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Hundreds gather on Parliament Hill to mark two years since Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Hundreds stood on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday in solidarity with Ukraine to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Russia launched its long-feared invasion of the country on Feb. 24, 2022, an incursion that soon evolved into a grinding, bloody, full-scale conflict that now has no end in sight.

Today’s event remembered those who died and the resilience of the Ukrainian armed forces.

"Today for me means resilience. Everyone was thinking Kiev would fall in three days and as you can see, Ukraine is resilient," said Nataliya Senyuk, the founder of the group Ottawa Supports Ukraine's Democracy.

For Katrina Zhovank, the day brings back a lot of memories – she’s one of millions who fled the war, while her mom stayed behind, along with her dad and older brother who continue to fight.

"The first two months of the war, the Russians came so close to Kiev, so my family decided to send me and my younger brother to Canada," she said.

"To see support from Canada and the whole world it means so more."

Fighting for freedom and democracy, supporters gathering on Parliament hill were wrapped in flags and holding signs.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrapped up a surprise trip to war-torn Ukraine with a blistering attack on Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian leader a "weakling" who uses police and the military to crush his opposition.

The prime minister also promised $15 million to help complete the Ukrainian National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy listens as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a ceremony at Hostomel Airport in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024."There will also be ongoing support, over several years, because we are here for the long-term to help Ukraine win a decisive victory against Putin’s unprovoked invasion," Trudeau said in prepared remarks.

The United Nations estimates more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and 20,000 injured.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Katelyn Wilson and The Canadian Press

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