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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Canada will deploy approximately 40 combat engineers to NATO ally Poland to train Ukrainian sappers in de-mining, engineer reconnaissance and explosives, the Canadian defense minister said Tuesday.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand made the announcement during a visit to Warsaw. At a briefing alongside her Polish counterpart, Mariusz Blaszczak, Anand said Canadian combat engineers would begin helping Polish forces train Ukrainian sappers in the coming weeks.

She said the training would complement training that Canada is already giving to Ukrainians in the U.K.

Anand also signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen defense cooperation between Poland and Canada.

She visited Warsaw a day after Russia unleashed dozens of missiles on cities across Ukraine, a move she strongly criticized.

“Canada wholeheartedly condemns those brutal strikes against civilian targets and infrastructure,” she told reporters at a later briefing in front of the Canadian Embassy. “Those strikes constitute a war crime and Canada and I in particular find that conduct completely reprehensible, unjustified and illegal.”

She said she would be announcing further military aid to Ukraine in Brussels, where she was headed next for meetings, including with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.


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