Canadian troops fly to Poland to assist Ukrainian refugees


Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are set to depart from an Ontario military base today to help with the care, co-ordination and resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Defense Minister Anita Anand is expected to announce and oversee the deployment from Canadian Forces Base Trenton this morning after a reconnaissance team visited Poland last week to plan for the mission.

A government source speaking on condition of anonymity said the troops will help with the care and co-ordination of Ukrainian refugees, more than 2.6 million of which have fled to Poland since Russia invaded in February.

They will also help Ukrainians leave Poland for other destinations.

Canada has prioritized immigration applications from Ukraine and created a special program that lets Ukrainian citizens and their families come to Canada and work or study for three years.

The Canadian Armed Forces previously had 260 military trainers in Poland after they were evacuated from Ukraine shortly before Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

The trainers provided some humanitarian assistance during the early weeks of the conflict but have since been relocated back to Canada on what the military says is a temporary basis.

Since the war started, Canada has provided millions of dollars in loans to the Ukrainian government along with military weapons and equipment for its military.

It has also sanctioned hundreds of Russian political and business leaders, and called for the International Criminal Court to investigate the country for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Apr. 14, 2022.


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