NDDN Committee Report
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Ukraine has been engaged in an armed conflict against the Russian Federation for almost four years. What began as a Russian invasion and illegal occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 has since become a brutal and complicated conflict of attrition between the armed forces of Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist groups – armed, supplied, led and reinforced by Russia – in the Donbas region (Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) of eastern Ukraine. The conflict has been characterized by sporadic escalations of violence, with ceasefires reached and then repeatedly broken. To date, more than 10,000 people have been killed and almost three times as many have been injured in what Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, has called Russia’s “ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.”
Since the beginning of hostilities in 2014, Canada has been a strong supporter of Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Together with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, European Union (EU) partners and other members of the international community, Canada has strongly condemned Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and its aggressive actions against Ukraine in the Donbas region and elsewhere. Not only has Canada imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions against 123 Russian individuals and over 60 Russian organizations in response to the crisis in Ukraine, it is also providing direct support to the Ukrainian government and military in a number of different ways. As a case in point, more than 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel are currently deployed to Ukraine to provide military training to the Ukrainian Armed Forces under Operation UNIFIER. This military operation, which has been ongoing since 2015, is set to last until 2019. In addition, Canada has committed more than $700 million in financial, development, humanitarian and non-lethal military assistance, including military equipment, to Ukraine since the start of the armed conflict in 2014, and expects to provide more in the coming years.
Canada’s determination to provide support to Ukraine reflects the long-standing relationship that unites both countries. Canada was the first Western country to officially recognize Ukraine’s independence in 1991, and the two countries have maintained close diplomatic relations ever since. Reinforcing Canada’s diplomatic ties with Ukraine is a vibrant Ukrainian-Canadian community of almost 1.3 million people, which – according to Paul Grod, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – represents “one of Canada’s largest ethno-cultural communities.”
The crisis in Ukraine has been of concern to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence (the Committee) for some time, which is why it decided to undertake a study on the subject. To that end, between 23 and 26 September 2017, some Committee members travelled to Ukraine in order to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground, and to assess what more Canada could do to assist Ukraine militarily. They met in Kyiv with numerous prominent Ukrainian government and military officials, as well as several defence experts and academics. They also visited the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv, where CAF personnel deployed on Operation UNIFIER are training members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It was enlightening to see first-hand how Canada’s men and women in uniform are training and helping their Ukrainian counterparts and what they, in turn, are learning through shared experiences.
Ukrainian government and military authorities repeatedly expressed their gratitude for both Canada’s strong political and military support for Ukraine, and the ways in which Canadian assistance is helping their country on its path to peace and its stated objective of eventually joining the EU and NATO. As Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, told the Committee, Ukraine has two overarching foreign policy goals: “integration into the European political, economic, and legal space” through EU membership; and “integration into the transatlantic security community” through NATO membership. In particular, the Ukrainians repeatedly expressed their gratitude to Canada for the training that CAF members are providing to their country’s armed forces through Operation UNIFIER, and noted the high degree of professionalism, expertise and level of training provided by these members. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine is “very happy that the training program has been continued and prolonged” to 2019. She also said that “Canada has been instrumental” in Ukraine’s “rebuilding [of its] armed forces.”
Following its trip to Ukraine, between 16 and 25 October 2017, the Committee held five meetings in Ottawa on the situation in Ukraine. It received testimony from a number of witnesses, including Canadian and Ukrainian government officials, as well as various academics and stakeholders. As well, on 31 October 2017, Committee members and the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade held a meeting with His Excellency Volodymyr Groysman, the Prime Minister of Ukraine. During their meetings, Committee members discussed a number of issues, including: the evolution of the armed conflict in Ukraine; the threat posed by Russia and its hybrid warfare methods, cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns; the Minsk agreements and ceasefire violations; the path to peace and the possible establishment of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force in Ukraine; ongoing efforts to expand and transform Ukraine’s military with Canadian and international assistance; Ukraine’s aspiration to join the EU and NATO; the problem of internal corruption and ongoing efforts to reform Ukraine; and future Canadian military assistance to Ukraine.
The report is primarily about Canadian military assistance to Ukraine and how that could be strengthened in the near future. It is subdivided into five sections. The first section provides an overview of the crisis in Ukraine. It looks at the origins of the conflict and how it has evolved since 2014. The second section looks at how Canada is currently helping Ukraine train, re-equip and reform its military. The third section focuses on possible solutions to end the conflict in Ukraine and how Canada could contribute to the peace process. The fourth section highlights possible areas of improvement that might strengthen the Canada-Ukraine defence relationship. The final section provides concluding remarks and recommendations for the Government of Canada.
Based on the testimony received during its study and publicly available information, the Committee reports the following findings and recommendations to the House of Commons.
Historically, Russia has seen Ukraine as being a part of its sphere of influence. Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has been consistently hostile to the prospect of former republics of the Soviet Union – now independent states – joining the EU and/or NATO. Since Ukrainian independence in 1991, Russia has repeatedly expressed its discontent and intolerance for any Ukrainian government efforts to distance Ukraine from Moscow’s influence. As a case in point, in recent years, Russia has tried to dissuade Ukraine from forging closer ties with the EU by putting pressure upon it to join the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, a mechanism for incorporating independent states of the former Soviet Union into a free trade zone. According to Dr. Taras Kuzio, a fellow with John Hopkins University’s Centre for Transatlantic Relations, “the problem lies in the fact that the Russian leadership does not accept that Ukrainians are a people who have a right to decide their own geopolitical destiny.” It is also the case that Russia tends to regard Ukraine as a defensive buffer zone between it and the rest of Europe, particularly the NATO states, and a means to influence and control the Black Sea region. Keeping Ukraine out of the EU and NATO is therefore in Russia’s security interests.
When the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan Revolution) occurred in Ukraine in February 2014, forcing the downfall of corrupt and pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the establishment of a new pro-Western government committed to lessening Russia’s influence and to pursuing closer relations with Europe and North America, Russia decided to act militarily. In March 2014, Russia responded to the change of government in Ukraine by invading and annexing the Crimean Peninsula, ostensibly to protect Russian interests in that region. Concurrently, pro‑Russian demonstrations also took place throughout south‑eastern Ukraine. In April 2014, armed pro-Russian separatist groups, which were supported by Russia, took control of parts of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and established the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). Throughout the summer of 2014, the Ukrainian military slowly gained a strategic advantage over the rebels after launching a military response, labelled an “Anti‑Terror Operation,” or ATO. As a result, Ukrainian forces were able to advance into the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, in late August 2014, Russia intervened. Russian troops crossed the poorly defended border between the rebel territories and Russia, encircled the Ukrainian forces east of Donetsk, and – with the rebels – took full control of the region and broke the sieges of Donetsk and Luhansk.
In September 2014, a ceasefire agreement – the Minsk Protocol, known as “Minsk I” – was negotiated in Minsk, Belarus, but it was broken within days. Renewed fighting during the winter of 2014–2015 peaked in January 2015. Recognizing the failure of Minsk I to end the violence and secure a political resolution to the crisis in the Donbas region, the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia agreed to a second Minsk ceasefire agreement – known as “Minsk II.”
Minsk II was signed on 12 February 2015. Although Minsk II reduced the overall intensity of the fighting in eastern Ukraine, rebel troops – supported by Russian military leadership and weapons – violated the new ceasefire agreement one day after it came into effect. A constant pattern of ceasefire agreements and subsequent violations has prevailed ever since. In her appearance before the Committee, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze highlighted three recent examples of ceasefire violations. In June 2017, a ceasefire was established in connection with International Children’s Day, but it was violated the next day. Attempts to implement a “Harvest Truce” in the middle of the summer also failed because of ceasefire violations, an outcome that was repeated with the back-to-school ceasefire that started on 31 August 2017 and was also “violated blatantly” by pro-Russian militants.
The issue of ceasefire violations was addressed when Committee members met with officials of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE) in Kyiv. Committee members were told that ceasefire arrangements are violated on an almost daily basis. As a case in point, SMM officials said that, over the previous week or so, 1,200 ceasefire violations had been reported, 850 of which had occurred within a 24-hour period. Overall, an estimated 9,000 people have died in the Donbas region as a result of ceasefire violations since the implementation of Minsk II in 2015. As SMM officials and the Committee’s witnesses in Ottawa stated, the armed conflict in the Donbas region is not a frozen conflict.
The armed conflict is having a negative effect on Ukraine. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, “[t]he three-year long period of war that we are fighting on our own territory against the Russian Federation has brought upon us more than 10,000 civilians and military personnel killed, more than 25,000 wounded, [and] more than 1.5 million internally displaced people.” She added that 7% of Ukraine’s territory is currently “occupied” by enemy forces, and that the country has lost about 20% of its economic capacity and industrial capabilities as a result. As well, she pointed out that numerous factories in Ukraine’s occupied territories have “ceased” to operate, been “destroyed” or had their equipment “stolen.” In addition, the armed conflict has caused massive destruction, “ruining” hundreds of houses, schools, health care facilities, cultural landmarks, power grids, water supplies, roads and rail lines, and numerous other elements of infrastructure. She said that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has estimated that the cost of the damage caused by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine is about $50 billion.
In addition to ceasefire violations and casualties, the conflict in Ukraine has involved human rights violations. For instance, several of the Committee’s witnesses referred to abuses experienced by Ukrainians and other minority groups in Russian-occupied Crimea. As Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze explained:
The occupying regime basically sponsors intolerance to dissent. It imposes illegal rules by pressure, by persecution, by detention, and by abduction. In the most recent report … of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which was just released on September 25 [ of this year], it is noted that multiple and grave violations of human rights by Russia as an occupying state have been recorded. Among them are the large-scale nationalization of private, communal, and public properties; illegal detentions; enforced disappearances and abductions; extrajudicial executions; and other violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the altering of the ethnic composition of Crimea by the forceable imposition of Russian citizenship.
Examples of human rights violations include the suspension of individual rights to freedom of peaceful assembly in occupied Crimea, acts of discrimination against the Crimean Tatar people, and the closure of Ukrainian schools. In Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze’s view, Russia is pursuing a “very strict de-Ukrainianization” campaign in Crimea. According to Mr. Grod, the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea have instituted “a regime of terror against the Crimean Tatar people, ethnic Ukrainians, and anyone who opposes Russia’s occupation of Crimea.”
Humanitarian issues are also complicating the security situation in the Donbas region. Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze informed the Committee that Ukraine has 405 people listed as missing persons in the territories not under its control in the Donbas region, and that Russia has – thus far – shown no intent or willingness to help Ukrainians find those missing individuals. She added that Russia, and its “proxies” in the Donbas region, “continue to block the release process for hostages and illegally detained persons,” despite obligations to do so under Minsk II. According to her, the pro-Russian militants are holding 152 hostages and Russia is holding at least 15 Ukrainian political prisoners on its own territory and another 29 in Russian-occupied Crimea.
A number of the Committee’s witnesses were of the opinion that the armed conflict in Ukraine would not come to a peaceful conclusion in the near future. Ihor Kozak, a retired CAF officer who now works as a military-industrial consultant, stated that “Russia’s war in the geopolitical centre of Europe is now in its fourth year with no real sign of ending any time soon.” Many witnesses had the general impression that the armed conflict will be long, mostly because of national identity issues between Russians and Ukrainians. As Dr. Kuzio explained, “I think that this conflict is very deep and therefore long term, because in every regional environment where you have national identity questions, these take a long time to change.” Russians and Ukrainians each have different views of each other and their respective futures. Whereas many Ukrainians regard Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, as aggressors determined to keep Ukraine and its people under Russia’s sphere of influence, Russians have a hard time accepting that Ukrainians are a separate people and generally regard Ukraine’s aspirations to westernize itself and join the EU and NATO as both a security threat and part of a Western conspiracy to limit Russia’s standing as a global power.
That said, a number of witnesses held the opinion that Russia’s military intervention in Crimea and the Donbas region is an attempt to destabilize, divide and balkanize Ukraine in order to prevent it from westernizing and eventually joining the EU and NATO. Dr. Kuzio characterized the crisis in Ukraine as a “geopolitical tug-of-war” between the West (i.e., the EU and NATO) and Russia. Some witnesses described the armed conflict in Ukraine as the battlefront of a new Cold War between the West and Russia.
