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Canada Pledges $24M to UK-Led Effort to Equip Ukraine Air Defense

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Canadian Minister of National Defence Bill Blair has announced his country’s $24.4 million contribution to a United Kingdom-led partnership that aims to provide Ukraine with short and medium-range air missiles and associated equipment.

“Together, Canada and the United Kingdom are standing with Ukraine as it fights to defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion,” Blair said in a statement.

“Canada commends the courage and strength of Ukrainians, and we will continue to support them with the comprehensive military aid that they need to fight and win.”

The U.K. worked with the United States, Denmark, the Netherlands and Denmark in starting the project in June.

According to the Department of National Defence, the contribution will support the delivery of air defense missiles to protect Ukraine’s critical infrastructure against increasing missile and drone attacks from Russia.

Blair announced Canada’s donation on Sunday during a visit to the Lydd Military Training Camp in Kent, where members of the Canadian Armed Forces are training Ukrainian recruits under the Operation Unifier effort.

The funding is part of the $370 million military assistance fund Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during a visit to Kyiv three months ago.

Apart from extending financial aid, Canada also participates in the U.K.’s Operation Interflex. Under the program, CAF personnel conduct sessions on weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft and patrol tactics for Ukrainian military recruits.

In addition, the country’s Operation Unifier has provided military training to over 38,000 Ukrainians since 2015.

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