As tensions escalate between NATO and Russia, Canada has deployed a contingent of an elite Special Operations Regiment to Ukraine. The corresponding decision was made after diplomatic negotiations aimed at averting the armed conflict in Ukraine reached an impasse, Global News reports.
The outlet’s sources explained that sending a unit of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) to Ukraine should help deter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Moreover, another of the tasks assigned to the military is to develop evacuation plans for Canadian diplomatic personnel in the event of a full-scale invasion of Russian forces into Ukraine.
Neither the Canadian authorities nor the armed forces have officially confirmed the deployment of forces to Ukrainian territory. The regiment's Spokesperson only noted that Canadian special forces had been working in Ukraine since 2020. Their task in the country is to provide training, as well as "instructor and leadership expertise." She added that the unit sent on January 9 would not conduct training.
Context. Last week, the US and European allies held several rounds of talks with Russia, but they ended without a clear de-escalation plan on the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Ukraine this week for a series of bilateral meetings with Ukrainian officials.
"The amassing of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes security in the entire region. These aggressive actions must be deterred. Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and preserve the human rights and dignity of Ukrainians," she said in a statement.
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He stressed that a new Russian invasion of Ukraine would entail "serious consequences, including coordinated sanctions."
On January 17, the Canadian authorities warned their citizens against visiting Ukraine given Russian aggression and the Russian buildup of forces and equipment near the Ukrainian border. Russia called these recommendations "charging Russophobic sentiments" and "long-term hysteria about the likely entry of Russian troops into the territory of Ukraine."