Ottawa has reportedly sent elite troops to assist both Canadian diplomats and the Kiev government
In addition to bolstering Ukrainian forces, the soldiers will help to "develop evacuation plans for Canadian diplomatic personnel in the event of a full-scale invasion," the broadcaster reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.
While Moscow has repeatedly denied that it has any plans to invade, Western powers - led by the the US - have sounded alarms about an impending military incursion, pointing to Russian military movements on its side of the border. Earlier on Monday, the UK declared that it would provide the Ukrainian military with light anti-armor munitions in the event of a stand-off with Russian troops.
Canadian officials have so far declined to confirm the reported deployment, with the country's special operations command only stating that it takes part in "broader... efforts to support Ukraine's security forces." The command added that Canadian troops have trained Ukrainian counterparts since 2020, though the sources reached by Global News say the latest deployment is not a training mission.
The decision to send special operators would mirror a similar move by US intelligence to train up an "insurgency" of Ukrainian fighters to "kill Russians" should they invade, as was reported last week by Yahoo News, citing current and former officials. It also follows a warning from the Canadian government that citizens should "reconsider travel" to Ukraine "due to increased threats from Russia." Canada boasts the world's second-largest Ukrainian expat community, after Russia, its next-door neighbor.