Canada bolsters Ukrainian training
In a move designed to double the number of Ukrainian combat medics as Russia’s invasion drags on with heavy casualties on both sides, Canada is increasing to 12 from seven the number of medical trainers it’s deploying to Operation UNIFIER in Poland. More than 300 Canadian Armed Forces were already deployed to the overall training and capacity-building effort.
Defence Minister Anand announced the government’s decision today after she and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, had participated remotely in the latest meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) set up by the U.S. in April 2022 and hosted by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Since Op UNIFIER began in 2015, the CAF has trained more than 36,000 Ukrainians in battlefield tactics and advanced skills, ramping up the program with more than 2,400 trained since Russia invaded 15 months ago. As well, Canadian and Latvian forces have already begun leadership training for junior Ukrainian military personnel through an initiative announced May 15 when Anand played host to her Latvian counterpart, Ināra Mūrniece.
“Canada’s support for Ukraine is unwavering,” Anand reiterated today. “Canadians understand that Ukraine’s fight to defend itself is also a fight for sovereignty, freedom, and independence.”
So far, Canada has committed more than $8 billion in support for Ukraine, including eight Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, an armoured recovery vehicle, a surface-to-air missile system, 39 armoured support vehicles, M77 howitzers and drones as well as sundry munitions and other gear.
Anand also said today that deliveries of small arms and ammunition to Ukraine is on schedule. Machine guns, assault rifles, cleaning kits, and magazines have already been delivered to Ukraine. An additional 4,800 rifles and a million rounds of 5.56mm ammunition are due in the coming weeks, which is expected to boost Ukrainian troops’ resources by 21,000 small arms and 2.4 million rounds of ammunition by the summer.