Canada has barred its soldiers from joining Ukraine’s “international brigade” of foreign fighters, amid growing concern that captured troops could be used as a Russian propaganda tool.
Speaking to Canadian parliament’s defense committee on Wednesday, Lt Gen Frances Allen, the vice-chief of the defense staff, said top brass had issued an order preventing full-time service members and part-time reservists from traveling to join Ukraine’s newly formed foreign legion .
The rule, which also applies to soldiers on leave, follows a call last month from the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for volunteers to defend his country from Russia’s invasion.
Thousands are believed to have answered, including enough Canadians who were given their own battalion – the Canadian Ukrainian Brigade. While some veterans have used their skills for humanitarian work, others have picked up arms.
The only Canadian soldiers permitted to enter Ukraine are those with formal approval from Wayne Eyre, the chief of defense staff, Allen said. Canada had previously sent 250 military trainers to Ukraine, but those troops were moved to Poland before Russia invaded.
Read more of Leyland Cecco’s report from Toronto here: Canada bars its soldiers from joining Ukraine’s foreign legion
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Boris Johnson told world leaders that there must be a significant increase in lethal aid to Ukraine from across the alliance, saying “we have the means and they have the need”. Jessica Elgot reports.
At a private meeting of NATO leaders, Johnson said the west could not count on any possible retreat by Russia – and said history would judge them if they did not do enough to help.
A No. 10 source said Johnson told the assembled leaders they all wanted Putin to “come to his senses and put his tanks in reverse” but said it would not happen. “He’s going to grind on… he only has forward gears.”
Johnson said the resistance of Ukraine had “fundamentally changed the geopolitics of Europe” and that it required a reassessment of the support the west was offering.
“People will ask – did we do enough?” he told them, saying leaders could not “deny them in their moment of agony”.