12:35 GMT05 December 2020
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    The Canadian government has committed as many as 200 soldiers to train Ukraine’s military. It says they not be training neo-Nazis and far-right extremists there. Some former Canadian diplomats warn, however, that Canadian instructors may end up training members of Ukraine’s fascist groups that are now being enrolled in Kiev’s regular forces.

    How Canadian military instructors can avoid training extremist troops was discussed by Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney, who acknowledged it in a briefing Tuesday, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

    “We’re not going to be in the business of training ad hoc militias,” he explained. “We will only be training units of the Ukrainian National Guard and army recognized by the government of Ukraine.

    Some former Canadian diplomats, however, have suggested the government’s position on Ukraine is aimed at winning votes from Ukrainian-Canadians in the upcoming federal election.

    “These militias are being merged with Ukraine’s military so we won’t be able to determine who we are training,” said James Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. “These are unsavory groups that Canadian soldiers should not be associated with.”

    Some members of Ukraine’s most effective fighting units have openly acknowledged they are Nazi sympathizers or have expressed anti-Semitic or extreme right wing views.

    Russia’s Supreme Court ruled to ban the activities of five Ukrainian radical organizations on Russia’s territory, according to a Ministry of Justice published on Friday. Among them are Right Sector, UNA-UNSO, Bratstvo, as well as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera union Tryzub.

    In July last year the International Criminal Police Organization put Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh on its wanted list.

    Right Sector was formed as a coalition of nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations during the Maidan protests in Kiev at the end of 2013.


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    military instructors, UNA-UNSO, Right Sector, Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), James Bissett, Jason Kenney, Canada
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