Canada's Leading Defence Magazine


Canada Expands Military Support for Ukraine

Operation UNIFIER

Canada is steadfast in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. Canada is alarmed by, and condemns, Russia’s threats and military buildup in and around Ukraine. Canada remains committed to a diplomatic solution and continues to call on Russia to de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue. Any further aggression on the part of Russia will be met with strong consequences and Canada continues to work with allies and partners on a coordinated response.

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to announce $340 million for immediate support to Ukraine and for the extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ military training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine.

This extension and expansion of Canada’s military presence in support of Ukraine will ensure that members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will continue to provide enhanced military training and mentorship to Ukraine’s security forces through to the end of March 2025. In the coming days an additional 60 troops will be deployed to Ukraine to join the approximately 200 women and men already on the ground, with the ability to increase the total number to 400 CAF personnel. The CAF will also work with the Canadian Security Establishment on measures to support enhanced intelligence cooperation and cyber security and cyber operations. This increased support will help Ukraine strengthen its security and ability to defend itself against a range of threats.

Since 2015, Canadian troops have conducted more than 600 courses, training nearly 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel in a range of tactical and advanced military skills. In addition, civilian and military personnel from the Department of National Defence and the CAF have been supporting key elements of Ukraine’s defence reform process, such as democratic accountability and civilian oversight of defence and security institutions.

The extension and expansion in scope of Operation UNIFIER will complement and be delivered in a coordinated effort alongside the diplomatic efforts of Minister Joly and Global Affairs Canada to deter and de-escalate Russia’s ongoing aggressive and destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine. To that end, the Government also announced that Canada is creating an action team based out of Global Affairs Canada to support further coordination of federal departments’ efforts in support of peace and security in Ukraine. Existing diplomatic capacity will also be strengthened, with additional subject matter experts in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, consular services and diplomacy. With these additional resources in both Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, Canada will be able to continue to assess and respond to the ongoing and escalating situation.

In addition, Canada will be providing and $50 million for development and humanitarian assistance, as well as additional support for the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program to support Ukraine’s security sector reforms and improve the capacity of its security sector institutions. Canada will also be providing non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine.

This announcement demonstrates Canada’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its people through this strengthened contribution to assist them with their ability to defend themselves.

“Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity is steadfast. By extending and expanding Operation UNIFIER through 2025, we will continue to support Ukraine as it faces unacceptable Russian aggression. Thanks to our close integration with Ukraine’s security forces under Operation UNIFIER, Canada is uniquely placed to provide training and capacity-building assistance to Ukraine. I will remain closely engaged with my Ukrainian counterpart, and our partners and allies, to ensure that Canada continues to bring our strengths to the table in promoting the rules-based international order.” – The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“Canada is resolute in its commitment to the preservation of global security and the rules-based international order. We will continue to work alongside our allies and partners in support of Ukraine amidst ongoing Russian aggression. Today’s announcement strengthens our capacity to advance a diplomatic solution, which is the only viable path forward for Russia.” – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Our work with Ukraine has helped build a promising future for Ukrainians and we will continue to be there to do more. It is why we are increasing our support by $50 million to help Ukraine deliver increased security, prosperity and freedom for all of its citizens. This assistance will also help meet the immediate and urgent needs of vulnerable populations impacted by the on-going conflict.” – The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada



• Since 2014, Canada has provided Ukraine with more than $890 million in multifaceted assistance to support Ukraine’s security, prosperity, and reform objectives. In the long-term, reforms are the most effective strategy for building Ukraine’s resilience to Russian aggression.

• Through Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada is currently supporting over $16 million in ongoing multi-year programming focused on security sector and defence reform in Ukraine, including a strong focus on advancing Ukraine’s Women Peace and Security National Action Plan.

• Operation UNIFIER harmonizes its efforts with other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission. This commission includes Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

• The expanded training mission will include a deployment of 60 additional troops in the coming days, depending on need, building to a rotational deployment that can surge up to 400 CAF personnel.

• Much of the direct training that was previously done through Operation UNIFIER is now being delivered by Ukrainian security forces themselves, with Canadians acting as advisors and mentors.

• Courses include unit and brigade level tactical training, combat engineer training such as improvised explosive device disposal and explosive ordnance disposal; reconnaissance; development of a non-commissioned officer corps; and medical training.

• The additional development assistance announced today will scale up support for peace and security initiatives, strengthen community security and social cohesion and help alleviate the economic impact for conflict-affected communities, with a particular focus on women and marginalized groups. It will also support crisis management and emergency response

• The new humanitarian funding will support experienced partners on the ground to help them respond to current and evolving humanitarian needs in Ukraine. It will include support for the provision of protection assistance, emergency health services, water and sanitation, shelter and food assistance.

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