POLITICS

Canadian Techs Train Ukrainian Soldiers In The Art Of Bomb Disposal

07/19/2015 02:00 EDT | Updated 07/19/2016 05:59 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
A member of a bomb disposal team inspects a crater as the remains of a shell can be seen at right after a nighttime strike in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Air strikes and artillery fire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops in the eastern city of Donetsk have brought the violence closer than ever to the city center, as Kiev's forces move in on the rebel stronghold. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
YAVORIV, Ukraine - Canadian bomb disposal troops are instructing Ukrainian troops over the next couple of weeks on how to better deal with the growing menace of improvised explosives in the eastern part of the war-torn country.

The soldiers, from the 4th Engineering Support Regiment, based in Gagetown, N.B., are in Yavoriv, Ukraine to impart skills hard-won in the over decade-long Afghan war.

In total, there are 15 Canadians involved in an annual 17-nation exercise, known as Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 15, which is separate from the soon-to-be launched combat training mission.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, in a recent interview with The Canadian Press, suggested it would be September before the two-year long deployment of trainers, which was announced in April, gets fully underway.

Detecting and dismantling bombs will be a key part of that effort to bolster Ukraine's hard-pressed national guard, which has suffered horrific casualties from both roadside bombs and artillery.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney issued a statement that says the aim is to support Canada's allies in the region while helping to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience and its ability to protect its territorial integrity.

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