Several witnesses held the view that Russia is a threat not only to Ukraine, but also to the entire Western world. Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze explained that Russian strategies are about “destabilizing the West,” as is evident from Russia’s alleged 2016 involvement in the U.S. presidential election, the attempted coup d’état in Montenegro and the referendum in the Netherlands about ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. She added that:
Russia today not only poses an existential threat to countries like Ukraine, Moldova, or Georgia, but it also poses a real threat to the EU, to NATO, to countries of North America and wider Europe, and above all, to the whole values that western civilization has been basing prosperity upon over the last 70 years.
In Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze’s opinion, “the international community must recognize today that supporting Ukraine is an investment in its own security. A persistent and coherent strategy based on common democratic values should continue to be the cornerstone of the West’s approach to the Ukrainian issue. It means a united and unified approach by every democratic state opposing Russian aggression.” Similar views were expressed by other witnesses. For example, Mr. Kozak argued that “Ukraine remains the only real force standing between the Russian aggressors and the security and stability of Europe.”
According to some of the Committee’s witnesses, Russia’s heavy reliance on hybrid warfare methods in Ukraine is a clear sign of the threat that Russia poses to the West. Alan Bell, President of Globe Risk International Inc., defined hybrid warfare as a “military strategy that blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and cyberwarfare simultaneously to achieve success.” In his opinion, “the Russian concept of non-linear conflict” used in the invasion and annexation of Crimea, as well as the ongoing armed conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine, “exemplifies a typical hybrid war strategy.” He stated that:
[a] non-linear war is fought when a state employs unusual, conventional, and irregular military forces in conjunction with psychological, economic, political, and cyber assaults. Hybrid warfare can be described as the use of flexible and complex dynamics of the battle space, which in turn requires a highly adaptable, well-trained, and resilient response.... Confusion and disorder ensue when weaponized information exacerbates the perception of insecurity within the population as political, social, and cultural identities are pitted against one another and plausible liability abounds.
In Mr. Bell’s view, Russian military and intelligence experts have “accurately identified and exploited international legal frameworks governing the use of force against another sovereign state” through their use of hybrid warfare methods in Ukraine and, more specifically, in Crimea. In elaborating, he indicated that:
[f]rom the beginning of Russia’s engagement in the hybrid war in Crimea, there was a profound emphasis on maintaining a degree of plausible deniability. The Russian flag was raised by residents of Crimea, not Russian soldiers. Russian forces were stripped of any identifying markers or insignia. Cyber-attacks were launched at Ukrainian critical infrastructure facilities and systems. These attacks were structured in a manner that attempted to obscure Russia’s involvement.
According to Mr. Bell, although it was widely understood that Russia was responsible for the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, the result was “confusion that was spawned by the disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, unmarked Russian special-forces and later actions in eastern Ukraine,” which led to hesitation in the West. This gave the Russians time “to consolidate and then normalize” their annexation of Crimea.
A similar situation has occurred in the Donbas region. Several witnesses said that there were no pro-Russian separatist groups in Ukraine prior to 2014. Mr. Grod emphasized that “[t]here was never a separatist movement in modern-day Ukraine” until one was “completely engineered, financed, operated, and organized by the Russian Federation. The reality is that the people who have led those movements are Russian citizens, Russian military and intelligence officers.” Although Russia publicly denies any involvement in the armed conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region, it has been a key supporter and supplier of weapons and military equipment to rebel forces, and has built up the various militia groups in the Donbas region into one of Europe’s largest armies. Today, the separatist groups – or Russian proxy forces – number approximately 35,000 people. In addition, an estimated 5,000 Russian armed forces members are also present in the theatre of operation. Altogether, pro-Russian forces in the Donbas region number approximately 40,000, a number that Dr. Kuzio said is “bigger than half of the armies in NATO.”
Russia also continues to ensure a reliable flow of high-tech weapons and military equipment across the Russia–Ukraine border to support its “proxies” in the occupied parts of the Donbas region. Mr. Kozak illustrated this point with tanks, saying that “[t]here are now almost 500 Russian tanks in the [Donbas region], a contingent larger than the entire armoured corps of the current German army.” He noted, as well, the tanks of “offensive battle groups located on Russian soil next to Ukraine’s borders” and said that, in his opinion, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are at a “serious disadvantage” and “would be hard pressed to stop a full Russian offensive, especially if modern weapons and technologies were used.” The pro-Russian separatist forces’ possession of so many tanks in the Donbas region, in addition to a wide range of modern high-tech weaponry and military technology, is largely due to Russian support. As Committee members were told by OSCE SMM officials in Kyiv, more than 400 kilometres of the Russia–Ukraine land border and about 100 kilometres of the sea border are currently under the control of pro-Russian separatist forces and, as a result, are not monitored by Ukraine. It is largely through those border areas that Russia has been covertly transferring weapons and military equipment into the Ukrainian conflict zone.
At the same time as armed conflict is being waged in the Donbas region, Russia has been deeply engaged in hybrid warfare aimed at destabilizing Ukraine from within. This situation is particularly evident from Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks against Ukrainian society at large. As Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze explained to the Committee, Ukraine is faced with a “storm of disinformation” and of “fake news” meant to isolate the country from its “partners and allies in the international community, and to present a false picture to the world by insisting that it’s an internal civil war as opposed to real aggression of the Russian Federation on our territory.” According to Mr. Kozak:
[t]he extent of the Kremlin’s efforts to undermine the Ukrainian government, to aggravate political disagreements in Parliament, to foment social unrest, to create conflicts among ethnic and religious groups, to spread disinformation, and to intimidate people through acts of terror is unprecedented.
According to witnesses, Russian disinformation – which is largely disseminated through television, social media, and other types of media sources – is highly sophisticated and should not be dismissed as simplistic propaganda. In their view, it is much more subtle and involves twisting some truths to a point where people have difficulties identifying what is real and what is false. Several witnesses emphasized that Russian disinformation is really focused on Ukraine being a failed state corrupted by the West and on the country’s alleged persecution of ethnic Russian minorities, and seeks to discredit Ukraine and justify Russia’s military intervention. The issue of corruption in Ukraine, for example, has been repeatedly exploited as a means to try and instigate a “new Revolution of Dignity, a new Euromaidan” that would “disintegrate” the current Ukrainian government. People in Ukraine are exposed to Russian disinformation on a daily basis, especially those living in the Crimea and Donbas regions. Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze commented that “people who live in the occupied territories are unfortunately subject to continuous information attacks by the Russian so-called media,” such as Russia Today and Sputnik.
The Russian disinformation campaign is causing casualties by inciting violence resulting in death. Dr. Kuzio explained that, in his view, “the reason that protests against the Euromaidan Revolution” in 2014 in the Donbas region “turned into a violent insurgency” was partly because of the information war. People watched Russian television, social media and the like, which depicted Ukrainians who supported the Euromaidan Revolution as dangerous “fascists” who strived to integrate Ukraine with the West and who were determined to persecute ethnic Russian minorities. As a consequence, ethnic Russian minorities in the Donbas region took up arms against the Ukrainian government and were eventually supported by what he characterized as “little green men” – Russian special-forces – in April 2014. According to Dr. Kuzio, as a result of Russian disinformation, numerous people were killed or subjected to inhuman treatment, including Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukraine is also subject to Russian cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure and communication networks, with such attacks “primarily directed against utilities in particular and [designed] to gather information by hacking into various government web accounts.” One such attack, which occurred in December 2015, disrupted Ukraine’s power grid operations, causing large blackouts and leaving more than 225,000 customers in the dark. More recently, in October 2017, Russia launched cyber-attacks against the Ukrainian airport at Odessa and against the Kyiv subway system. According to Mr. Bell, “cyber-attacks are getting more and more intense,” adding that “Russia is moving forward” and “getting better at cyber.” Colonel Viktor Siromakha, Defense, Naval and Air Attaché at the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada, indicated that, since 2014, Ukraine has had more than 7,000 cyber-attacks. Witnesses suggested that Ukraine has become a cyber warfare testing ground and a place for Russia to conduct trials with new offensive cyber capabilities. In their view, Canada and allied countries should be paying close attention to cyber activities in Ukraine because – if they have not already done so – Russia, as well as other state and non-state actors, might use similar techniques to conduct attacks against Western interests.
The armed conflict in Ukraine has forced that country’s government to introduce and implement measures to expand and reform its military. Within the last four years, the Ukrainian military has almost tripled in size, acquired new and more advanced weapon systems and military equipment from domestic and foreign sources, enhanced the military training of its officers and non-commissioned members, and launched reforms to eliminate internal corruption, to enhance civilian control of the military, and to modernize, transform and strengthen its armed forces and their capabilities.
While the armed conflict is responsible for the introduction of many of these reforms, they have also occurred to support Ukraine’s aspiration to join the EU and NATO. To that end, Ukraine intends – among other things – to reform and civilianize its Ministry of Defence by the end of 2018 and to achieve full military interoperability with NATO members by 2020. Canada is one of several international partners actively engaged in assisting Ukraine as it reforms its military and, during its study, the Committee repeatedly heard that these efforts are showing success.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, Ukraine has invested heavily in the development of its military, resulting in a significant expansion of its armed forces and their capabilities, as well as the modernization of its weapon and equipment stocks. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, “[s]urvival has actually demanded urgent reconstruction of our military.” She noted that Ukraine’s armed forces had basically been “deliberately destroyed” and “infiltrated by Russian agents” prior to 2014, with the result that the country was essentially forced to rebuild its military from scratch in order to “fortify [its] ability to protect [itself] against the Russian Federation.” While much has been accomplished since 2014, many military reforms are still needed; Ukraine is looking to Canada and other Western countries for assistance. The Committee was told that the ongoing process of rebuilding and reforming Ukraine’s armed forces will occur over several years.
That said, there has been progress over the last three years. Between 2014 and 2017, for example, the strength of Ukraine’s armed forces (army, navy, air force and airborne forces) increased from 129,950 men and women to more than 204,000. The country’s paramilitary forces have also expanded, rising from more than 84,000 people in 2014 to more than 88,000 in 2017, including approximately 46,000 in the National Guard and 42,000 in the Border Guard. Altogether, Ukraine today has “one of the strongest militaries in Europe,” with more than 300,000 people. This accomplishment is significant, considering the period of time and conditions under which the expansion has occurred. Today, Ukraine spends more than 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) annually on defence and security; for most NATO countries, including Canada, less than 2% of their GDP is allocated to defence spending.
Ukraine has also been modernizing and reforming its military with the goal of achieving NATO interoperability by 2020. To that end, Ukraine has been transforming its military from a Soviet-era force structure to a Western NATO one. This transformation is being achieved in a very short period of time and while waging a difficult armed conflict against one of the world’s strongest military powers: Russia.
Jill Sinclair, Canada’s representative on Ukraine’s Defence Reform Advisory Board (DRAB), informed the Committee that all of these reforms take time to implement, commenting that “[w]e have to remember that this effort is only going into its fourth year, so this takes time.” In her view, it is therefore essential that Canada and the international community have “strategic patience” and “stay the course.” She explained that:
[r]eform is a long and complex process, particularly in defence, and particularly in the midst of the conflict … in the east. It is a major part of the context for Ukraine’s current challenges. It’s the backdrop against which it is carrying out its reform program. While there are many challenges and there is still much to be accomplished, Ukraine has made and is making progress.
