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Op UNIFIER - CAF and the Ukraine Crisis

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RCN, UK RN working with UKR forces - from the UKR MoD info-machine ...
On November 26, a meeting was held in Odessa between representatives of the Ukrainian Navy Command, UK operation ORBITAL and Canadian operation UNIFIER. The Ukrainian side was represented by a delegation led by the Lieutenant Commander Kostiantyn Plakhotniuk.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss criteria for the training of the Ukrainian Navy personnel, as well as the directions of further assistance by the instructors from UK and Canada.

— We are constantly improving our professional skills, and navigation is one of the most important components for the safe use of ships. The experience of our foreign partners is very important for us. In addition, logistical planning courses are an area in which we do not have much experience in organizing NATO standards planning, so assistance in this regard will be very useful for us, " noted Lieutenant Commander Konstiantyn Plakhotniuk.

During the event, representatives of the operations ORBITAL and UNIFIER discussed the main areas of bilateral cooperation and the criteria for further training of the Ukrainian Navy personnel. In general, the visit will last for five days ...
More here
Scientific and methodological training according to the program of international military cooperation within operation “ORBITAL” took place in the Ukrainian Navy Command. Classes were held in two groups. The first was to study logistics, and the second was to conduct practical navigation lessons directly on the navigation bridge of the frigate Hetman Sahaidachnyi. During the practical training, the senior assistant commander of the frigate briefed on how the navigation service on the ship is organized and how to model combat situations during the training of the personnel.

Our foreign colleagues spoke about peculiarities of the management and logistics structure of the Navies of the United Kingdom and Canada.

— Three areas of cooperation with our international partners have already been agreed. These are the training of the Navy Command for planning C2 and logistics process, and for naval personnel — the organization of navigation courses. The training is based on standards that are effectively used in NATO member states. The experience of our partners is especially important and relevant today, as the main task of the Ukrainian Navy is to prevent the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, — noted a representative of the Naval Command of the Ukrainian Navy.
More here

Attached photos also via the UKR info-machine
 

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More talk of peacekeepers still being considered as an option if peace talks head south ...
 

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Via the UKR MoD info-machine - original in Ukrainian, quoted text via Google Translate...
The Armed Forces of Ukraine and Canada are not just partners but allies
4 hours ago | ID: 54720

This was emphasized by Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Sergey Nayev during a working meeting with the Canadian delegation led by Deputy Minister of National Defense of Canada Peter Hammerschmidt, held at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine today, December 17.

- Undoubtedly, the relations between our countries are not just friendly or allied, but allied. After all, Canada and its people provide extremely important support at political, diplomatic, economic and military levels during a difficult time for us, ”said Lieutenant General Sergei Naev.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the potential areas of intensification of military cooperation between Ukraine and Canada, possible options for assisting the Canadian side to develop the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in particular within the framework of Operation UNIFIER and the current situation in the area of ​​the Joint Forces operation.

Lieutenant General Sergiy Naev informed the Canadian side about the processes of transformation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the implementation of tasks aimed at enhancing interoperability and implementation of NATO standards in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He informed that the Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine next year was defined as the year of learning English and special attention to changes in the system of military education and course training, in particular the training of young officers in the Officers and NCOs at NATO partner countries.

- We need to communicate with our Western partners in one language of professionalism and interoperability. In the course of completing my tasks as a commander of the Joint Forces operation, I repeatedly testified to the high level of readiness to carry out the tasks of the personnel and units that were trained in the framework of Operation UNIFIER, - said Lieutenant General Sergey Naev.

The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine thanked for the fruitful and professional assistance on these issues to a group of one-star generals of Partner countries led by Brigadier General of the Canadian Armed Forces Craig King and for the advisory and advisory assistance of the High Level Strategic Advisor of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine and the Defense Ministry Sinclair.

The Deputy Minister of National Defense of Canada, Mr. Peter Hammerschmidt, in his turn, noted the high level of interaction and prospects for further development of the military training system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine within the framework of Operation UNIFIER and assured the continued support for Canada's independence of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian side also expressed gratitude to the Canadian allies for transferring cars for military service of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine this year.
 

