Canada on Tuesday said it would soon send combat engineers to NATO ally Poland to help train Ukrainian forces who have been battling a Russian invasion for more than seven months.

“In the coming weeks, Canada will deploy approximately 40 combat engineers to Poland to help Polish forces train Ukrainian sappers on engineer reconnaissance, explosives, mining and demining,” Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said in Warsaw alongside her Polish counterpart.

“They will expand the operational effectiveness of the Ukrainian armed forces as they continue to move forward and take back their land,” she told reporters.

Anand added that the initiative would “complement Canadian training of new Ukrainian recruits in the United Kingdom and Canadian training of Ukrainian personnel on the use of the M777 howitzers that we donated to Ukraine.”

She also condemned Russia’s recent bombing blitz across Ukraine, calling the missile strikes against Kyiv and other cities “appalling.”

The new sapper initiative falls under Operation UNIFIER, through which Canada has supported and trained more than 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel since 2015.


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