In addition to financial remittances and arms shipments, Western countries, including Canada, Sweden and Finland are also mobilizing to give military instructions to Kiev. Writes Lucas Leiroz
The West continues to insist on indefinitely prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian people. The policy of sending military aid seems to have no limits. In addition to financial remittances and arms shipments, Western countries are also mobilizing to give military instructions to Kiev. Considering the war crimes and human rights violations repeatedly committed by Ukrainian forces, supporting Kiev militarily means co-participating in the crimes – and the West must be judged responsible for that.
On 12 August, Canada and Sweden announced that they had sent teams of military instructors to participate in a joint program with the UK to train Ukrainian troops. Currently, London leads a project of military assistance to Ukraine by training soldiers with Western instructors. The objective is to pass on the technical and practical knowledge necessary for the Ukrainians to use the military equipment received from the West in the best possible way, thus helping Kiev to continue its “resistance” against the Russian special military operation.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said that 225 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officers will be sent to the UK to participate in the project. The first phase of participation would consist of a four-month period of joint military actions, in which Ukrainian combatants would be instructed in knowledge “related to frontline combat, weapons handling, first aid, field craft, patrol tactics, and include the law of armed contact “. She also made it clear that, in addition to training soldiers, Ottawa will also be contributing by sending 39 armored vehicles to Kiev.
In the same day, Swedish government also made it clear that it intends to actively participate in this London-led international mobilization. Stockholm announced the deployment of 120 military instructors to participate in the program. The act follows a previous announcement, in which Finland also committed to act in the training, albeit in a more moderate way, sending about 20 instructors. This is just another step towards militarization, revealing the bellicose turn that both countries have taken since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, when Sweden and Finland started to react irrationally to Moscow’s measures, even asking for NATO membership.
In fact, it must be noted that countries like Canada, Sweden and Finland are historically weak nations from a military point of view, whose security has always depended on two key factors: neutrality or automatic alignment. In the case of the Scandinavian nations, neutrality has always been a central factor, which began to be reversed as local governments adopted more favorable stances towards NATO – culminating in the current application for membership. In the Canadian case, however, the pillar of defense policy has always been automatic alignment with the US, complying with all decisions taken by Wasington in exchange for a place in the security umbrella.
These countries remain militarily weak. Their participation in the program does not imply real changes. Most Canadian, Swedish and Finnish military officers do not even have real war experience, which shows the practical irrelevance of being participating in the UK-led project. More than that: the very existence of a training program is of questionable relevance. Although the UK and other NATO countries have great military expertise and undoubtedly have qualified instructors to train their allies, the short training time makes it almost impossible for soldiers to prepare properly.
British military assistance to Kiev with training of personnel is not new. Since 2014 London has been assuming projects to train Ukrainian soldiers. Some of these programs took place publicly, while others were conducted secretly – such as the clandestine “Operation Orbital”, in which more than 22,000 Ukrainian troops were trained by British agents. What the UK is doing now is simply continuing its actions of the last eight years, with the only difference that now NATO’s plans for Ukraine have already failed. The aim is no longer to arm Kiev so that it can become a local power against Russia – it is simply to prolong the conflict indefinitely in order to “postpone” Russian victory.
For the UK, continuing with the instructions is an opportunity to encourage the operation with Western military equipment and thus try to extend the conflict. For Canada, Sweden and Finland, it is a mere gesture of “political goodwill”, without any relevance. But, above all, those involved in these trainings and in all forms of military aid to Kiev share on the fact that they become co-responsible for the Ukrainian atrocities. Since it is proven that Western-trained Ukrainian soldiers use Western weapons against civilians in Donbass, then the West itself is participating in these crimes and should be sanctioned for doing so.
Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
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