Canada to join British-led mission to train Ukrainian soldiers
Canada will commit a contingent of soldiers to the British Army’s program to turn Ukrainian civilians into fighting troops, Defense Minister of Canada Anita Anand said, CBC reports.
Up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers are expected to fly to the UK for basic and specialist military training in courses that last five weeks. The British intend to repeat the program over several months to train tens of thousands of fresh soldiers. The first tranche of Ukrainian recruits arrived, and instruction began in early July 2022.
The plan amounts to the restart of Operation Unifier, the long-standing training mission which saw — until its suspension last winter — more than 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers given advanced combat instruction by Canadian soldiers.
That mission, conducted on Ukrainian soil, was halted, and the troops pulled out of the eastern European country in mid-February on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion.
The new iteration involves up to 225 personnel, the majority of them will work as trainers, supported by a command and control element, Anand said.
“When we paused training in Ukraine this past winter, we said clearly that we would resume the training whenever and wherever the opportunity arose,” said the minister.