Arms Shipments to Ukraine

Canada's Contributions

Since Russia launched its Special Military Operation was launched on February 24, 2022, to safeguard Russia's security in the face of NATO's aggressive eastward expansion by denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine, Canada has made various contributions to this U.S./NATO proxy war whose aim is to isolate and crush Russia.

- Canada committed to bring in an "unlimited number" of Ukrainian refugees and their families. It has thus far accepted more than 160,000 Ukrainians and their immediate family members under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) which was set up on March 17, 2022. The Prime Minister's Office reports that as of February 16, close to 560,000 applications for travel to Canada under these measures have been approved. The program, to fast track entry visas and provide for the refugees above and beyond what is available to other refugees or migrant workers in this country, allows the Ukrainians to stay in Canada for up to three years on accelerated visas. Information about the fate of the people who have arrived in Canada is scant but reports indicate there is talk about extending the program.

- The Prime Minister's Office on February 24 reported that Canada has provided more than "$5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and immigration assistance to Ukraine," of which more than $1 billion is military assistance. Meanwhile, it has been enforcing economic sanctions against Russian businesses and individuals in the past year alone. Canada bans the import and export of some goods from and to Russia and has joined other NATO countries on imposing a cap on the price of a barrel of oil sold from Russia.

- The military assistance Canada has provided to Ukraine includes what it calls intelligence and cybersecurity cooperation and training "over 35,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine." Those trained include neo-Nazi fighters, about which the Canadian and Ukrainian governments are in denial, and to cover this up, the latter has integrated these troops into the Ukrainian armed forces.

- Other military assistance from Canada includes the commitment to send four additional "battle-ready" Leopard 2 tanks from its inventory of 112 such tanks, bringing the number of tanks it will send to eight. This commitment was made by Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly during a quick token trip to Kiev on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the war, where she pledged $21 million "to fight sexual violence and help demining efforts," news reports indicate.

- Other assistance from Canada is part of the disinformation campaign to cover up that the conflict in Ukraine is a U.S./NATO proxy war and and to cover up the crimes of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, as well as to demonize Russia. This includes "$13 million for accountability efforts, including to address conflict-related sexual violence over $12 million to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats." Canada also announced on February 24 that it has joined the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, that includes for Ukraine the U.S., UK and European Union, to "directly support the efforts of the War Crimes Units of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to document, preserve, and analyze evidence of war crimes and other atrocities committed in Ukraine, to ensure those responsible are held accountable."

Canada's contributions are troublesome from A to Z. Its preferential treatment of Ukrainian refugees is the most egregious official Eurocentrism and racism, as refugees, migrant workers and guest workers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and so-called undocumented workers are treated as if they are refuse on a garbage heap, without status or protections of any kind.

The donation of eight so-called battle-ready Leopard 2 tanks is used to give the impression that Canada is a significant player and always ready to step up to the plate to shore up the war hysteria that Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield notwithstanding all evidence to the contrary. The tanks come with many limitations and caveats not mentioned in the official announcement by Defence Minister Anita Anand on January 26. The caveats cast serious doubt about the intentions of Canada and the other members of NATO.

Canada's stock of Leopard 2 tanks were purchased from the Netherlands 15 years ago. Besides this being a massive expenditure for military equipment in which Canadians had no say, in the main they oppose such expenditures unless they are for purposes of the defence of Canada. Linked as this purchase was to the aggressive military alliances NATO and NORAD, it cannot be said to be for Canada's self-defence. According to experts in the field, the Canadian military has a history of purchasing used military equipment which proves to be significantly defective or to have high maintenance requirements.

Canada's Leopard 2 Tanks

"On paper at least, Canada has 112 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 82 are fighting tanks. The remaining 30 are armoured battlefield engineering vehicles with treads that are intended for erecting or demolishing obstacles, and other tasks," a January 26 article in the Globe and Mail notes. Citing various professors and former Canadian military commanders who give their assessment of the number and quality of the tanks Canada has, the article provides some perspective:

"Retired general Andrew Leslie, a former commander of the Canadian Army, has said he's heard that only about 20 Canadian tanks are functioning, with the remainder in storage or waiting for spare parts to be fixed.

"Retired general Rick Hillier, a former Canadian chief of the defence staff, said Thursday's [January 26] tank commitment by Ottawa is too small. Mr. Hillier, now an adviser to the Ukrainian World Congress advocacy group, said Canada should be preparing more of its tanks for Kyiv. [...]

"Stephen Biddle, a [U.S.] defence-policy expert, said the new tanks [from the U.S., Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and others] will certainly help Ukraine [and are] important, but certainly not transformative [...] 'On the margins, this will help. But it's probably not, in and of itself, going to make the difference between a lightning offensive that retakes all of the ground the Russians hold and a stalemate. It's not likely to be a silver bullet that transforms the military situation when it arrives.'

"Steve Saideman, a political scientist at Carleton University in Ottawa and director of the Canadian Defence and Security Network, said he thinks Ottawa decided to send four tanks 'because it would make the smallest dent' in the Canadian Armed Forces." The prime Minister announced four additional Leopard 2 tanks on February 24.

Canada's Provision of Light-Armoured Vehicles

In November 2022, Canada committed 39 light-armoured vehicles to Ukraine, with Minister Anand saying that Canada is a "leader" in providing such equipment to Ukraine. Scott Taylor, writing in Esprit du Corps, puts this contribution in perspective:

"The fact that Canada had these 39 brand new LAVs to give away directly from the GDLS [General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada] factory has its origins in a 2018 diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia. [...]

"In August 2018, the Saudis had just placed a whopping $15 billion order for more LAVs from GDLS-Canada when Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland publicly denounced the Saudi Kingdom for human rights violations. In turn the Saudis expelled Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and cancelled all new trade deals."

He goes on to explain that "military sales are run through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), which acts as the middle man," and that the Canadian government was ultimately on the hook to pay General Dynamics-USA for the LAVs. On this basis, "the Canadian government hastily moved up its own plans to buy new LAVs, doubled the purchase order and provided GDLS-Canada with an upfront $600 million interest-free loan."

The total deal is $3 billion for 360 new LAVs for the Canadian Army. The 39 shipped to Ukraine were available only "because the Saudi dispute forced the Liberal government's hand into bailing out GDLS-Canada and their parent company in the USA."

In January, during a trip to Ukraine, Minister Anand announced that 200 more armoured vehicles would be provided to Ukraine from Mississauga-based Roshel, at a cost of $90 million.

Later that month, the Department of National Defence (DND) stated, "Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance donations to Ukraine. This includes over 200 Senator Armoured Personnel Carriers, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 Howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, and more."

DND added, "On January 10, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine. This high priority acquisition is the first Canadian donation of an air defence system to Ukraine." According to DND, "This will assist Ukraine's efforts to protect population centres, critical infrastructure, and military targets."

"Since late March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces has been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over 6 million pounds of military donations to date," DND states.

Overall, it can be seen how military contributions to support the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine are in lock-step with using public funds to support U.S. arms manufacturers and not in fact effective within the context of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 1 - February 2023

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