Canada is one of several countries actively engaged on Ukraine’s DRAB. In January 2017, Canada appointed a representative – the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Ms. Sinclair – to the DRAB at the invitation of the Ukrainian government. The DRAB provides high‑level expertise and recommendations to senior Ukrainian political and military leaders regarding institutional reforms to Ukraine’s armed forces. An initiative of Ukrainian Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak, the DRAB was created in 2016 to assist Ukraine with its program of military reforms. Minister Poltorak asked six countries – Canada, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States – to appoint high-level experts to serve on a small advisory board that would provide him, the chief of the general staff, senior Ukrainian government officials and members of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) with advice designed to help Ukraine in its efforts to implement reforms and meet Euro-Atlantic standards. Canada was one of the first countries to respond. In noting that the issue of reform is the focus of DRAB’s work in Ukraine, Ms. Sinclair described the activities of the DRAB by saying that its focus:
… is framed by Ukraine’s own carefully developed road map for reform in the security and defence sector, the Strategic Defence Bulletin [SDB]. The SDB is a comprehensive document in scope and scale. It seeks to totally reform the defence ministry and the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other elements of the security sector, from planning, budget, and personnel management through to creating a civilian minister of defence and ensuring civilian oversight of the armed forces.
The Strategic Defence Bulletin (SDB) addresses not only reforms of Ukraine’s armed forces and its Ministry of Defence, but also of its National Guard and Border Guard. The SDB extends to 2020, by which time Ukraine hopes to be interoperable with NATO members. Before then, there are numerous “deadlines and timelines” that must be achieved. For example, Ukraine is striving to move to a civilian minister of defence by the end of 2018, and is committed to achieving full civilian control and oversight of its armed forces by 2020. Ms. Sinclair indicated that, “[f]or every one of these benchmarks, they have a timeline associated with it.”
Regarding the ways in which DRAB and the Ukrainian government are measuring progress with Ukraine’s defence reforms, Ms. Sinclair noted that the SDB identifies about 162 objectives organized around five pillars. To assess progress made with each of those objectives and pillars, the Ukrainian government has established a reform committee that is supported by working groups overseeing each pillar. However, according to Ms. Sinclair, some of those working groups are “highly effective and some of them aren’t.” She indicated that Canada and international partners are still “trying to put in place metrics” to help the Ukrainians identify “quantitative output,” but also “qualitative change,” which is a process that takes time. In her view, “[g]etting to program management and using proper analytics is something that Canada … and other countries are trying to support the Ukrainians in putting in place.” At the same time, DRAB is also measuring progress regarding defence reforms. Ms. Sinclair commented that each of the six DRAB members has “taken a pillar of the [SDB]” and has started “to drill down very systematically.” She also mentioned that DRAB members are looking at “key performance indicators” of progress and identifying areas of both positive change and the need for greater focus and effort.
In the opinion of Ms. Sinclair, progress is being made and “there is a sense that there is change happening for the good in the Ukrainian public.” She noted that defence reform is now publicly seen in Ukraine as “one of the most visible and most positive aspects of reform,” and that the country is “doing extremely well” with its defence reforms, “given the context” and “the scope of the challenge.” She remarked that Ukraine “is a country that has decided to reform everything: … economy, land, judiciary, health, education.” Military reforms are only one of many currently underway in the country.
That said, Ms. Sinclair stated that, despite the progress that is being made, there is still “a lot that needs to be done.” The main challenges to reforms pertain largely to governance, capacity building and – especially – cultural legacy. In her view, “[t]here is a legacy of Soviet, there is legacy of corrupt Ukrainian governments. We have to overcome those legacy systems, and the culture is a big part of that.” She also identified governance across Ukraine as a significant challenge, suggesting that “[e]verybody is trying to pull in the same direction, but the governance systems, for reasons of capacity, knowledge, and just capability, aren’t there yet.” She added that “[g]overnance needs to start at the top. It needs to be the legal framework. It needs to be an empowered parliament.… [B]ut it also is the habits and practices of government that just don’t exist [because of archaic legacy systems]. This isn’t because of a lack of will. It’s just reality, so it’s going to take time to get through this.” Regarding the capacity-building challenge, she commented that “[i]t’s about capacity building, and it’s about focusing it at the right levels. It’s top down, but as I heard from many around the table, it’s bottom up, too, because there’s a massive wealth of experience in the dynamism of civil society in Ukraine that needs to be tapped into.”
In the opinion of Ms. Sinclair, one area of military reform that needs to be prioritized is addressing internal corruption and the “entrenched former Soviet Union ways of running the military,” which are preventing Ukraine’s more radical military reforms from being implemented. In characterizing the problem mainly as one at the top of the chain of command and, to a certain extent, as a generational issue, Ms. Sinclair referred to the “entrenched ways” of certain older, high-ranking officers as a “crust” and explained that:
[t]here is a crust there that needs to be poked through. The crust is there for a whole bunch of reasons. Some of those folks are staying around because they don’t want the change to happen. Some of them are fearful of change. Some know nothing else.… [Then] you have these extraordinarily well-trained young people. You have these extraordinary people coming back from the Anti-Terrorist Operation, the ATO, with innovative, creative, new ways of doing stuff. They come back to headquarters or to their unit and smash. They run up against a wall.
According to Ms. Sinclair, a senior-level political decision is needed regarding this problem with the top of the chain of command. In her view, Ukrainian politicians should give Ukraine’s senior military officers a choice: accept the military reforms proposed by the Ukrainian government and remain with the armed forces; or leave. She noted that, for reasons that are unclear, this choice is not now being given and posed questions: “Is it because they’re in the middle of a war? Is it because there’s other stuff going on?”
Ms. Sinclair also identified the military’s relationship with the Verkovna Rada as another area of reform that needs to be improved and stated that “[a]t the moment, it doesn’t work as well as it should.” In her opinion, there is also a need to strengthen the Verkovna Rada’s ability to oversee the activities of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence because this “oversight function is essential to challenging the ministry and the organization to step up to the plate, to do the right thing, and to have the right engagement. There is capacity building there that needs to be done.”
During this study, the Committee learned about both the ways in which Canada is helping Ukraine in its armed conflict against Russia and the outcome of these efforts. Without exception, the Ukrainian governmental and military officials with whom Committee members met during their visit to Ukraine thanked Canada for its support and assistance since the outbreak of the armed conflict in 2014. In their view, Canada plays a particularly important role in helping Ukraine to reform its military, as well as to train and equip its armed forces. Since 2014, Canada has shipped non-lethal military equipment valued at millions of dollars to Ukraine, and has deployed hundreds of CAF personnel to the country.
At present, Canada’s key military contribution to Ukraine is Operation UNIFIER, which is the CAF’s training mission to support Ukraine’s armed forces; approximately 200 CAF members are currently deployed. Launched in April 2015 at the request of the Government of Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER focuses on providing military training to Ukraine’s armed forces. The training mission falls under the mandate of the Multinational Joint Commission on military cooperation and defence reform, which includes Canada, Lithuania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. The CAF’s primary focus is tactical soldier training (small team training), which consists of individual weapons training, marksmanship, movement in areas of potential conflict, explosive threat recognition, survival in combat, ethics, and communication in troop movement and command and control. It also includes reconnaissance, engineer and leadership skills training. Aside from small team training, the CAF also provides counter-IED (improvised explosive device) training, military police training, medical training, and logistics system modernization training. 
While most of the training is taking place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre (IPSC) in Yavoriv, Ukraine, some is occurring at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Demining Centre in Kamyanets-Podilsky, Ukraine, and in other locations in western Ukraine. As of 1 September 2017, the CAF contingent in Ukraine – known as Joint Task Force – Ukraine (JTF-U) – had trained more than 5,580 Ukrainian soldiers.
Shortly before the deadline in March 2017, the Canadian government extended Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2019, and announced that it would continue to deploy approximately 200 CAF personnel to Ukraine until then. In addition to Operation UNIFIER, the CAF provides military training to Ukrainian military personnel through its Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP), including training on peace support operations, military capacity building, professional development and interoperability with other armed forces.
Several witnesses highlighted the importance of the military training that the CAF is providing to Ukraine’s armed forces. In the opinion of Mr. Grod, “Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER, together with missions of allied countries, have made a huge difference in increasing the capacity of Ukraine’s military … These efforts need to continue and be expanded.” Similarly, Dr. Luciuk described Operation UNIFIER as “a great success.”
According to Mr. Kozak, Canada’s military contribution is not only training Ukrainian soldiers and officers, but also helping to reform the structure of Ukraine’s military, the latter of which he views as very important both to reducing corruption and to enhancing accountability and transparency. Ms. Sinclair said that Canada is leading by example through its training mission, especially in the area of gender equality. She commented that “[t]here are women within the Ukrainian military,” but “they tend to be in the traditional services.” In her view, “[h]aving women on our [CAF] teams” as mentors and trainers shows Ukrainian military leaders that it is “actually possible to have women doing absolutely everything.” That said, she acknowledged that, because a major cultural change is needed within Ukraine’s armed forces in order to bring about those changes, time is needed; however, the CAF is making a difference by promoting gender equality.
The Committee was also informed that CAF personnel in Ukraine are benefitting from shared experiences and lessons learned by working with Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel, many of whom are combat veterans with fighting experience against Russian forces in the Donbas region. In particular, Canadians are hearing about new Russian weaponry and tactics, hybrid warfare, cyber warfare and various other trends in military conflict from Ukrainian troops who have been on the frontlines and have been in combat against Russians and their proxy forces. In turn, CAF personnel are bringing that information back to Canada. However, Mr. Bell indicated that “[o]ne of the things that Canada is not providing to … Ukraine is cyber-expertise. We’re not participating in that, but we need to, because we need to find out what people who are participating found out about it so that we can learn from it for ourselves.”
The Committee was also told that, because of its success on the ground, Canada is moving into a new stage of military training: the training of trainers. In explaining the value of this development, Ms. Sinclair said that:
[i]t’s great to train the recruits, but what you want to do is train the next level up, and then you want to get into the institutions, where you have much greater reach. The United States training mission doesn’t do this, and the British don’t do it. Canada is doing this, so we are moving much more from plain training into mentoring and advisory roles. … We are deliberately moving up the value chain in our training.
Other witnesses also highlighted the importance of training the trainers. According to Dr. Leuprecht,
[w]e need to train the trainers so that the trainers can then translate that to the rest of the troops. I think this is partially an area where more connectivity between the [CAF] and the Ukrainian Armed Forces would be quite helpful. … I think this is ultimately where we’re going to see the greatest payoff, making sure we start with the junior level ranks that are going to end up in five years in the professional development scheme.
In the view of witnesses, training the trainers will help the Ukrainian military build a strong non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps. With the Ukrainian military’s Soviet-style structure of centralized command and control, whose backbone was the officer corps, NCOs have played a limited role. Ukraine’s weak NCO corps is problematic because young soldiers do not have the support of NCOs; similarly, junior officers are not able to benefit from the experiences of NCOs. As a result, Ukrainian soldiers are now largely led by officers. Ukraine’s armed forces lack the middle management experience that is normally provided by a strong NCO corps, and more NCOs are needed. Committee members were told that the situation in Ukraine differs from that in the NATO system, where the backbone is the officer corps but NCOs – like sergeants and warrant officers – also play a critical role in training and leading soldiers. According to Mr. Kozak, training the trainers can help to bring about a cultural shift in the Ukrainian military regarding NCOs, and can assist in establishing the basic foundations of a strong NCO corps within Ukraine’s armed forces.
That said, some witnesses commented that Canada should continue its commitment to train the Ukrainian officer corps in order to eliminate internal corruption and ensure that the military reforms that are underway are ultimately successful. Dr. Leuprecht stated that:
[Canada] should be committed to remaining engaged with the mid-level officer corps, training the officer corps, professionalizing the officer corps, and teaching the officer corps how to interact with local communities. Making sure that we don’t have atrocities by Ukrainian Armed Forces is going to be key to the legitimacy of the Ukrainian military.… What we need to do in Ukraine is try to transform a military that used to be there to defend the interests of the elite and the regime into a military engaged in … defending the interests of the people. That’s where this transformation of the officer corps is absolutely instrumental.
As noted earlier, Operation UNIFIER is not the only Canadian military contribution to Ukraine. Canada provides military assistance to that country in a number of different ways. As a case in point, in April 2017, Canada signed the Canada–Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which identifies areas of mutual cooperation, such as defence policy, military education, and defence research, development and production. Moreover, since 2014, Canada has supplied more than $16 million in non‑lethal military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces, and is expected to contribute an additional $7.25 million over the next two years.
