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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

United for Ukraine: CAF to deploy 200 Troops to the Ukraine

Defence Minister Jason Kenney and Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson announced with Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada is United for Ukraine; and will deploy approximately 200 troops to the Ukraine to help train local forces, who are fighting the Russian-backed separatists. Approximately 10-12 Military Police will be part of the deployment - to better train the police forces in the region as well.

The CAF members will be deployed both on a sustained and periodic basis, depending on the type of training, which will last until the end of March 2017.

Kenney said that this is yet another step in Canada's efforts to help the Ukraine maintain its territorial integrity against Russian aggression.

It was announced that Canadian troops will be as far removed from the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The training mission will begin during the summer of 2015 - and will take place primarily at the NATO training facility in Yavoriv, in Western Ukraine, near the Polish border. Other training will take place at the Ukrainian Defence De-mining Centre  in Kamyanets-Podilsky - also located in Western Ukraine. The Polish border is Canada's exit strategy, should the unthinkable happen, and Canadian troops are required to exit the Ukraine in a hurry.

Since January 2014, Canada has been sending non-lethal aid to the Ukraine, and has continued to refuse lethal aid. The Ukrainian embassy in Canada has said Canada's training assistance is highly appreciated.