Canada to send troops to Ukraine for training

Source : 112 Ukraine

200 Edmonton soldiers are ready to deploy to Ukraine
18:35, 15 February 2017


About 200 soldiers from Edmonton are ready to deploy to Ukraine, though they are not sure exactly how long they will be staying. This was reported by CBC agency.

Canada, Britain and the United States have had military trainers in Ukraine since the summer of 2015, after Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting separatist forces in Ukraine's Donbas region.

The Canadians have taught about 2,600 Ukrainian troops the basics of soldiering, such as how to use their weapons and move as a unit, plus more advanced skills, such as bomb disposal and medical training.

Ukrainian and Canadian officials say those skills have been desperately needed given the amount of support Russia has provided to the rebels operating in the Donbas.

Related: Ukraine - Canada FTA ratified by Senate

But Canada's training mission is set to expire at the end of March, and in spite of public appeals from the Ukrainian government, the Liberal government has not decided whether to extend it.

Despite the uncertainty, about 200 soldiers from 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry are set to leave for Ukraine at the beginning of March — even if it means they only end up staying for a month.

"We are prepared right now to send the next rotation of troops from western Canada to the Ukraine to follow on with the tasks that the previous rotation has been doing," said Brig.-Gen. Simon Hetherington, commander of the 3rd Canadian Division, under which 1 PPCLI falls.

Earlier it was reported that US, Canada Defense Ministers agree on military training missions in Ukraine. During the negotiations they confirmed support of NATO member states in the Eastern Europe.

Related: Ukraine to step up export to Canada tenfold during five years

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