Defence Minister Anita Anand announced the plan on Thursday, saying up to 225 Canadian Armed Forces members will eventually be based in Britain for an initial period of four months.
There they will work alongside counterparts from Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand in training Ukrainian soldiers on the basics of soldiering.
“Training missions like this, assisting our allies and our partners when they are under attack, is what we do,” Anand said during a virtual news conference. “It is a priority for us as a country to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and with our allies.”
The move comes nearly six months after Canada suspended its previous training mission in Ukraine just weeks before Russian forces invaded the country in February.
It also came hours before Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada was expected to publicly express her country’s disappointment over Ottawa’s decision to allow pipeline equipment that was in Montreal for repairs to be returned to a Russian energy giant.
The Ukrainian military has put up a spirited defence of its country since thousands of Russian forces launched their assault on Feb. 24. But those early battlefield successes and the ensuing grinding war in the east have not been without a cost.
The Ukrainian government reported in June that 10,000 of its soldiers had been killed since Russian forces invaded, with thousands more wounded and missing.
Officials have also said that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed every day and hundreds more wounded.
Canadian troops had continued working with Ukrainian counterparts even after the previous training mission known as Operation Unifier was suspended, including teaching them how to use the four M777 howitzers that Canada donated earlier this year.
But while those were limited efforts, Thursday’s announcement represented a full resumption of Operation Unifier, which also included 225 Canadian trainers.
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