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And a bit more from the UKR MoD info-machine - original in Ukrainian, translation below via Google Translate ...
Defense Departments of Ukraine and Canada specify main directions of bilateral cooperation development
6 hours ago | ID: 54719

Today, on December 17, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Alina Frolova and Alexander Polishchuk met with Deputy Minister of National Defense of Canada (for Political Affairs) Peter Hammerschmidt.

The event was part of a visit to Ukraine by a delegation from the Ministry of National Defense of Canada, made possible by arrangements made following the Minister of Defense's participation in the International Security Forum held in Halifax, Canada, this November.

The purpose of finding foreign military officials in Ukraine is to conduct a strategic dialogue at the level of the Defense Departments, as well as to clarify the main areas of development of Ukrainian-Canadian bilateral cooperation.

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Alina Frolova thanked the Canadian side for the consistent support of Ukraine in the international arena, as well as advisory and logistical assistance. In this context, she noted the positive result of the UNIFIER training mission on the qualitative training of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel by Canadian military instructors.

While informing the foreign delegation about the current security situation in Ukraine, she focused on the events that are currently taking place in the area of ​​the Joint Forces operation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Alina Frolova emphasized that the leadership of our state and the Ministry of Defense is in favor of resolving the situation solely through political and diplomatic channels, and stressed that the support of Ukraine by international partners is crucial in this process.

The parties also discussed further directions of reforming and development of the domestic defense department, in particular with regard to the implementation of the Transformation Program of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is to be presented by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine shortly. Specifying the raised issue, Deputy Minister Oleksandr Polishchuk informed that the mentioned transformations will take place in five main directions. These include, in particular, new defense policy, the implementation of NATO standards, civilian-democratic scrutiny, career development, military education and social security, as well as agency anti-corruption policy. He stressed that the basis for implementation of these reforms will be systematization of processes and institutionalization of the defense department.

Other important topics discussed during the bilateral meeting were military education reform. The Ukrainian side emphasized the need for radical changes in the mentioned direction. The importance of learning English by the Ukrainian military was emphasized in order to achieve compatibility with NATO member forces and more flexible integration with the Alliance.

The Canadian side noted significant progress in reforming Ukraine's military department since the defense consultations that took place in Canada in February this year. Following the dialogue, members of the delegations of the military departments of both countries emphasized the need to continue cooperation at all levels, further expand cooperation between the two countries, and expressed readiness to continue to support a mutually beneficial partnership.
 

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More from UKR's MoD on a Canadian delegation visit, this time closer to the front lines - original in Ukrainian, translation below via Google Translate ...
A delegation from the Ministry of National Defense of Canada visited the area of ​​the (Joint Forces Operation)
Yesterday at 9:11 am | ID: 54750

The Delegation of the Ministry of National Defense of Canada, headed by the Deputy Minister* of National Defense of Canada (for Political Affairs), Mr Peter Hammerschmidt, visited the Joint Forces Operation Area.

Foreign guests were accompanied by Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksandr Polishchuk and Joint Force Commander Lieutenant General Volodymyr Kravchenko.

The main purpose of the visit is to get acquainted with the current security and operational situation in the area of ​​the CSOs, in particular in the area of ​​deployment of forces and means near the settlement of Golden. In addition, Canadians were briefed on the tactics of Russian occupation forces units and counteraction measures used by Ukrainian units.

The foreign delegation visited the leading positions of one of the mechanized brigades, which is currently carrying out combat missions near the settlement of Golden. The Canadian partners saw with their own eyes the conditions of service and life of the servicemen and, of course, had the opportunity to assess the real state of affairs directly on the spot. The brigade commander spoke in detail about the situation in the area of ​​responsibility, and also focused on the measures taken to improve the humanitarian component and the work done on demining in the area of ​​breeding forces and means.

