By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada will send up to 225 personnel to the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian military recruits, starting with the first troops next week, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand said on Thursday.
Ukraine has been forced to cede some territory in the east of the country in the face of a Russian offensive, and the head of the NATO military alliance said Moscow must not be allowed to win the war, which began with Russia’s invasion in February.
The Canadian Armed Forces has trained more than 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel since 2015, but paused aspects of the training effort since February.
“We have now entered a new and very dangerous phase of this conflict with (Russia) engaging in a protracted attempt to inflict long-term damage on Ukraine and its people,” Anand said in Toronto.
“I am therefore announcing today that we are fulfilling our promise to resume large-scale training.”
The deployment will last four months. Most of the soldiers will come from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, a group representing the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, welcomed Canada’s resumption of training, saying Canadian expertise will greatly benefit Ukraine.
The Netherlands and New Zealand have also committed military trainers to the U.K.-led mission.
Canadian-led training, to take place at a military base in southeast England, will include weapons handling, first aid and patrol tactics.
Last month, Canada said it would send 39 General Dynamics-made armored vehicles https://www.reuters.com/world/canada-send-39-armored-vehicles-ukraine-this-summer-2022-07-07 to Ukraine this summer.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel and Ismail Shakil; Editing by Daniel Wallis)