goof-up. The Canadian PM had recently visited Ukraine and announced nearly $3 billion in financial support for the war-torn country.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Warsaw (Poland) Published on: February 27, 2024 16:17 IST
Canada, Justin Trudeau, gaffe, Russia Ukraine war
Image Source : AP (FILE) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Warsaw: Taking a leaf out of US President Joe Biden's book, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an embarrassing public gaffe when he said "Russia must win this war" following a visit to Ukraine, where he is shoring up support as Kyiv struggles to fight Russian troops as the conflict entered into its third year. 

While addressing a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw, Trudeau said, "We know that Russia must win this war. Sorry, Ukraine must win this war against Russia." He then quickly apologised for the slip of the tongue. However, social media users were quick to bash him for the "Freudian slip".

Watch the video of Trudeau's gaffe

Several netizens mocked Trudeau by calling him 'Biden 2.0'. "Canada's Joe Biden. Except Biden is 81 years old. What's Trudeau's excuse," said one user, while another said, "Justin Trudeau just handed Vladimir Putin a HUGE propaganda win".

The Canadian PM had recently visited Ukraine and announced nearly $3 billion in financial support for the war-torn country. Both Canada and Poland have rallied around Ukraine as the country’s battle with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military enters its third year.

'Putin can't win': Trudeau

Trudeau also defended his defence spending, saying there is more to do in order to defeat Putin's war against Ukraine. "We will continue to make sure that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces — and the people around the world, our allies, who rely on them — will continue to get the equipment and the support they need." 

Canada has long faced both domestic and international pressure to spend two per cent of its gross domestic product on defence — a NATO-mandated target most other allies are expected to hit by the end of the year, according to CTV News. Canada's defence spending currently hovers around 1.3 per cent of GDP. 

On Saturday, Trudeau said "Putin can't win" in a speech from Hostomel airport, where Ukrainian soldiers beat back a Russian assault on the first day of the invasion in 2022. "Ukraine will see victory, just like what happened on this ground two years ago."

Last week, he also described Putin as a "weakling" who uses police and the military to crush his opposition and accused him of "executing" opposition leader Alexei Navalny. "What happened to Alexei Navalny demonstrates that for all that Putin pretends to be strong, he's actually a coward," he continued.

Russia-Ukraine war continues

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, after weeks of tensions with the Western countries over the expansion of NATO.  After a string of victories in the first year of the war, fortunes have turned for the Ukrainian military, which is dug in, outgunned and outnumbered against a more powerful opponent.

Ukraine suffered setbacks after the much-anticipated summer counteroffensive failed to produce any breakthroughs. The armed forces switched to a defensive posture in the fall to repel new advances from Moscow. On February 17, Russian forces took control of the embattled city of Avdiivka, where Kyiv's troops were under constant fire with Russians approaching from three directions. 

Both Russia and Ukraine have sought to keep casualty figures under wraps. Few details about Ukrainian military deaths have emerged since the full-scale invasion began in 2022. But it's clear that tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed.

Ukraine is reliant on Western allies and international organisations not just for military aid but also for financial support and humanitarian help. Without Western assistance, Ukraine will not have the weapons, ammunition and training it needs to sustain the war effort, nor will it be able to keep its battered economy afloat or reach Ukrainians trapped in the crossfire of battles.

Kyiv breathed a sigh of relief in February when the EU approved extending a 50-billion-euro ($54-billion) aid package for Ukraine after resistance from Hungary. That money is meant to support the economy and rebuild the country, not to fight Russia. However, the US administration under President Joe Biden is still struggling to provide support as $60 billion in military aid is languishing in a divided Congress.

ALSO READ | Deja vu moment for Trudeau as his plane breaks down during vacation in Jamaica, second time after in India

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