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Canada shows support for Ukraine

The Ukrainian flag is flying on Parliament Hill as demonstrators gather nearby at Russia's embassy to protest the military intervention in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's official Twitter account says the flag, which is on display just east of the Centre Block, illustrates Canada's solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The move comes the day after the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion condemning Russia's dramatic incursion in the country, which has been riven by protests for months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, spoke out today to assert his country's right to use its military to protect Russians in Ukraine.

Putin also says any sanctions against Russia by the United States and the European Union will backfire.

He accused the West of sowing divisions within Ukraine.

Back home in Canada, the Alberta government says it will provide up to $100,000 in humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

The province says the matching funding will come from Alberta Culture's International Development Program as it stands with the federal government in opposing all efforts to undermine democracy and freedom in Ukraine.

Premier Alison Redford says in a release that Alberta — home to more than a quarter of a million residents of Ukrainian descent — stands beside the people of Ukraine at a time of conflict and uncertainty.

The province also says it's working with Ottawa to stay up to date on developments in the eastern European nation and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Word of the aid comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the West of encouraging an anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine, saying Moscow reserves the right to use all means to protect Russians there.

Russian forces back have been pulled back from the Ukrainian border, but pro-Russia forces still occupy Crimea and Putin says any sanctions the West places on Russia will backfire.

The Canadian Press

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