Ukrainian troops go home; coalition numbers fall again
The “coalition of the willing” has officially become a bit smaller, with the Ukrainian army’s “end of mission ceremony” marking the final deployment of troops from that country to Iraq.
Around 5,000 Ukrainian servicemembers have deployed to Iraq over the last five years, and at one point, it was the third-largest member of the coalition force, officials said.
The Ukrainians had gradually shifted from a “peacekeeping” force to a small training command working under Polish command. According to the Web site icasualties.org — which tracks coalition casualties in Iraq — the Ukrainian force suffered 18 deaths throughout their time in Iraq.
“To Iraq’s benefit and through Ukraine’s efforts, you have helped ensure a higher quality of life for the people of Iraq,” Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, deputy commander of operations for Multi-National Corps — Iraq, was quoted as saying at the ceremony.