- The situation in the area of ​​hostilities is complex but controllable. The enemy continues to provocative fire on the positions of the Ukrainian military. Although the situation is stable in the areas of withdrawal of forces and means, there is no firing, - said Lieutenant General Volodymyr Kravchenko, Commander of the United Forces.

In addition, on the same day, the Canadian delegation visited Avdiivka, where it got acquainted with the situation on the collision line. Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksandr Polishchuk, Commander of the Joint Forces Lieutenant General Volodymyr Kravchenko together with Deputy Minister of National Defense of Canada (for Political Affairs) Mr Peter Hammerschmidt put flowers in the memorial complex in the area of ​​the Avdiysky ray . Further, our Canadian partners visited one of the command points of the battalion of the Avdiivka defense brigade.

During the bilateral consultations, both sides agreed to further develop their work on military-technical cooperation, training of personnel and military education, first of all within the framework of the UNIFIER mission, as well as in the directions of development of the military-medical sector. The Canadians reiterated their intention to further develop logistical assistance to improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Joint Forces Press Center
* - While translated as DM, he's actually the Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) @ DND
 

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Canada's ambassador drops by (via the UKR MoD info-machine):
JFO Commander held a meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine
2020-02-05 13:30:00 | ID: 55557

February 4, Commander of the Joint Forces operation Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Kravchenko held a meeting with the Canadian delegation led by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine Larisa Galadza.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the situation in the East of Ukraine, as well as the status and prospects of further cooperation in the defense sphere. Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Kravchenko praised the effectiveness of the Canadian military training mission UNIFIER, which has been operating in Ukraine for the fifth consecutive year.

In his report on the current security and operational situation in the JFO area, Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Kravchenko stressed that the Russian occupation troops continue to neglect their commitments to cease fire and the safety of civilians by shelling settlements, in particular using heavy weapons.

The process of disengagement of forces on the separate areas was also discussed during the meeting. Commander of the JFO noted that near some of them, the enemy periodically carries provocative fire against Ukrainian defenders in order to call a fire in response, to make photo and videotapes of shelling allegedly being conducted on Ukrainian part, as well as to continue to use these materials to blame Ukraine on an international arena for the ceasefire violation.

Canadian side expressed its concern about the state of affairs in the JFO area and assured the Commander of further assistance in countering to Russian armed aggression and in restoring peace in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

At the end of the meeting, Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Kravchenko expressed his gratitude to the Canadian side for the support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine and presented commemorative decorations to foreign guests.
Photos:  UKR MoD
 

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The DefMin's meet (via UKR MoD info-machine):
February 13, as part of a working visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk held a bilateral meeting with Canadian Minister of National Defense Harjit Singh Sajjan.

The parties stressed the continuation of long-standing friendships and partnerships between the countries. Andriy Zagorodnyuk thanked his Canadian counterpart for comprehensive support for Ukraine in different areas, including for facilitation in multilateral QUINT format meetings with the heads of defense agencies of Great Britain, Canada, Poland, Lithuania and the United States, which took place yesterday.

During the dialogue, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine informed Harjit Singh Sajjan about the current situation in the East of Ukraine and the measures taken by the leadership of the state and the defense agency to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

- Defense reform and the further development of capabilities of the Armed Forces are the main tools for deterring Russian armed aggression. To this end, the Government has developed and continues to implement the Government's Action Program, which sets out five strategic goals for the Ministry, - said the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk and Harjit Singh Sajjan also discussed the current state of bilateral defense cooperation. In particular, during the period 2015-2020, within the framework of the activities of the Canadian military training mission in Ukraine, operation UNIFIER, more than 15000 Ukrainian servicemen and women were trained on the basis of four training centers in the territory of Ukraine. There are currently 195 Canadian instructors in Ukraine.

Within the framework of cooperation in the field of education and training, more than 800 service personnel and employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have successfully completed training in Canadian educational institutions. Today, six representatives of the Armed Forces are being trained in Canada.

Moreover, since 2015, the Canadian side has transferred to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine a mobile field hospital and four ambulances. Canadian doctors work on a voluntary basis at the Kyiv military hospital.