Throughout this study, the Committee heard about corruption in Ukraine. Since achieving independence in 1991, Ukraine has been dominated by “oligarchs,” powerful elites and politically well-connected businessmen who have controlled and manipulated the Ukrainian government for their own benefit. To a large extent, the 2014 Revolution of Dignity was a popular reaction against the power and corruption of these oligarchs. When Petro Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine in 2014, his government pledged to initiate political, economic and judicial reforms designed to eliminate corruption in the country. These pledges were made in order to reassure the Ukrainian population that changes were happening at the governmental level and to prepare Ukraine for closer relations with the West. Since then, many reforms have been launched, but progress is still needed and the corruption associated with the oligarchs remains a problem that could potentially jeopardize Ukraine’s aspirations of eventually joining the EU and NATO. Ms. Sinclair characterized corruption as an “ongoing issue” in Ukraine.
That said, the Committee was informed that, over the last three years, Ukraine has been moving forward with reforms to the country’s government, economy and society; these reforms are leading to positive changes in Ukraine. According to Mr. Kozak,
[m]ore has been achieved in the last three years than during the first 23 years of Ukraine’s independence: transparent government procurement, mandatory electronic declarations for government officials, and a western model of police force – with our Canadian help, of course – just to name a few. Similarly, education, pension, and health care reforms are being tackled simultaneously at a time of war, in dire economic conditions, and with Russia’s hybrid methods seeking to manipulate and to represent these efforts to the polity in the most negative ways.
Witnesses commented that governmental reforms, particularly in the area of public procurement, are having beneficial results. As a case in point, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze noted that new transparent rules in relation to public procurement and the introduction of a new electronic procurement system last year is helping to eliminate corruption and saving money. She also suggested that border reforms have been successful, particularly regarding the training of border guards and the implementation of a visa liberalization action plan, and mentioned “great achievements” with respect to pension, education and health care reforms.
Police reforms were also highlighted, and – in Kyiv – Committee members met with the chief of the Patrol Police. He provided an overview of police reform efforts in Ukraine, and indicated the impact of those reforms on the corruption that existed within police organizations. In his view, Ukrainians are no longer afraid, and they have greater confidence in – and respect for – Ukraine’s police officers. Regarding judicial reforms, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze indicated that, over the last three years, Ukraine has established a “totally new system of anti-corruption institutions,” including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. As well, discussions are underway to establish an independent anti-corruption court. During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members were told that the country is also reforming its security service, as well as its intelligence service in order to meet NATO standards.
Canada has been helping Ukraine with many of the reforms noted above, especially police and judicial reforms. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, “[t]he very practical and very serious engagement of Canada in the new police reform that is being worked on and is gradually developing in Ukraine has been absolutely instrumental.” She also said that, “in terms of supporting the system of the judiciary and the preparation of this new investigative board, Canada has been important.” Ms. Sinclair described Canada as having a “good program [for] training judges” in Ukraine, while – during their visit to Ukraine – Committee members were informed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has also been helping with Ukrainian police reforms; in particular, the RCMP model of policing has been adopted for the Kyiv Patrol Police.
That said, Mr. Grod suggested that Canadian assistance with Ukrainian reforms might be at risk in the near future unless more funding is made available for the purpose. He commented that the Ukrainian Canadian Congress has “been given indication from [Canada’s] Minister of International Development that no more funding is foreseeable for Ukraine in international technical assistance,” and that “the programs that have been funded, which expire in 2018-19, see no sign of further funding.” In describing the situation as “very troubling,” he indicated that, “for a paltry $50 million a year, Canada has been doing tremendous work in supporting Ukraine’s reforms, and that’s really important because we want to see Ukraine be a success.”
As well, Mr. Grod stated that, although the “Ukrainian people and government have made enormous strides in reforming their country,” more reforms are needed to combat corruption. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukrainians are “still feeling the Soviet bureaucracy working in Ukraine” after more than a quarter century of independence, and “[c]orruption is still part of the practice in a lot of areas.” In agreeing, Dr. Leuprecht mentioned that “[w]hile we’ve had a change of the senior political elite [in Ukraine]” since 2014, “much of the rest of that state establishment is still very much in place.” Although many reforms have been introduced, there have been very few corruption-related prosecutions. During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members were told that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine had been investigating more than 270 cases of corruption; none had resulted in a conviction. Dr. Kuzio noted that the “problem is getting [corrupt] people to go to jail – convictions.” In his view, that is “what Ukrainians want. They want to see justice. They want to see accountability for ruling elites, which has not existed, ever, in that part of the world.”
Most witnesses held the view that Canada and the international community should not lose patience, and should continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to combat corruption. For example, while recognizing that eliminating corruption is difficult and that fully implementing many of the reforms that have been introduced in Ukraine will take years to accomplish, Dr. Leuprecht said that “[w]e need to make sure we can continue to disincentivize corruption” within the country. In reinforcing that success will take time, he explained that:
[a] lot of the effort that Canada has invested in transformation and transparency, with Europe as a key partner, is really important, because the regime that was set up is a spinoff of the Putinist authoritarian regime that is essentially structured around a rent-seeking elite.… Undoing that in Ukraine is going to take some time. It’s going to be critical not just to transform Ukraine and provide a basis for the legitimacy of a democratic regime, but also to encourage economic development.
In the opinion of some witnesses, Canada should adopt more of a “carrot and stick approach” with Ukraine. In the view of Dr. Leuprecht, “[t]he support that Canada provides has to tie more explicitly into ensuring that Ukraine does the right thing” by “prosecuting people” for corruption. He also commented that corrupt senior governmental officials should be fired or forced to retire, and be replaced with younger and more competent individuals, and that efforts to train and professionalize Ukraine’s civil service and judiciary should be enhanced. According to him, if Ukraine truly wants Canadian political, military and financial support, among other things, then it needs to prove to Canada that it is firmly committed to reforming its state structure and combatting corruption.
The armed conflict in Ukraine continues to be a serious concern for Canada and the international community. Crimea remains occupied by Russia, and full implementation of Minsk II is unlikely as long as the Russians and their proxies in the Donbas region persist in building up their military capabilities and violating ceasefires. According to Dr. Kuzio, “between Minsk I and Minsk II (i.e., 2014 to 2015),” Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin “built up the various militia groups [in Ukraine] into one of Europe’s largest armies,” currently numbering approximately 35,000 people. Most of the ceasefire violations are the result of actions by the pro‑Russian militants. Colonel Siromakha commented that “combined Russian separatist forces continue to systematically ignore the [Minsk II] agreement, making extensive use of the prohibited weapons” and carrying out the “vast majority of armed provocations.” In his view, Moscow “continues to turn a blind eye to its commitments under the [Minsk II] agreement” and “its military forces are still on the territory of Ukraine,” both in Crimea and the Donbas region.
Mr. Grod noted that, as long as Russia is not prepared to “have a resolution and stop the ongoing conflict and military aggression,” Minsk II will never be implemented. In his opinion, Minsk II is “stale-dated” and the “simple way” to “bring peace and stability” to Ukraine is “to force Russia’s hand to remove their military, their equipment, and their financing of the separatists” in the Donbas region; Russia must agree “to stop the war in Ukraine.”
Consequently, Canada and the international community are trying to find peaceful solutions to the conflict in Ukraine. To that end, they are implementing a number of conflict resolution and prevention initiatives, such as sanctions against Russia, OSCE monitoring of the contact line – the 500 kilometre line of separation between the pro‑Russian separatist groups and Ukrainian forces – in the Donbas region, and proposals for the possible deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine.
Since the outbreak of the armed conflict in 2014, Canada and many countries around the world have denounced Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. NATO, in particular, has strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Crimea and its actions in the Donbas region, and has suspended all civilian and military cooperation with Russia. At the same time, cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has increased significantly, particularly in relation to reforms to Ukraine’s defence and security sectors. Concurrently, since 2014, Canada, the United States, the EU and other international community partners have imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions against a number of Russian individuals and businesses. The main purpose of these sanctions is to put pressure on Russia because of its aggression in Ukraine, and to encourage Russia to find a peaceful solution to its conflict with Ukraine. With its latest round of sanctions, which were announced on 3 November 2017, Canada imposed sanctions on 30 Russians for human rights violations under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law).
According to most witnesses, imposing sanctions against Russia is sound policy that is having the intended results. Mr. Grod commented that “[t]he sanctions are extracting financial penalties against Russia and those who are supportive of Putin’s aggression around the world. I think there is a significant economic impact on Russia with these sanctions. That’s why you’re always hearing Vladimir Putin calling on the world to stop these sanctions.… That is the value of the sanctions policy.”
However, not all of the witnesses supported sanctions against Russia. For example, Dr. Sarah Jane Meharg, adjunct professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, suggested that sanctions are hurting the Russian people more than Russian President Vladimir Putin and his entourage. “I have never been a fan of economic sanctions,” she told the Committee, “because the people who get hurt by sanctions are the women, the children and the men – the belligerents a little, and the megalomaniac leaders, never. When we are looking at Russia, we have a situation where more of the people will be affected than the leadership, because of the systems that are in place, which they [Russian leaders] can go around and move above and under.” In her view, one of the “better ways” to work with Russia “is to do anything in our power to advocate building relationships, at many levels but mostly with the executive leadership,” arguing that “this creates more positive outcomes than economic sanctions and war.”
That said, the vast majority of witnesses stated that Canada should continue with its sanctions against Russia, and should impose additional measures if the situation in Ukraine does not soon improve. In supporting that view, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze said that:
[s]anctions are the most efficient diplomatic tools and instruments against an aggressor. The sanctions should be explicitly linked to their specific objectives – de-occupation of Crimea, de-occupation of the [Donbas] area, restoring of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and reintegration of the territories of Ukraine in one state. The sanctions should actually be gradually increased if no progress is observed and not lifted until the objectives are met.… If the west lifts its sanctions against Russia, a few countries might benefit immediately from some increase in bilateral trade turnover, but sanctions relief risks signalling to Russia that destabilizing of the foreign policy, violating of international law, and violating of international rules and procedures are actually acceptable. Appeasement will only encourage Russia to pursue its journey to undermine democracy and international norms.
According to Mr. Grod, Canada “should be increasing sanctions” until Russia’s aggressive “behaviour stops,” and should “continue to ratchet up sanctions on Russia,” particularly “economic sectoral sanctions and individual sanctions against Russian officials responsible for Russia’s aggression and for violations of internationally recognized human rights.” A similar position was held by Dr. Luciuk, who suggested that Canada “should maintain or perhaps increase the economic sanctions we have against those responsible for the current war in Ukraine.”
2. Supporting the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
Through its SMM to Ukraine, the OSCE has been very active in monitoring the ceasefires throughout the conflict in the Donbas region. As of 3 November 2017, the SMM consisted of 1,096 people on the ground in Ukraine, comprising 619 monitors – including 13 Canadians – and 477 support staff. However, the number of SMM monitors could reach 1,000, as necessary. When Committee members met with SMM representatives in Kyiv during their visit to Ukraine, they were told that the number of monitors on the ground in Ukraine is expected to increase to around 800 by the end of 2017.
In Ukraine, Committee members learned that the SMM is facing serious challenges. For example, its personnel have been unable to monitor certain areas in the Donbas region due to continued violence, and they have been denied access to territories held by pro-Russian separatist groups, including along the 400 kilometres of the Russia–Ukraine border that are controlled by the rebels. According to some witnesses, pro‑Russian militants should be criticized for not allowing the SMM to access the occupied territory and the portions of the Russia–Ukraine border that they control, as was agreed to in Minsk II.
However, these restrictions have not prevented the SMM from monitoring the armed conflict in Ukraine, and from continuing to report ceasefire violations. In Ukraine, the SMM told Committee members that the situation is not improving; in particular, there has been a major increase in violence this year. Colonel Siromakha corroborated this trend, indicating that more than 13,000 violations of the ceasefire have been registered since the beginning of 2017. The situation appears to be deteriorating, with the SMM reporting more than 5,000 ceasefire violations from 23 to 29 October 2017, an increase of 80% over the previous week. The SMM also told Committee members that conditions along the contact line are very difficult for civilians, including for the up to 40,000 Ukrainians who cross the contact line on a daily basis. In the area, there is no electricity, water or gas, very little food, and virtually no news from the outside; people are isolated and are forced to endure dire conditions, and have sustained heavy casualties, with more than 400 Ukrainian civilians killed to date in 2017.
