The Canadian Government has confirmed plans to deploy additional military personnel to help train and build the capacity of Ukrainian Security Forces currently fighting the pro-Russian rebels in eastern parts of the country.
Deployed in response to a request by the Ukrainian Government, the 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel will provide explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal training, military police training, medical training, flight safety training, and logistics system modernisation training to the Ukrainian soldiers until March 2017.
In addition, Canadian and US soldiers, will provide individual and unit tactics training to Ukrainian National Guard personnel, to help the country in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security and stability in the face of Russian aggression.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: "Canada continues to stand with the people of Ukraine in the face of the Putin regime’s ongoing aggression.
"The Canadian military contribution being announced today will help Ukrainian forces personnel to better defend their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Canada will continue working with its allies to ensure a sovereign, unified and secure Ukraine."
Primarily conducted at the Nato Partnership for Peace Training and Education Centre in Yavoriv, in western Ukraine, the training is in addition to training opportunities offered by the CAF through the Military Training and Cooperation Programme.
Some portions of the training will also take place at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Demining Centre in Kamyanets-Podilsky in western Ukraine.
The soldiers are scheduled to be deployed on both a sustained and periodic basis depending on the type of training being conducted.
Canada has already deployed a number of CAF personnel and assets, as well as Her Majesty’s Canadian ships Regina, Toronto and Fredericton in Central and Eastern Europe in support of Operation Reassurance.
Since the start of Ukrainian conflict in early 2014, Canada has also supplied non-lethal military equipment, including coats, pants, Gore-Tex boots, as well as a range of targeted protection, medical and logistical equipment such as helmets, ballistic eyewear, protective vests, first aid kits, tents and sleeping bags.
In addition, the country will also deliver 22 Harris high-frequency radios, 238 pairs of PVS-7 night vision goggles, 1,134 tactical medical kits, a mobile field hospital structure and a yet to-be-determined amount of explosive ordnance disposal equipment in the future.
Image: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with defence and multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney, and chief of the defence staff general Thomas Lawson following a briefing on the current security situation in Ukraine. Photo: courtesy of Mrime Minister of Canada.