As a result of the meeting, Ministers identified perspective areas of bilateral defense cooperation, including: consultations on a political strategy regarding territorial integrity, political independence and security, cooperation within the framework of the operation UNIFIER, military-technical cooperation as well as continuation of advisory assistance.
 

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COVID effects on deployment ...
The Canadian Armed Forces plans to withdraw the 200 troops it currently has in Ukraine and replace them with a skeleton force next month, to hold the fort until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

That means the soldiers will be returning to Canada as scheduled, though there was no immediate word on what quarantine restrictions they will be under, including whether they will be allowed to stay in their homes or barracks.

The soldiers arrived in Ukraine in October and are the latest Canadian contingent to take part in what is now a five-year mission to train Ukrainian soldiers.

The training mission was launched in 2015 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and started to support separatist forces in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people and left tens of thousands more wounded or homeless.

Military commanders had been weighing their options in recent days over what to do with the mission, dubbed Operation Unifier, amid strict orders against non-essential travel and activities to protect the military from COVID-19 ...
 

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UKR asking CAN for more help ....
A senior Ukrainian government official is urging Canada to bolster its support for the eastern European country as it faces a renewed threat from Russian forces along its border.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said on Sunday the country requires additional assistance to defend itself as Russia masses troops and military equipment near Ukraine.

He warned that Russia’s actions threaten the peace and security of not just Ukraine but the entire world and could spark a war unless swift action is taken.

“If we don’t stop (Russian President Vladimir Putin) now, then a third world war is coming,” Danilov said in an interview through a translator. “Not a cold war, a hot war.”

His comments at the Halifax International Security Forum come as Ukraine seeks greater support from allies amid Russia’s intensifying presence near Ukraine’s border, as well as membership in the NATO alliance.

Canada currently operates a training mission in Ukraine that is set to run until the end of March 2022 ...
Also interestingly mentioned in this Canadian Press report ...
... Potentially complicating Canada’s ongoing operations in Ukraine is a recent report that found far-right radicals in the Ukrainian army boasted on social media that they received training from the Canadian Armed Forces.

The study by George Washington University in Washington, D.C., found that members of Centuria have accessed training from Canada, among other NATO countries, and taken part in joint military exercises.

Centuria is a group that holds ties to far-right movements, venerates Nazi figures and aims to protect what it calls Europe’s “ethnic identity,” according to the report from the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies ...
More on this from last month ....
The Defence Department is vowing to review how the military screens for extremist views in the foreign troops it trains.

The move comes after a report found that far-right extremists in the Ukrainian military bragged on social media that they received training from the Canadian Armed Forces and took part in joint exercises.

The study this month from an institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., says that members of Centuria have worked with and accessed training from Canada, among other western countries.

Centuria is a group that holds ties to far-right movements, venerates Nazi figures and aims to protect what it calls Europe's "ethnic identity."

In response to the report, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center this week called for an investigation by the Defence Department.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the centre's Israel office, says training far-right extremists in foreign militaries empowers groups who foster hate and could turn their weapons against members of their own population.

The Defence Department says in an email that Canada currently relies on the Ukrainian government to vet its security forces, but adds that if Canadian soldiers suspect their foreign counterparts hold racist views they are "removed immediately" from joint activities ...
Full study (93 pg PDF) downloadable here.

Given the history of various militias (including right-wing ones) helping save Ukraine's bacon in 2014, not surprising to find sympathizers in the Ukrainian military, or trained and then out.
 

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F-18's headed to E.Europe? This from the Globe (archived here):
Canada is considering bolstering its military mission to Ukraine, amid a debate over whether additional NATO forces would deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further aggression against his country’s neighbour.

Two sources with knowledge of the deliberations said Defence Minister Anita Anand is considering deploying hundreds of additional troops to support the Canadian soldiers already in Ukraine on a training mission. Other options being looked at include moving a warship into the Black Sea, or redeploying some of the CF-18 fighter jets based in Romania ...
 