Monitoring the armed conflict in Ukraine involves numerous risks. During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members were told that SMM personnel operate in a dangerous environment and are sometimes harassed and kidnapped, often at gun point. The majority of those incidents involve pro-Russian separatist forces. As well, the SMM has sustained casualties, including deaths and injuries. In early 2017, for example, an SMM monitor was killed by an anti-tank mine.
Despite the risks involved, the SMM is performing valuable work in Ukraine. Committee members learned that the SMM monitors essentially serve as the international community’s “eyes and ears” in the Ukrainian conflict zone, providing Canada and countries worldwide with reliable information about the situation in eastern Ukraine, and that the OSCE is currently the primary source of information on the armed conflict. As well, the Committee heard that the presence of SMM monitors and staff on the ground in Ukraine has occasionally deterred belligerents from attacking each other, and has prevented possible human rights violations.
During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members were also told that the SMM would welcome an increase in monitors from Canada, especially because of the plan to increase the number of monitors on the ground in Ukraine by about 200 individuals before the end of 2017. As well, the SMM informed Committee members that there is a desperate need for more female monitors, both to help fulfill the OSCE’s mandate for gender balance and because tensions tend to be reduced when female monitors are present in the theatre of operations; Canada was urged to send additional female monitors to Ukraine. Of the 619 SMM monitors in Ukraine in November 2017, 88 were women.
Some witnesses indicated that Canada should be putting more pressure on Russia to allow the SMM to monitor the portions of the Russia–Ukraine border controlled by pro‑Russian militants. According to Mr. Grod, Russia should abide by its commitment to “allow the OSCE to monitor the Russia–Ukraine border”; by failing to do so, Russia is allowing weapons and military equipment to flow freely into Ukraine. In his view, Canada and the international community should push Russia to alter its position on this issue.
Both Ukraine and Russia have provided the UN Security Council with proposals for a UN peacekeeping force in the Donbas region. Ukraine’s proposal, which was filed in the spring of 2015, envisions a peacekeeping force deployed throughout the Donbas region and along the Russia–Ukraine border. Ukrainian delegations to the UN have requested that an assessment mission should first be sent to Ukraine to study the situation in the field and then to report back to the UN Security Council. Russia, which is one of five permanent members on the UN Security Council, is “vigorously” opposed to Ukraine’s proposal, and has said that “such an operation would be in contradiction of the [Minsk II] agreement.” In September 2017, Russia presented its own proposal for a UN peacekeeping mission that would involve the deployment of a peacekeeping force along the contact line between Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatist forces in the Donbas region, essentially to protect SMM monitors. The country also proposed having Russian troops participate in that peacekeeping mission.
Ukraine is opposed to Russia’s proposal. Colonel Siromakha summarized the reasons for the country’s opposition in the following way:
The project suggested by Russia cannot serve as a basis for a pre-review discussion within the Security Council. The principle elements of the Ukrainian position are the following. A future UN mission should be deployed throughout all the temporarily occupied territory, including the uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian state border. The introduction of a UN mission should immediately lead to a steady ceasefire, as well as to a complete withdrawal of all foreign troops, armoured formations, and personnel, including their weapons and equipment, from the territory of Ukraine. A UN mission should comply with the guiding principles of the implementation of UN peacekeeping operations, which exclude the participation of representatives of the aggressor country or other parties to the conflict. Therefore, Ukraine rejects coordinating the future parameters of a UN mission with pro-Russian separatists. A future UN mission should not in any way harm the OSCE or other international organizations in [the Donbas region] by preventing them from fulfilling their mandate or restricting their freedom of movement.
This point was reiterated by Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, who commented that Russia’s proposal raises “several red flags” with the Ukrainian government. According to her, in Ukraine’s opinion,
the UN peacekeeping mission has to be stationed on the whole territory that is occupied. It has to be controlling the non-controlled border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and not be stationed there for the protection of the special monitoring mission of the OSCE. Rather, if we are talking about reintegration of the territories, we need this mission to be stationed on the non-controlled territory.… We also cannot accept any Russian national participating in this peacekeeping mission.
That said, she mentioned that Ukraine “is ready to explore all the possibilities for dialogue” with Russia, adding that the Ukrainian government is “determined to ensure that peace in Ukraine and the restoration of the territorial integrity is ensured through political and diplomatic means” and remains “ready to implement a comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire.” In her view, it “is absolutely a prerequisite for peacekeepers to be stationed” in Ukraine.
Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute, characterized the Ukrainian and Russian peacekeeping proposals as a step in the right direction, but “a long way apart,” and suggested that they provide “an opportunity for dialogue in support of the [Minsk II] agreement.” In her opinion, because there is “no alternative to the [Minsk II] agreement,” both countries must “do much more to arrange and implement local ceasefires” and pursue a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis, which is causing a “terrible humanitarian situation on the ground.” According to her, a UN peacekeeping operation would significantly improve civilian life in the conflict zone, and be a major step towards an enduring and lasting peace in Ukraine. In sharing that perspective, Dr. Luciuk stated that “both sides have called for peace; both sides have called for observers; both sides have called for some kind of international force. It’s just a difference of where they go.”
A number of witnesses discussed whether Canada should participate in and/or lead a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. In September 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko requested Canada to support and be involved in a UN peacekeeping operation to Ukraine. According to Colonel Siromakha, such a peacekeeping mission “would be a turning point for the modern history of Europe. If Canada and NATO partners could all play a vital role in this future mission, it would save the situation.”
Most witnesses stated that Canada should support Ukraine’s proposal for a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas region, and should agree to let CAF personnel be part of that operation in both a leadership and a participatory role. According to Mr. Kozak, in the field of peacekeeping, Canada is “so credible. We also have know-how, how to do it, how to work with our allies, with the United Nations, and so on.” In his view, because of Canada’s history with peacekeeping, the country is well positioned to lead a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. He said that:
Canada … gave birth to the very concept of peacekeeping, and since the 1950s has participated in more peacekeeping missions than any other country in the world. As such, our country is uniquely positioned to lead a peacekeeping mission in the [Donbas region]. For this to work, however, the UN needs to be brought into the process of establishing terms and conditions that are fair, equitable, and geared to the principal goal of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including Ukrainian control over the Russian border.
Some witnesses suggested that Canada’s role should extend beyond participating in a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine: Canada should lead such a mission. In its brief submitted to the Committee, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress proposed that Canada should “play a leading role in establishing a UN peacekeeping mission at the Ukraine-Russia border and the Russian-occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.” Mr. Grod commented that “Canada today has an opportunity to lead the international community in bringing peace to Ukraine and stop the daily bloodshed; the country should lead a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine.” This view was echoed by Mr. Bell, who also thought that Canada should lead such a mission. In describing the mission as “integral,” he said that “[i]t’s probably one of the most important missions that we can get involved in at the moment.” Similarly, Dr. Luciuk agreed with this perspective, and said that Canada needs to “deploy Canadian peacemakers on the international border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine to prevent further incursions of Russian armed forces into the territory of Ukraine and to stop Russia’s resupply of criminal and terrorist elements that may remain active on Ukrainian lands after the Russian forces have been withdrawn.”
That said, Mr. Bell cautioned that “[c]ontributing to a UN-led intervention in Ukraine and the troubled breakaway eastern districts, on the surface, might appeal to [Canada’s] current government as it would be in line with their method of the ‘Canada is now back’ mantra, while at the same time fulfill the government’s pledge to deliver 600 troops and 150 police officers to UN peacekeeping support operations overseas.” However, he noted that Russia has veto power on the UN Security Council and “might agree or not agree to a UN peacekeeping force in Ukraine.” Moreover, in his opinion, even if Russia did not oppose a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine at the UN Security Council, the country might “veto Canada” from participating in or leading that mission because of Canadian military support to Ukraine and the deployment of Canadian troops to Ukraine to train that country’s armed forces.
A number of witnesses said that Canada’s participation in a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine is not feasible at this time. For example, according to Ms. Mason, Canada cannot “contribute to a potential UN peacekeeping operation due to our military role in Ukraine as part of NATO, which vitiates the requirement of impartiality.”
In the view of Dr. Leuprecht, it is too early to contemplate the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. He stated that “[t]hinking of a peacekeeping mission is thinking several steps too far. Let’s just work with the monitoring regime we have in place and what we can do to shore up the OSCE and that monitoring regime.”
While many witnesses agreed that diplomacy and conflict management and prevention measures are important to securing a lasting peace in Ukraine, they commented that such initiatives often take time to implement. To illustrate that point, Mr. Bell stated that “the discussion, organization, and deployment of a future UN peacekeeping force could take a considerable amount of time before deployment, somewhere between two to three years.” Similarly, Mr. Grod said that, “before you have a diplomatic solution you need to have willing parties that are looking for a diplomatic solution. Right now, Vladimir Putin is not looking for a diplomatic solution in Ukraine. He has not reached out for one.” In the meantime, the armed conflict in Ukraine continues, causing wilful destruction and high casualties on Ukrainian territory. Since ongoing conflict management and prevention initiatives do not appear to be ending the armed conflict in Ukraine, some witnesses indicated that Canada and the international community should continue to support and help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.
Canadian and Ukrainian governmental and military officials, as well as defence experts and academics, provided a range of suggestions about the ways in which Canada could provide additional assistance to Ukraine. For example, they proposed supplying lethal weapons and defensive military equipment, adding Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, sharing intelligence and satellite imagery, strengthening Canada–Ukraine defence industry collaboration and providing cybersecurity assistance. Most witnesses were of the opinion that such support would provide Ukraine with invaluable assistance in that country’s defensive struggle against the Russian Federation and might help to end the conflict in the Donbas region sooner than expected.
As mentioned earlier, since 2014, Canada has supplied non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces that is valued at millions of dollars, and additional equipment is expected to be delivered in the coming years. However, a number of witnesses suggested that the time has come for Canada to give serious consideration to also supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons and defensive military equipment.
Ukrainian governmental officials repeatedly made this proposal to Committee members during their visit to Ukraine. As well, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze explained Ukraine’s position on this issue in the following way:
Even though we have rebuilt our armed forces from scratch and, notwithstanding the fact that we have right now the second-largest standing army in Europe, our personnel still need equipment, training, and modern command, control, and communication procedures, as well as advisory support with regard to changing our army in accordance with NATO standards, and, finally, lethal weapons. For us, it’s a matter of being more capable of defending ourselves and ensuring that we are decreasing the number of casualties we experience because of constant … violations of the ceasefire by non-controlled territories.
Senior representatives of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence told Committee members, during their visit to Ukraine, that lethal weapons and defensive military equipment from Canada would enhance Ukrainian soldiers’ survival rate on the battlefield, stop Russian advances, assist in protecting Ukrainian territory, and – most importantly – help to strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces and serve as an important deterrent against further Russian aggression. According to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, these weapons would also save lives. For example, she noted that mortar fire casualties reduced significantly in Ukraine after the United States provided the country with medium-range counter-battery radars.
