Canadian soldiers support the continuing mission with Ukrainian military units.
Canadian soldiers support the Ukrainian military in their continuing mission for peace. The 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment is training their Ukrainian National Guardsmen partners. The focus of their training consists of military engineering, medical procedures, and urban warfare.
This comes after Canada renewed their commitment to the former soviet country. The announcement made in March of last year will extend support, collectively named Operation UNIFIER, to March 2022.
At a training base outside the western city of Lviv, soldiers from both countries engage in intensive exercises. The training will prepare the guardsmen for future combat operations in changing environments.
About 200 Canadians have been rotating in and out of the region since the NATO mission began in 2015. A part of the larger Multinational Joint Mission, the Canadian operation has been going on since April of that year. This began after a Russian-backed rebellion in the east in 2014.
The Canadian government developed a plan, outlining a 6-month rotation of it’s soldiers . In addition to this, Canada has pledged other material support such as uniforms and night-vision equipment. The need for modernisation became real after initial victories by rebel groups in the early stages of the war.
While restricted from any fighting, these soldiers are not the only NATO troops helping Ukraine update their military. Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, the U.S., and the U.K. have also sent their service members in non-combat training roles.
Canadians prepare Ukrainians for current conflicts, with one eye on the future.
With the war at a stalemate, it is now priority to prepare for the worst should tensions rise again. While mostly forgotten by news outlets today, the conflict is still very real for Ukrainian commanders.
Casualties still mount along the unofficial border. Artillery and snipers still take their toll in the deserted streets of ruined towns.
While the Canadian team is there to teach, they are also the students. Many of the Ukrainians are veterans of the conflict. They share the unique experiences that most western soldiers have never seen. Fighting a technologically similar enemy is something most armies haven’t seen in decades.
Additionally, the information campaigns waged by the separatists is something new for them. This knowledge is invaluable for an army that would never otherwise encounter such tactics.
During a visit to the training center, Lieutenant General Wayne Eyre, the top military commander for Canada, made note of this.
“We are interested in the mutual sharing of experience. Ukrainian soldiers (who have seen combat in Donbass) were exposed to cutting-edge technology and tactics of modern warfare. Such as the use of information and disinformation in a battlefield that is constantly changing, as well as drone warfare, and many more.”Lieutenant General Wayne Eyre
While nearly 13,000 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the fighting, Canada, along with it’s NATO allies, still look for hope. Training soldiers, diplomatic talks, and humanitarian aid all have their part in finding a solution for the people of the region and world leaders alike.