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Canada to provide medical assistance training to Ukraine military in Poland

A rally in support of Ukraine in Winnipeg

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday said it would deploy medical technicians and assistants from the Canadian Armed Forces to Poland to train members of the Ukrainian military in Ottawa's latest assistance to Kyiv to combat the Russian invasion.

Since February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine, Canada has committed over C$1 billion ($726.90 million) in military assistance to Ukraine.

"Canada has deployed seven Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Medical Technicians and Medical Assistants from Canadian Forces Health Services units to Poland, where they will train members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the skills needed to save lives effectively in combat situations," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Tuesday.

Canadian medical trainers will integrate into the Polish-led training that is centered on advanced tactical medical skills, with focus on combat survivability, the Canadian government said, adding the medical assistance training will start in March.

Canadian Armed Forces members are supporting members of Ukraine's military in the United Kingdom and Poland as part of an operation to provide broader military training.

Canada is extending its efforts to train Ukrainian sappers in Poland as part of the operation until October, Ottawa added.

Through this training, which started last fall, 45 Canadian Armed Forces members are equipping Ukrainian combat engineers with specialized skills such as engineering reconnaissance, and the use of explosives for demolition and de-mining.

In a joint press briefing with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday, Trudeau also stressed the need to urgently provide energy equipment to Ukraine as its infrastructure has come under attack during the war.

($1 = 1.3757 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)