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UKR asking CAN for more help ....

Also interestingly mentioned in this Canadian Press report ...

More on this from last month ....

Full study (93 pg PDF) downloadable here.

Given the history of various militias (including right-wing ones) helping save Ukraine's bacon in 2014, not surprising to find sympathizers in the Ukrainian military, or trained and then out.
DND can do absolutely nothing about this issue, and it isn’t on us anyway.

DND/CAF are in Ukraine as part of a training mission, to assist in the training of Ukrainian troops. Who the Ukraine recruits and how stringent the application process is for people to get in is entirely on them.


0.02
 

CBH99

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Does this count as ‘pulling our weight’ more? 🤷🏼‍♂️

Parking a warship in the Black Sea isn’t deterring against unprovoked aggression. It’s Russia’s backyard. It is a good way to escalate things on the military side though…


The CF-18’s in Romania are already performing the NATO Air Policing mission, assisting the Romanian Air Force to assert control over their airspace.

They are ‘pulling their weight’ as if they don’t do it, someone else in NATO has to. (Hence why the mission rotates among countries.)

Although flying around in Ukrainian air space to show support for the mission & reinforce the Ukrainian Air Force may be a more useful mission for them, from a political perspective.

Either way, they are asserting control of the airspace over a friendly country to deter aggression. I don’t think Romania is in Mr. Putin’s bad books though…
 

daftandbarmy

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DND can do absolutely nothing about this issue, and it isn’t on us anyway.

DND/CAF are in Ukraine as part of a training mission, to assist in the training of Ukrainian troops. Who the Ukraine recruits and how stringent the application process is for people to get in is entirely on them.


0.02

And we're really good at rapidly and efficiently extracting large number of nationals, and other friendlies, from failed states collapsing due to an invasion, right?

Charlie Brown Christmas GIF
 

The Bread Guy

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And we're really good at rapidly and efficiently extracting large number of nationals, and other friendlies, from failed states collapsing due to an invasion, right?
If Russian push came to Russian shove in that part of the world, I'm going to guess there would be a significant number of Ukrainian-Canadians in Ukraine wanting to get back to someplace less ... Russian-y pretty quick.
 

MilEME09

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If Russian push came to Russian shove in that part of the world, I'm going to guess there would be a significant number of Ukrainian-Canadians in Ukraine wanting to get back to someplace less ... Russian-y pretty quick.
Don't discount the opposite possibility, Ukrainian-Canadians going back to help their homeland. We have the largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine, I my self are a descendant of Ukrainian immigrants. That alone can carry a lot of weight to try and push our government to do more.
 

The Bread Guy

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Don't discount the opposite possibility, Ukrainian-Canadians going back to help their homeland. We have the largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine, I my self are a descendant of Ukrainian immigrants. That alone can carry a lot of weight to try and push our government to do more.
Big groups of like-minded people could, indeed, twist Canadian arms on responding, but as others have said elsewhere, would Canada be able to do anything alone?

During Yugo, I saw not toooooooo many nationals from all sides heading back to the Old Country to help (mostly Croats from where I live) - you think many of UKR heritage would go back to fight the fight? I know we have a lot of Ukrainians here, but I only know of one who went back since 2014 (he was more interested in the political fight there than the military fight).
 

MilEME09

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A multi-front offensive against Ukraine from 3 directions is a possibility. Ukraine isn't a NATO member and Russia will do everything to prevent that from happening. So unless NATO pulls some shady deal to absorb Ukraine quickly and we just wake up and they are NATO, Putting would move in to prevent membership.
 

Altair

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A multi-front offensive against Ukraine from 3 directions is a possibility. Ukraine isn't a NATO member and Russia will do everything to prevent that from happening. So unless NATO pulls some shady deal to absorb Ukraine quickly and we just wake up and they are NATO, Putting would move in to prevent membership.
Unpopular opinion, but here it is.

If Ukraine was in NATO on Monday and invaded by Thursday, NATO isn't doing squat, member or not.
 
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