the New York Times reported at the weekend that special forces from Canada and other NATO countries are training and advising Ukrainian troops on site.
The national defense declined to comment on the information. Canada officially withdrew its 250 military trainers from Ukraine before the war began in February. They had trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers over the past few years.
In addition to Canada and the United States, commands from Great Britain, France and Lithuania would also operate in Ukraine.
The United States and its allies have set up a special operations center in Germany to direct the flow of men, weapons and equipment into Ukraine. The cell was modeled after the multinational structure used in Afghanistan.
The specific missions of Canadian special forces in Ukraine are classified. In the past, members of our special forces have been deployed to Iraq to train Kurdish and Iraqi snipers in operations aimed at killing Islamist fighters far from the front lines.
Teams of Canadian commandos integrated with American and British special forces have also carried out the same type of mission in Afghanistan. In March 2002, two Canadian snipers set world records there by killing Taliban fighters from a distance of more than 2 km, earning them US Army medals.
A Canadian Brigade
Canada has banned its soldiers — full-time furloughed and reservists — from joining Ukraine’s “international brigade,” made up of foreign volunteers.
But since 2015, Ottawa has allowed Canadian civilians to fight the Russians in eastern Ukraine. Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said she sympathizes with Ukrainian Canadians who want to defend their country of origin. Canada has the largest Ukrainian diaspora after Russia.
Five hundred and fifty Canadian volunteers even formed their own unit called the Ukrainian Canadian Brigade. She has her distinctive shoulder insignia adorned with a maple leaf and a trident, the national symbol of Ukraine.
Russia initiates criminal proceedings against foreigners caught in combat.
Captured Canadian fighters, both military and civilian volunteers, could become a propaganda tool for Moscow.
A hybrid war
Canada and its NATO allies are at war with Russia. Not a direct confrontation, but a hybrid, semi-secret war: direct hostilities could degenerate into a full-scale confrontation involving the use of nuclear weapons.
The aim is to weaken Russia militarily or even bring about a regime change in Moscow. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the United States wanted Russia weakened to the point that it could no longer “do the kind of things it did by invading Ukraine.”
Ukraine’s survival depends on the United States and NATO for arms, but also on the secret network of commandos and spies for reconnaissance and training.