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Canada's fight in Ukraine wants more equipment

Ukraine, Kharkiv — Matthew Magill, dressed in military uniform with both Ukraine and Canada flags, sought further assistance in combating the Russian invasion.

"We need equipment," said a veteran of theCanadian Armyand a member of the Ukrainian International Army on Thursday. "The corps needs money to buy the equipment."

"I'm grateful for the way we can help keep the fight going."

49-year-old Calgary resident Magill belongs to the Ukrainian signal platoon on the Kharkiv front, where there was a violent attack of missiles and artillery.

"Many cannons," Magill said. "People react differently. I myself listen more carefully to understand whether it's an incoming or outgoing call, and how close it is, and if it's too close, I'm in a trench.

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Read more:Russia to Kharkiv

Russian and Ukrainian troops are clashing in a few villages outside Kharkiv. Russia wants to keep Ukrainian troops away from the border and protect supply lines that support attempts to occupy eastern Luhansk and the Donetsk region.

Fighting Russians in this area are members of the International Army of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Department, at least one Canadian.

Tell reporters on the edge of farmland far from Russia's closest location, on the ice roads of the Northwest Territories whenRussiainvaded UkraineHe said he was driving a fuel truck.February 24th.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy immediately invited foreign volunteers to an international army operating as part of the Ukrainian army.

Canadian Army 735 Communications Regiment veteran Magill said he thought he had something to offer.

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"I support Ukraine and maybe give some money is more than posting on Facebook I felt there was something I could do, "he said. "I have the skills I found useful here."

His family didn't want him to go. He is the father of two sons and recently became a grandfather.

His family understood why he wanted to help Ukraine, but they were worried, but in the end they were supportive, he said.

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He found the application online and was reviewed. Almost two weeks later, he learned that he had been approved and flew to Poland.

"My employer is very supportive and I have a job waiting for me when I come back," he said.

Volunteers met him at Warsaw Airport and he crossed the border in March for a month of training. He said the international army might have been confused in the early days, but it has improved.

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"I think things are really good so far," he said.

According to the International Army, "many" Canadians have participated in the fight against Russia, but no figures are provided. Most but all are Ukrainian Canadians.

"There are quite a few Canadians here," agreed Magill, who has no Ukrainian roots.

One is a drone operator who helps target Russian positions, he said. Magill also came across equipment provided by Canadians, such as night-vision goggles and ready-to-eat meals, he said.

Read more: At the end of the NATO summit, Canada promises more military assistance to Ukraine

Canada has guns, rifles, ammunition and other military support that provided the M777 gun, but Ukraine remains defeated by Russia and wants more weapons.

Following a Russian missile attack on a crowded shopping center in Clementuk on Monday, Zelensky called on the NATO summit in Madrid to "a much more modern system, a modern cannon."

Magill said he would make one close call with a Russian missile. He was inside a building that was used as an observing point, and he was about to get out when the missile hit and his glasses were blown off his face.

"Thankfully, no one was injured, but just coming close to it really opens my eyes," he said. "Everyone is changed by being hit by missiles and shelling."

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Explosion is not the only risk .. Two Ukrainian British captured by Russia were sentenced to death earlier this month. Two Americans are also currently detained in Russia.

The Russian government is calling on foreigners to fight for Ukrainian mercenaries who are not eligible for POW protection under the Geneva Convention.

Investigators at the scene of a Russian missile attack on Kharkiv's apartment on June 25, 2022.Stewart Bell / Global News

Magill said he would stay in Ukraine for another two months and return to Canada at the end of August. ..

"I think six months is enough to leave my family," he said.

He said his experience strengthened his view of the need to protect Ukraine from Russia's territorial expansionism.

"Just looking at how Russians treat Ukrainian citizens made me feel more strongly about the need to be here," he said.

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"Thank you for the absence of war in Canada."

Stewart.Bell@globalnews .ca

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