In the opinion of the witnesses, Ukraine has a right to defend itself, which requires advanced high-tech lethal weapon systems and defensive military equipment as well as the latest military technology; with these capabilities, Ukraine could counter Russia and its “proxy” forces, which are armed and equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry. Mr. Kozak explained that, with the weapons and military equipment that Ukraine currently possesses, the country would find it difficult to stop a full-blown Russian offensive in the Donbas region. Dr. Luciuk remarked that Ukraine did not start this armed conflict, adding that the Ukrainian military is merely defending its country against Russian aggression, just as any other country would do. In his view, “[w]hat Ukraine really needs today is defensive weapons to counter the offensive weapons the Russian Federation has already deployed against them.… We need to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine.” According to him, doing so would make the Ukrainian military “more capable, more competent, of defeating the invader,” thereby resulting in “more Russian deaths,” which – in itself – could serve as a deterrent and prevent further attacks. In elaborating on this point, he said that:
[t]he provision of defensive weaponry would help the Ukrainians make the Russian incursion into Ukrainian lands costly, continuingly expensive, both in terms of materiel and manpower. I don’t think the Russian Federation is prepared to go much further than they’ve already gone. They would like to maintain a destabilized, frozen conflict, a Ukraine that’s sort of teetering between stability and instability. As for the so-called separatists … these are individuals who have been mustered and brought together by the Russian Federation, very heavily equipped with weaponry that the Ukrainian professional army doesn’t have, and stirred up into this conflict. I think that if Ukrainian troops were provided with the defensive weaponry they need … they would be able to defeat those proxy armies in the field and make it very costly for them to continue operating. Perhaps that would then lead to a Russian withdrawal.
In echoing Dr. Luciuk’s view, Mr. Grod pointed out that, with the prospect of peace uncertain and the idea of a UN peacekeeping mission being discussed but many months – if not years – in the future, Ukraine is most in need of lethal weapons and defensive military equipment to defend its territory and population against Russian aggression. According to him, “it’s important … for Canada to commit to providing defensive military equipment in order to allow the Ukrainian people to defend themselves. Russia understands one thing, that is, a strong deterrent to them that will extract a significant cost to their making any further advances.” In his opinion, lethal weapons and defensive military equipment provided to the Ukrainian military would achieve this outcome.
Witnesses also highlighted the symbolism of having Canada supply lethal weapons and defensive military equipment to Ukraine. Dr. Kuzio said that doing so would send “a signal to Moscow that, if need be, Ukraine is going to be supported by the West.… I think sending the signal is as important as actually beefing up the defensive side of the equipment.” Mr. Kozak shared this point of view, stating that “providing a limited number of defensive weapons, I think, is going to … be very symbolic in nature. It’s going to show Mr. Putin … that we mean business, that we stand by Ukraine.”
As well, witnesses indicated that the Ukrainian government has provided the Canadian government with a long list of weapons and military equipment that it requires and hopes to obtain in Canada. While the Committee was not provided with that list, witnesses highlighted some of the items that might be included on it. In Ukraine, senior officials of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence told Committee members that Ukraine is seeking anti-tank missile systems to counter the threat posed by the hundreds of Russian tanks currently stationed in the Donbas region, as well as an air defence system to protect the country’s airspace against the threat posed by Russian military aviation. According to them, Ukraine would also like to acquire military radios and electronic warfare systems. They also told the Committee that Ukraine’s sniper equipment is obsolete and needs to be replaced; consequently, in part to alter the situation in eastern Ukraine in a significant manner, the country would be interested in acquiring Canadian sniper equipment – rifles, telescopes and related items – and receiving sniper training from Canadians; Canadian snipers and their equipment are the best in the world, they said. A number of witnesses also agreed with the suggestion made by former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a 16 October 2017 news article that Canada and other Western countries should supply Ukraine with “defensive equipment,” such as night-vision goggles, signal-jamming equipment and counter-battery radars, to detect enemy firing positions.
Moreover, Ukrainian military authorities spoke to Committee members about their country’s interest in procuring spare parts, as well as high-tech equipment and technologies, from Canada to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the weapon systems and military equipment that Ukraine produces. The country has a relatively strong defence industrial sector, which produces a wide range of weapons and military equipment, from small arms and ammunition to tanks, armoured vehicles, missile systems and military transport aircraft; traditionally, many of these items were fitted with Russian-made parts and components. In Ukraine, Committee members learned that, with Ukraine engaged in armed conflict against Russia and its military aspiring to become interoperable with NATO by 2020, Ukrainian military authorities are determined to replace Russian parts and components with those from the West, which are more advanced and sophisticated. For example, Ukraine produces its own main battle tank – the T-84 – in Kharkiv, but the Ukrainians would like to upgrade it with more modern optical and electronic equipment of Western origin to improve its effectiveness.
However, not all of the witnesses were in favour of Canada supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, commenting that providing such weaponry might escalate the crisis in Ukraine, and jeopardize opportunities for peace and a successful UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. For example, in Ms. Mason’s view, the delivery of weapons – even those that are defensive – to the Ukrainians would result in “escalatory actions” by the pro-Russian separatist groups “because each side feels it must respond to a show of force by the other.” She added that, “because the dynamic on the ground is that each side must respond to a perceived military action by the other” lethal weapons and defensive military equipment “would give no really meaningful military advantage.” According to her, the use of lethal weapons and defensive military equipment by Ukraine might be perceived as a military threat by the pro-Russian separatist forces, which would respond by introducing new and more lethal weapon systems in the theatre of operation, thereby escalating the crisis. In her opinion, Canada supplying lethal weapons – even those that are defensive – to Ukraine would be “the wrong direction” to take.
Tied to discussions about Canada supplying the Ukrainian military with lethal weapons and defensive military equipment is the issue of arms export controls. Under its Export and Import Permits Act, Canada’s federal government controls the country’s exports of weapon systems and defence products. The Act “gives the federal government the power to establish an Export Control List” in order to control, among other things, the exportation of military and strategic goods and technologies, notably “arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war or articles of a strategic nature or value, the use of which might be detrimental to the security of Canada.” It requires all Canadian businesses or individuals who wish to export from Canada any of the articles on the Export Control List “to obtain, prior to shipment, an export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada.” That said, Canada also maintains an Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) under the Export and Import Permits Act. It lists countries with which Canada has an “intergovernmental defence, research, development and production arrangement and to which the Governor-in-Council deems it appropriate to permit the export” of “certain prohibited firearms, weapons, devices, or components thereof that are included on the Export Control List.” At present, 39 countries are on the AFCCL; Ukraine is not among them.
During the visit to Ukraine, Ukrainian governmental and military officials repeatedly told Committee members that Ukraine should be added to the AFCCL. Similarly, Colonel Siromakha said that:
[Ukraine is] looking forward to the positive decision of the Canadian government concerning adding Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List. The initiative is vital … for Ukraine. Yes, Ukraine does need defensive lethal weapons as a country entering the fourth year of a very real and brutal war.
Other witnesses also commented that Ukraine should be added to the AFCCL. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, for example, proposed that Canada should make this addition “to allow the export of certain defensive equipment to Ukraine.” In agreeing with this perspective, Mr. Kozak stated that the Canadian government should “work on finalizing the process of adding Ukraine to the AFCC[L]” so that the country can acquire lethal weapons and military equipment in Canada. In his view, this addition should be supplemental to “supplying Ukrainian forces with the much-needed non-lethal military equipment.” In his view, adding Ukraine to the AFCCL is a small action that would “cost [Canada] very little,” but would be significant in helping Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression. He explained that “expediting the process of adding Ukraine to the AFCC list” would not “cost the Canadian taxpayer any money” but it would “allow Ukraine to actually purchase from Canada the necessary state-of-the-art modern equipment” it requires to protect its territory and its people.
That said, some witnesses urged the Canadian government to monitor closely the weapons and military products exported to Ukraine if that country is added to the AFCCL. Matt Schroeder, senior researcher for Small Arms Survey, suggested that “Ukraine has become a hotbed of illicit weapons proliferation” since the outbreak of hostilities in 2014. He said that:
Ukrainian authorities routinely seize arms caches containing dozens of small arms, light weapons, rounds of light weapons ammunition, and hundreds of rounds of small arms ammunition. These weapons range from antique firearms to third-generation portable missiles. Among the most notable of these weapons are man-portable air defence systems, or MANPADS, dozens of which have been seized by Ukrainian authorities and spotted in the hands of pro-Russian militants in recent years. … However, MANPADS are not the only illicit weapons of concern in Ukraine. Authorities have seized large quantities of … anti-personnel landmines, anti-tank guided missiles, shoulder-fired rockets, and hand grenades, the latter of which are now ubiquitous in Ukraine.… These seizures are occurring throughout Ukraine, not just in the east. … Illicit weapons in Ukraine are also a concern for authorities in other countries.… These fears are underscored by recent reports of thwarted attempts to traffic firearms, ammunition, and other weapons to European countries. … Security officials have also interdicted transcontinental arms shipments.
Mr. Schroeder admitted that while monitoring illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons is a “Herculean task” for any government, the “Ukrainian government has been very aggressive in countering illicit weapons.” He added that:
[s]eizures occur on a daily basis.… They are doing it professionally. They are documenting it. They’re taking down serial numbers and the information necessary for intelligence. They are destroying in situ some of the more dangerous weapons. It’s obvious that they are taking this problem very seriously.
Mr. Schroeder also suggested that the Ukrainian government has been “very good” at reporting on its legal arms exports to foreign countries, noting that this information is available on the UN Register of Conventional Arms and in other sources. He stated that “there has been a steep decline in [Ukrainian arms] exports since the beginning of the war” in 2014, which is “not surprising” considering that Ukraine probably needs most of the weapons that it makes to defend itself against Russia.
According to Mr. Schroeder, if Canada adds Ukraine to the AFCCL and that country can purchase lethal weapons and military equipment from Canada, the Canadian government should ensure that “control measures … are put in place on those exports” to guarantee that they are delivered to the intended recipient and to prevent them from being re-exported to another destination. In elaborating on control measures, he commented that:
[i]t’s proper licensing, it’s no re-transfers without express permission from the Canadian government, and then it’s also post-shipment end use monitoring, which is something that fewer governments have embraced, but it is the most effective way to ensure that weapons are not being diverted.
Mr. Schroeder indicated that Canada could “follow the U.S. lead” in the field of post-delivery controls, and provided Stinger shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile exports as an example; annually, the U.S. government does “100% physical inventory by serial number of every single exported missile ever.” In his view, the U.S. approach would be a “best practice” for Canada if it were to authorize lethal weapons exports to Ukraine.
Another possible area of cooperation between Canada and Ukraine would be intelligence sharing. Some witnesses were of the opinion that Canadian intelligence provided to Ukraine would be valuable to the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield. According to Dr. Kuzio, “the provision of intelligence would be very important for Ukrainian forces on the front line.” He characterized the “exchange of intelligence and exchange of information between Canada and Ukraine” as a “good idea.” Similarly, Dr. Luciuk said that “[w]e need to continue to share with Ukraine whatever political or military intelligence we can in order to allow Ukraine to continue with its defensive war against the Russian Federation.” In commenting on the “lack of some strategic intelligence in Ukraine,” Dr. Leuprecht emphasized the need to have a discussion about sharing strategic intelligence with the Ukrainians.
Witnesses particularly mentioned the provision of RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to the Ukrainian military. Between March 2015 and May 2016, Canada provided such satellite imagery to Ukraine to enhance its situational awareness of threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Donbas region. This intelligence sharing was used for defensive purposes, not to target opposing forces in offensive operations. A submission by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to the public consultations process conducted as part of Canada’s 2016 defence policy review called for Canadian intelligence capabilities to be “leveraged to support Ukraine’s ability to reform its intelligence gathering service and to improve intelligence-sharing between NATO states and Ukraine.” During his September 2017 visit to Canada, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the Government of Canada to “restart a program supplying the Ukrainian military with satellite imagery to monitor Russian and separatist rebel troop movements.”
Ukraine’s interest in RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery was mentioned by a number of Ukrainian governmental officials. For example, according to Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze, the Ukrainian and Canadian governments are discussing the issue of restoring RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery sharing. She suggested that “getting those clear images with high resolution … would help us to ensure a more efficient defence of our country.” In agreeing, Colonel Siromakha said that providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to Ukraine “could be very useful for our situational awareness because we really need this information to better understand what is going in the temporarily uncontrolled territory of Ukraine” and along the “temporarily uncontrolled border between Russia and Ukraine of approximately 400 kilometres.” In his view, monitoring the manner in which the Russians are covertly delivering troops, as well as weapons, ammunition, fuel and other vital supplies, across the border to rebel forces in the Donbas region is of particular interest to Ukraine.
