Canada, Latvia to provide training to Ukrainian officers

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Canada and Latvia will jointly provide combat leadership training to Ukrainian junior officers starting as early as next week, their defense ministers announced Wednesday.

The training, which will take place in Latvia, builds on Canadian military deployments and training throughout Britain and Europe to bolster NATO defenses and support Ukraine.

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“Today I can announce that Canada and Latvia will jointly train Ukrainian soldiers on Latvian soil, beginning as early as May 15,” Defense Minister Anita Anand told reporters in Ottawa during a visit by her Latvian counterpart Inara Murniece.

Their two militaries, she said, “will deliver leadership development training for members of the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian junior officers will receive instructions on “responsibilities in battle, the process of planning and orders, maneuver coordination, intelligence, reconnaissance, planning and executing.”

Ottawa has committed over Can$1 billion (US$750 million) in military assistance to Ukraine over the past year, including tanks and armored vehicles, surface-to-air missiles, howitzers and munitions.

Since 2015, Canada has also trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops, and earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had discussed long-term defense cooperation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Separately, Canada has based more than 1,100 troops in Eastern Europe, including 800 in Latvia.

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