Ottawa Citizen

Canada has significantly ratcheted up its military involvement in Ukraine, a move the government hopes will help stabilize the region but which some experts worry could spark a confrontation with Russia.

The Conservative government says putting 200 Canadian soldiers in Ukraine for the next two years to help train that country’s military is the best way to head off any future conflict with Russia, adding the troops are needed to help Ukraine defend its borders.

“The Canadian military contribution being announced today will help Ukrainian forces’ personnel to better defend their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday.

The bulk of the troops for the first rotation of the mission will come from Garrison Petawawa, said Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson.

“Let there be no doubt that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is not an isolated concern,” Defence Minister Jason Kenney told reporters…

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