Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday. Photo via Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/UPI | License Photo
May 12 (UPI) -- Ottawa has announced that it has chartered three flights to bring Ukrainian refugees to Canada where they will be provided with temporary refuge from the war in their country.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced the flights had been chartered in a statement Wednesday, stating those who are approved through its Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program it unveiled a few weeks after Russia invaded its neighbor will be eligible.
"Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and forced to flee their homes, and these charter flights will help make sure that those who want to come to Canada have the support they need," said Sean Fraser, the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. "We'll work with provinces and territories, settlement organizations and NGOs to make sure Ukrainians feel at home in there new communities."
The flights are scheduled for May 23 to Winnipeg, Manitoba; May 29 to Montreal, Quebec; and June 2 to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
All flights will be departing from Poland.
The ministry said that it will provide temporary accommodations for up to 14 nights to those who arrive on these flights and do not have a place to stay arranged beforehand.
More than 204,000 people have applied for visas through the CUAET program with some 91,500 having been approved, the ministry said, adding those who may take one of the three flights will be from this group of visa holders. Tickets will be handed out on a first come, first served basis, it said.
"Canada is doing everything it can to support Ukrainians before and after they arrive in Canada," Fraser said.
Since the war in Russia began, nearly 3,500 Ukrainians have been killed and nearly 6 million have been forced to flee their country, according to United Nations data.
Priest Andrii Gavalin presides over the funeral of Eugene Bogdanov, 35, in Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10. Bogdanov went missing two months ago. His wife, Natalia Bogdanova, was searching for him throughout the Kyiv and Bucha regions when his body was found at a morgue in Belaya Tserkov on May 9. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo