Canadian Forces will train Ukrainian soldiers in the U.K. on countering Russia – National
Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canadian Forces members will train Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom in an effort to bolster their fight against the Russian invasion.
In a press conference on Thursday, Anand called the invasion a “direct” attack on the rules-based international order and one that is extracting a heavy cost on Ukrainians fighting for their freedom.
“When we paused our military training and capacity-building training in Ukraine under Operation Unifier in early February, I made a commitment to resume these operations,” Anand said.
“We are fulfilling our promise to resume large-scale training under Operation Unifier.”
Anand announces Canadian Forces to deploy to U.K. to train new Ukrainian recruits
Up to 225 Canadian military members will go to the U.K. to train new Ukrainian military recruits, she said, adding that the world is now entering “a new and very dangerous phase of this conflict” as Russian President Vladimir Putin attempts to cause “long term damage” on Ukraine.
Canadian trainers will depart next week, Anand added, and said it will also include training on front-line combat and the rules of combat under international law, calling the program “extensive.”
The Canadian Press also reported on Thursday that training support will focus on teaching Ukrainians how to use the four M777 howitzers that Canada donated earlier this year, as well as cyber assistance through Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment.
Anand said that Canada has now reached an agreement with General Dynamic Land Systems, a Canadian manufacturer of light-armoured vehicle and promised vehicles for Ukraine will arrive off the assembly lines in the coming weeks.
Anand announces agreement reached to supply Ukraine with armoured vehicles
“Our adversaries are watching us closely, eager to see cracks in our solidarity …. and they may think the NATO alliance can be divided. But we are more united than ever in our support of Ukraine,” Anand said.
Video: B.C. hockey fight, with apparent kick to the face, under investigation
Researcher says Canada’s ‘largest documented hailstone’ fell Monday in Alberta
“The resumption of Operation Unifier is just one example of this support.”
In an interview with Global News following the announcement, Anand said the training rotation will take place over four months and said the participation has been “welcomed” by the U.K. defence secretary.
“Training across the board is extremely important to Canada as it is an area of expertise for us,” she said.
“It’s a niche area for Canada, if you will.”
She added the timeframe of the training mission is something the government will “continue to evaluate.”
Canada’s donated M777 howitzers in action in Ukraine
Rare glimpse of front-line Ukraine hospital on the brink of ruin
The move follows the return on Sunday of 150 Canadian soldiers who were first deployed to Poland in April to help with a flood of Ukrainian refugees flowing over the border.
Canada first launched a mission, along with Britain and the United States, to help train the Ukrainian military after Moscow ordered the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and started supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The federal government says that mission, known as Operation Unifier, helped train more than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers before all Canadian troops were evacuated ahead of Russia’s invasion.
Canada sanctions 43 Russian military officers over alleged Ukraine war atrocities
While the trainers eventually returned home, Canada has expanded the size of its military presence in Europe in response to the now war, which is in its sixth month.
That includes the 150 service members who recently returned from Poland, and reinforcing a Canadian-led NATO battle group in Latvia.
Doctor at hospital near Ukraine’s front lines surprised with visit from husband
In April, Russia sanctioned all six former commanders of Operation Unifier, which some saw as proof of the mission’s success.
With files from The Canadian Press.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.