Many academics and defence experts heard in the course of this study favoured restoring RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery sharing with Ukraine. Mr. Kozak, for instance, told the Committee that “[t]he Ukrainian government … requested that Canada recommence provision of military-grade satellite imagery. Canada should respond positively to the Ukrainian government’s requests.”
According to witnesses, including Ukrainian governmental officials and defence experts, Canada and Ukraine both possess relatively strong defence industrial sectors and opportunities for greater collaboration between the two countries on military-industrial matters exist; ties between the Canadian and Ukrainian defence industrial sectors should be strengthened. In noting that Ukraine’s defence industrial capabilities have historically been interdependent with those of Russia, Dr. Kuzio said that “[t]here was co-operation between different branches of military-industrial complexes [in both Russia and Ukraine]. Ukraine produced some parts; Russia produced other parts.” In particular, both countries were engaged in the production of aircraft, tanks, and other types of weapon systems and military equipment. A case in point pertains to the production of aircraft in Ukraine. The Ukrainian aerospace sector’s largest company is Antonov, which produces a range of large- and medium-size strategic and tactical transport aircraft, as well as passenger and special mission aircraft; these aircraft include some of the largest heavy lift cargo aircraft in the world, like the Antonov AN-124 Ruslan or the massive Antonov AN-225 Mriya. Although Antonov’s aircraft were manufactured in Ukraine, they were traditionally powered by Russian engines, and fitted with various Russian-made parts, components and systems.
However, since the start of the conflict with Russia in 2014, Ukraine has strived to reduce its military-industrial dependence on that country and, instead, to enhance defence industrial collaboration with Western companies in Europe, North America and elsewhere. As a result, companies like Antonov have been forging relations with Western aerospace companies, and have been substituting Russian for Western technology in their new aircraft. For example, one of the company’s aircraft – the Antonov AN-132 twin-engine transport and special mission aircraft, which made its maiden flight on 31 March 2017 – features a number of Western systems and is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprop engines built in Canada. Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze emphasized that Ukraine is “using some of the components produced in Canada in our airplanes. We are substituting those components that were previously imported by Ukraine from the Russian Federation.” That said, in noting that more must be done to reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russia for certain things, and that – after almost four years of armed conflict – more than 30% of Ukrainian trade is still tied to the Russian Federation, she said that “[a]ll of this has to be changed.
In the opinion of academics and the defence experts with whom Committee members met in Ukraine, Ukrainian defence industrial ties with the West are expected to grow in the coming years. They suggested that, while Ukraine has a good defence industry, it is weak in certain respects and therefore needs external assistance. Senior representatives of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence told Committee members that they would like to engage Canada’s defence industry on certain Ukrainian defence procurement and production projects. One project that was discussed pertained to the possible establishment of an ammunition factory in Ukraine with Canadian assistance; the factory’s equipment would be purchased in Canada. According to them, other similar joint industrial projects are contemplated, and could provide opportunities for Canadian defence companies.
While some Ukrainian academics and defence experts mentioned potential Canada–Ukraine co-production of aircraft, others highlighted possible collaboration in the shipbuilding sector. The Ukrainian Navy has been significantly reduced in size and capabilities as a result of Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, and many warships and sailors have been lost. Today, the Ukrainian Navy is essentially confined to conducting coastal defence operations in the Black Sea and patrolling Ukraine’s river system. In Ukraine, Committee members were informed that Ukraine intends to rebuild its Navy and has started to build a fleet of small armoured river boats domestically. However, the country’s naval fleet also needs corvettes and frigates, and Committee members were told that there are opportunities for collaboration with Canada’s shipbuilding sector, despite Ukraine’s preference to have those warships built in Ukraine. Considering Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO, and for its forces to achieve interoperability with NATO armed forces by 2020, future Ukrainian warships would likely need to rely on Western – rather than Russian – naval technology and could provide export opportunities for Canadian companies.
As the Committee reported in its June 2017 report entitled The Readiness of Canada’s Naval Forces, Canada’s shipbuilding sector is strong, with significant capabilities in the production of naval ships, as well as naval shipborne systems, naval ship structures and components, simulation technology, and naval ship maintenance, repair and overhaul. Moreover, several Canadian companies have world-renowned reputations for successfully selling naval systems, ship parts and components, and other technologies to naval forces worldwide. During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members heard that Canadian naval systems, and various ship parts and components, could be sold to Ukraine for integration into future warships built for the Ukrainian Navy.
In expressing her confidence that Canada and Ukraine can strengthen their defence industrial relations in the coming years, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze said that “colleagues from the Ukrainian defence industry Ukroboronprom are planning a visit to Canada … with very practical and, I hope, very interesting suggestions for common industrial co-operation in the defence industry, and also in the [aerospace] industry, that … could be mutually beneficial and interesting for both sides, Ukraine and Canada.
Witnesses raised a number of other ways in which Canada could assist Ukraine militarily. For example, Canada could provide cybersecurity assistance, share information on operational stress injuries (OSIs), deliver resilience and mental health training to the Ukrainian military, grant Ukrainians visa-free access to Canada, and promote Ukraine’s interests when Canada assumes the presidency of the G7 in 2018.
In mentioning that Canada should provide cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine, witnesses said that Ukraine is a cyber warfare testing ground for new and more advanced cyber capabilities. The Russians, in particular, have launched thousands of cyber-attacks against Ukraine since 2014. In the opinion of some witnesses, Canadian cyber security experts should be in Ukraine, not only to assist that country in developing its cyber defences, but also to observe first-hand what is happening on the ground regarding cyber warfare. As Ms. Sinclair indicated, Ukraine “is a place where you can deal with the cyber-threat quite explicitly.”
According to Mr. Kozak, Canada “should be spending a lot of time and effort” helping Ukraine with cyber security issues, “and also learning and implementing those solutions here in Canada and with our NATO partners.” In his view, Canada:
should get engaged, we should help Ukrainians with the technologies and the capabilities and experience we have. But we should also jump on this bandwagon and learn as much as we can as quickly as we can so we can do some preventive actions here in Canada, also with our NATO allies.
During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members heard that another way in which Canada could assist Ukraine relates to sharing information on operational stress injuries (OSIs) treatments and providing resilience and mental health training to the Ukrainian military. Thousands of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel have been in combat in the Donbas region since 2014; many have been injured both physically and mentally, having witnessed modern war first-hand, and are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of OSIs. According to Ukrainian military authorities with whom Committee members met, “morale readiness” and “tactical medicine” had been largely forgotten before the outbreak of the armed conflict in 2014; however, when the armed conflict started and Ukrainian troops started to be exposed to combat conditions, “morale readiness” and “tactical medicine” were again important. With many wounded Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front lines and having difficulty coping with OSIs, the Ukrainian military has developed and upgraded training programs in the areas of “morale readiness” and “tactical medicine” training. 
The Committee left Ukraine with the impression that more could still be done to enhance the resilience and mental health of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel, and to share OSI information and possible treatment programs with Ukraine. In Ukraine, CAF personnel told Committee members that there is a need for PTSD treatment in Ukraine.
With Ukrainian military authorities unaware of Canada’s efforts to support serving members and veterans of the CAF who are suffering from OSIs, Committee members discussed the success of the CAF’s Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program, a resilience and mental health education, awareness and skills training program that is embedded throughout CAF members’ careers. Introduced in 2009, the R2MR program aims to ensure that CAF members receive the most appropriate training so that they can be as mentally prepared as possible to deal with the various challenges they may encounter throughout their military careers and while deployed on operations. In response, senior Ukrainian military officials commented that such a resilience and mental health training program could be of valuable assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as could the sharing of information on OSIs and possible treatments. They also raised the prospect of eventually establishing a ministry of veterans’ affairs in Ukraine, and speculated about potential Canadian assistance with that endeavour.
In Ukraine, Committee members were also informed that Canada could strengthen ties with Ukraine, and enhance military and defence industrial cooperation between the two countries, by giving Ukrainians visa-free access to Canada. At present, the Ukrainian government has given Canadians visa-free access to Ukraine, but the Canadian government continues to refuse Ukrainians access to Canada without a visa.
Similarly, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze highlighted the importance of visa-free access to Canada as a means of strengthening Canadian–Ukrainian “people-to-people relationships.” She mentioned that the Ukrainian government has started discussions with the Canadian government on the visa-free issue, and remarked that “Canadians do enjoy visa-free access to Ukraine.” In her view, granting Ukrainians the same privilege when travelling to Canada would be a welcomed gesture that would strengthen Canada–Ukraine relations, with the “possibility of increasing bilateral trade” and “increasing people-to-people contact through initiation of this easier travel to Canada from Ukraine.” Other witnesses agreed, with Mr. Grod noting that “a visa-free regime is something [that the Ukrainian Canadian Congress advocated].” In his view, “it would be a very positive sign for Canada to give visa-free access to Ukrainians.” A number of witnesses highlighted the fact that, since July 2017, Ukrainians have been able to enter the EU without a visa.
During their visit to Ukraine, Committee members also heard about Canada’s promotion of Ukrainian interests when the country assumes the presidency of the G7 in January 2018 for a one-year period. Ukrainian governmental officials said that they would like the Canadian government to use its position to support and promote Ukraine at the G7. Colonel Siromakha made a similar point. In particular, the Ukrainian government would like Canada to use the presidency of the G7 to promote peace and security in Ukraine, to support Ukraine’s proposal for a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas region, and to push for the release of political prisoners in Crimea and the Donbas region. Mr. Grod held a similar view, suggesting that Canada should use the G7 presidency to make the armed conflict in Ukraine a “key topic” at the G7 this year, and to try and “provide peace and security in that region.” More specifically, he would like Canada to “spearhead the dialogue” on Ukraine, and to foster serious discussions about the ways in which “the G7 countries can come together and do something different” in order to bring about a peaceful conclusion to the crisis in Ukraine.
Clearly, Ukraine needs the help of Canada and the international community to bring about a peaceful conclusion to the violent conflict that is being waged on its territory by Russia and its “proxies” in the Donbas region. To date, more than 10,000 people have been killed, in excess of 25,000 individuals have been injured, and more than 1.5 million people have been displaced.  There has been significant destruction of property. Roads, bridges, houses, hospitals, schools and various other forms of infrastructure have been destroyed, and huge portions of Ukrainian land are covered in booby traps and anti-personnel/anti-tank mines. Ukrainian critical infrastructures have also been the target of damaging cyber-attacks. Ukraine has also been hard hit economically, with a significant portion of its economic capacity and industrial capabilities decimated as a result of the conflict in the Donbas region. Mr. Grod reminded the Committee that this region was the “industrial heartland of Ukraine,” and the conflict is imposing “high costs” on Ukraine and its population.
Worldwide, too few people realize that two of the largest land armies in Europe – those of Russia and Ukraine – are currently confronting each other in the Donbas region. Ukraine alone has approximately 40,000 troops deployed in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine (reinforced with National Guard and Border Guard units); the Russians and pro‑Russian separatist forces have an equivalent number. It is a modern armed conflict that involves the use of some of the most advanced and sophisticated weaponry and military equipment available, including heavy weapons, such as main battle tanks, artillery and missile systems. According to Ukrainian military authorities, there are more than 700 main battle tanks, 1,000 armoured vehicles and 1,200 artillery systems in the “occupied” territories alone. The armed conflict also relies heavily on trench warfare, mortar strikes, snipers, cyber-attacks, electronic warfare and disinformation campaigns. Although few fixed-wing combat aircraft have been used in the conflict thus far, some aircraft have been shot down, including a civilian airliner (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014), and both sides have flown drones and helicopters into the battle space.
In addition to all of this activity in the Donbas region, a tense situation has developed in Crimea, where large Russian military formations have been stationed and stand ready to move against Ukraine, if needed. According to a number of witnesses, over the past three years, Russia has turned the Crimean Peninsula into a massive military base, causing fear and uncertainty throughout the Black Sea region.
