UCC Welcomes Renewal of Operation UNIFIER

UCC Welcomes Renewal of Canada’s Military Training Mission to Ukraine 

March 18, 2019. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) welcomes today’s announcement that Canada’s military training mission to Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER, will be renewed for three additional years, until the end of March 2022. 

Picture courtesy of CAF mission to Ukraine

The announcement was made by the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Since September 2015, more than 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Operation UNIFIER will see the ongoing deployment of approximately 200 CAF personnel to Ukraine. 

“The renewal of Operation UNIFIER demonstrates Canada’s unequivocal commitment assisting Ukraine defends its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence in the face of continued Russian aggression in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine and in the Kerch Strait,” said UCC National President Alexandra Chyczij. 

“Today, on the fifth anniversary of Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea, Canada once again demonstrates its unwavering support for Ukraine. Canada and our international allies must continue to take coordinated multilateral actions to show Putin’s regime that their military actions and human rights abuses have consequences,” said Chyczij.  She wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau in February asking him to urgently approve the renewal of Operation UNIFIER.

Every day, Ukrainian soldiers are fighting and dying on the front in Eastern Ukraine defending their country from Russian aggression. Between July 11, 2016 and February 20, 2019, 409 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 2,366 have been wounded in combat. 

Today’s announcement echoes statements made by the EU and NATO Allies regarding their ongoing support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  

 

Ministerial Statements 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, 

“Today’s announcement reaffirms Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and our commitment to global security. Canada’s commitment to Ukraine is unequivocal and unwavering. With the renewal of Operation UNIFIER, the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces are playing a key role in helping build, develop and modernize the capabilities of Ukraine’s defence and security forces.” 

 

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, 

“The people of Ukraine know they can count on Canada. Operation UNIFIER is an essential part of our multifaceted support to Ukraine. We are steadfast in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as it works toward a stable, democratic and prosperous future. That is why Canada is also proud to host the third annual Ukraine Reform Conference in July this year.” 

 

For the full release from the Government of Canada, please see: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/03/canada-extends-its-military-training-mission-in-ukraine.html 


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