Now in its fourth year, most witnesses saw no end to the armed conflict in sight. The Crimea and Donbas regions of Ukraine remain “occupied” territories held by the Russians and pro-Russian rebels, and Ukraine has no control over those territories. Human rights violations have been reported in the “occupied” parts of Ukraine, and the situation in the conflict zone continues to deteriorate. With more than 13,000 ceasefire violations in 2017 alone,  several witnesses had a hard time characterizing this conflict as “frozen.” As stated by Mr. Grod, it is “very much a hot war.” It is clear to many witnesses that, as long as Russia and its proxies continue to “occupy” Ukrainian territory and to wage an aggressive armed conflict against Ukraine, peace in the region is unlikely to be realized. The armed conflict will continue for many more years, ceasefire violations will continue to occur, and the death toll will grow daily.
Since 2014, Canada has provided support to Ukraine in its time of need. It has provided millions of dollars in aid and assistance to the Ukrainian government and the country’s military, including non-lethal military equipment. Canada has also deployed CAF members to Ukraine to help train the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As well, it has helped Ukraine reform its military through participation on the Ukrainian DRAB. Moreover, Canada has supported Ukraine by putting sanctions in place against Russia and by condemning that country’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its involvement in the ongoing armed conflict in the Donbas region.
However, rebuilding and reforming the Ukrainian military is no easy task. The Committee heard from Ms. Sinclair that because it is a long process that will take years to implement, Canada and the international community must not lose patience. They must stay the course, and continue to support Ukraine and help its armed forces to attain its objective of interoperability with NATO forces by 2020. To that end, Ms. Sinclair explained that internal corruption and other systemic issues must be eliminated, not just at the military level, but throughout Ukrainian society. This imperative must be realized if Ukraine really wishes to achieve its goal of eventually joining the EU and NATO.
Witnesses told the Committee that Canada and the international community must stand together in trying to find a peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Ukraine. Witnesses also indicated that the Russian aggression against Ukraine must end, and Russia must leave Crimea and restore that territory to its rightful owner: Ukraine. It must also withdraw from the Donbas region and cease supporting and supplying rebel forces. All occupied territories must be returned to Ukraine, and a UN peacekeeping mission should be deployed to the Donbas region to ensure a durable and long-lasting peace between Russia and Ukraine. Many witnesses held the view that Canada should promote peace and stability in the region by imposing more sanctions against Russia, providing additional monitors to the OSCE SMM, and contributing to a possible UN peacekeeping mission to the Donbas region.
A number of witnesses believed that, at the same time, Canada should continue to support Ukraine and perhaps strengthen its defence relationship with that country. Ukrainian governmental and military officials, as well as academics and defence experts, provided the Committee with an indication of areas in which Canada could provide valuable assistance to Ukraine. They include providing enhanced military training to the Ukrainian military through Operation UNIFIER, allowing the exportation of lethal weapons and defensive military equipment to Ukraine, adding Ukraine to the AFCCL, sharing intelligence and satellite imagery, forging closer ties between the Canadian and Ukrainian defence and aerospace industrial sectors, assisting with cyber security, granting Ukrainians visa-free access to Canada, and promoting Ukrainian interests at the G7, among others.
In light of what was heard in Ottawa and learned during a visit to Ukraine, the Committee makes the following recommendations to the Government of Canada:
The Committee recommends:
That the Government of Canada continue to provide strong military training to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and that it look for opportunities to expand the type of training and support provided by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) through Operation UNIFIER.
That the Government of Canada strengthen Canada’s contribution to military, police, justice, and anti-corruption training beyond the expiration of current funding agreements.
That the Government of Canada facilitate stronger parliament-to-parliament relations including possible assistance in the development of anti-corruption mechanisms, institutions, and training as requested by Ukrainian officials. The Committee further recommends that the Government of Canada explore ways to assist Ukraine in the creation of mechanisms similar to the Canadian Auditor General and the House of Commons Public Accounts and National Defence Committees.
That the Government of Canada increase Canada’s contribution to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, and consider including more women monitors.
That the Government of Canada advocate for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Ukraine that respects its territorial integrity.
That the Government of Canada expand Canada’s support for gender equality promotion through the Canadian Development Program in Ukraine, existing United Nations programs, and women, peace and security initiatives.
That the Government of Canada provide lethal weapons to Ukraine to protect its sovereignty from Russian aggression, provided that Ukraine demonstrate it is actively working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government.
That the Government of Canada add Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List.
That the Government of Canada reinstate the practice of providing RADARSAT-2 Imagery; and engage in the exchange of intelligence sharing capabilities with Ukraine.
That the Government of Canada encourage the collaboration between Ukrainian and Canadian defence industries.
That the Government of Canada commit to supporting Ukraine in its resistance to hybrid warfare attacks, specifically with regard to cyber attacks on government systems and critical infrastructure, and resistance to the dissemination of foreign propaganda and disinformation through the media.
That the Government of Canada assign CAF cyber security personnel to Ukrainian cyber defence operations to assist in monitoring and defending against related communications, hybrid warfare and cyber-attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure; and to participate in inter-agency exercises being conducted to train and develop the capabilities of Ukraine’s allies against emerging cyber threats.
That the Government of Canada announce a plan to grant visa-free travel to Canada for Ukrainians.
That the Government of Canada reinstate the Youth Mobility Agreement with Ukraine to allow for qualified Ukrainians to apply for travel and work within Canada for up to one year as a means to further enhance Canadian and Ukrainian economic and cultural cooperation.
That the Government of Canada consider furthering Ukrainian interests at the G7.
That the Government of Canada assist with the development of relations and open dialogue between the Ukrainian government and civil society groups and assist with capacity building for civil society groups, especially in confronting corruption.
That the Government of Canada expand Canada’s sanctions, including implementing the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), against those responsible for contributing to the armed conflict in Ukraine and work with its allies, including NATO, to maintain and enhance their sanction regimes against Russian operatives.
 Canada imposed sanctions on 93 Russian individuals and over 60 Russian entities through the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, which were first introduced in March 2014 and have since been amended several times. The names of the Russian individuals and entities can be found in the “Coming into Force” section of the above-mentioned regulations. Sanctions against another 30 Russian individuals were imposed with the implementation of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) in November 2017. The full list of Russian individuals can be found in the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act Regulations.
 DND, “Canada-Ukraine Relationship: Minister Tells Ukrainian Canadian Congress Canada’s Support is Unwavering,” News release, 21 June 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 Martin Auger, Katherine Simonds, Natalie Mychajlyszyn, Erin Shaw and Alexandra Smith, Background Paper on the Ukraine Crisis, General Distribution Paper, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament, Ottawa, 19 October 2017, pp. 1–8.
 Ibid., pp. 8–11.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 Ian Litschko, “Lights Out: An Examination of Cyber Attacks in Ukraine and the Baltic States,” Mackenzie Institute, 23 October 2017.
 International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS], The Military Balance 2014, 2014, pp. 194–197; IISS, The Military Balance 2017, 2017, pp. 227–231.
 DND, “Canadian Appointed to Serve on Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board,” News release, 31 January 2017.
 DND, “Operation UNIFIER: JTF-U Brief to Standing Committee on National Defence,” Document Distributed to NDDN members for their Visit of Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U), Yavoriv, Ukraine, 23 September 2017; DND, “Operation UNIFIER.”
 DND, “Operation UNIFIER: JTF-U Brief to Standing Committee on National Defence.”
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 DND, “Government of Canada Signs Defence Cooperation Arrangement with Ukraine,” News release, 3 April 2017.
 DND, “Canada-Ukraine Relationship: Minister Tells Ukrainian Canadian Congress Canada’s Support is Unwavering,” News release, 21 June 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 Ukraine has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) Partnership for Peace program since 1994. This program seeks to promote stability and strengthen the security relationship between NATO and non-NATO members in the Euro-Atlantic area. See: North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], “Relations with Ukraine” and “Partnership for Peace Programme.”
 “Canada Sanctions 52 Human-Rights Violators under New Magnitsky Law,” Globe and Mail, 3 November 2017. Also see: Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), S.C. 2017, c.21 and GAC, “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations.”
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 Right to Protection and United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Crossing the Line of Contact Monitoring Report, June-July 2017, p. 3; United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Ukraine: Checkpoints — Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 16 November 2017), 16 November 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 The other four permanent members of the UN Security Council are China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
 “Ukraine Asks Canada for Access to Satellite Images to Monitor Russian, Rebel Troop Movements,” CBC News, 25 September 2017; “Justin Trudeau Backs UN Peacekeeping Mission in Ukraine, But Stops Short of Offering to Join In,” CBC News, 22 September 2017.
 Ukrainian Canadian Congress [UCC], UCC Briefing Note Submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, 23 October 2017.
 DND, “Operation UNIFIER”; DND, “Canada-Ukraine Relationship: Minister Tells Ukrainian Canadian Congress Canada’s Support is Unwavering,” News release, 21 June 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN, Evidence, 1st Session, 42nd Parliament, 16 October 2017 (Lubomyr Luciuk); NDDN, Evidence, 1st Session, 42nd Parliament, 18 October 2017 (Ihor Kozak). Also see: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “Peace in Ukraine Requires a ‘Carrot and Stick’ Approach,” Globe and Mail, 16 October 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 The Export Control List has seven categories: Group 1 (Dual Use); Group 2 (Munitions); Group 3 (Nuclear Non-Proliferation); Group 4 (Nuclear-Related Dual Use); Group 5 (Miscellaneous Goods and Technology); Group 6 (Missile Technology Control Regime); and Group 7 (Chemical and Biological Weapons Non‑Proliferation). See: Export Control List, SOR/89-202. Specific items listed under each group are published in GAC’s A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls.
 GAC, “Military and Strategic Goods and Technology.” Group 2 (Munitions) of the Export Control List is the category that encompass most weapon systems and military equipment. It includes the following types of products: smooth-bore and automatic weapons (guns, howitzers, canons, mortars, anti-tank weapons, projectile launchers, military flame-throwers, rifles, handguns, machine guns, etc.); ammunition and fuse‑setting devices; bombs, grenades, torpedoes, rockets, missiles and other explosive devices; fire control systems; ground vehicles (tanks, armoured vehicles and other types of armed and unarmed military vehicles); chemical and biological toxic agents; explosive substances; vessels of war (warships and submarines); military aircraft, lighter-than-air vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles; electronic equipment and military spacecraft; high-velocity kinetic energy weapon systems; armoured or protective equipment and constructions; specialized equipment for military training or for simulating military scenarios; imaging or countermeasure equipment designed for military use; directed-energy weapon systems; software, and miscellaneous equipment, technology and materials used for the production of any products referred to in Group 2. See: GAC, A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls. GAC publishes an annual report on Canada’s exports of military goods and technologies that are included in Group 2. For the latest report, see: GAC, Report on Exports of Military Goods 2016.
 According to GAC, the “following goods and their components and parts … are subject to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, when these items are also included on the Export Control List: (1) an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger; (2) any firearm that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited firearm; (3) any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited weapon; (4) any component or part of a weapon, or any accessory for use with a weapon, that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited device; and (5) a cartridge magazine that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited device.” See: GAC, Export Controls Handbook, August 2017, p. 15.
 The 39 countries are: Albania; Australia; Belgium; Botswana; Bulgaria; Chile; Colombia; Croatia; the Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Israel; Italy; Kuwait; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; The Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Saudi Arabia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Turkey; the United Kingdom; and the United States. See: Automatic Firearms Country Control List, SOR/91-575.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 UCC, UCC Briefing Note Submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, 23 October 2017.
 DND, “Canada’s Operation UNIFIER,” briefing note distributed to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence for its trip to Belgium, Latvia and Ukraine, September 2017.
 UCC, Canada’s Defence Policy Review Public Consultation 2016, Position Paper, June 2016.
 “Ukraine Asks Canada for Access to Satellite Images to Monitor Russian, Rebel Troop Movements,” CBC News, 25 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 For a brief overview of some of the federal government programs and services available to serving members and veterans of the CAF and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police suffering from operational stress injuries, see: Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, Interim Report on the Operational Stress Injuries of Canada’s Veterans, 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, June 2015.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.
 NDDN Visit to Ukraine, 23–26 September 2017.