Ukraine Wants 83,000 Rockets Canada Plans to Demolish

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Ukraine is urging Canada to hand over tens of thousands of decommissioned rockets that are set to be destroyed as the war with Russia nears its two-year mark.

Canada is planning to soon destroy over 83,000 CRV7 (“Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7”) units that were taken out of service in 2005, while the Ukrainian military desperately seeks more weapons and supplies due in part to a once-steady flow of international military aid slowing considerably this year.

Ukrainian Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Kyiv’s military intelligence agency, said in an interview published by Canadian network Global News on Monday that giving the rockets to Ukraine instead of destroying them would be “a win-win situation” for both nations.

Some Canadian officials have reportedly expressed reservations about fulfilling the request over concerns that the rockets may have become unstable in the years since being decommissioned, potentially making transporting the weapons and using them an especially risky proposition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, is pictured speaking at a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Canada, on September 22, 2023. The Ukrainian military is urging Canada to donate decommissioned…


DAVE CHAN/AFP

“We have no concerns,” Budanov told Global News. “We need a lot of equipment, both ammunition, munitions in general, artillery munitions—lots of types of equipment.”

Budanov went on to say that Ukraine believes that approximately 8,000 of the rockets are in good condition, while all of the weapons would likely be stripped down to their components and used for drones.

Newsweek reached out for comment to the Canadian Defense Ministry via online press contact form on Monday night.

Canada’s Conservative Party issued a statement criticizing the government of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the issue, arguing that donating the rockets would be “common sense.”

“The Canadian Armed Forces is sitting on a stockpile of 83,000 CRV7 rockets that the Trudeau government has slated for disposal,” the statement reads. “Ukraine has asked the Government of Canada to provide them with these surplus weapons.”

“Instead of making Canadians pay millions of dollars to decommission these weapons, common sense Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau government to give these weapons to Ukraine who can use them in the defence of their sovereignty,” it continues.

Kate McKenna, Canadian adviser to the Ukrainian military, told Global News that she was “kind of a bit salty” that Canada had not donated the “incredibly valuable” rockets. In December, she launched a petition urging the government to send Ukraine the weapons “immediately.”

The Australian government recently rejected a request from Kyiv to donate a fleet of 45 MRH-90 “Taipan” helicopters that are headed to a landfill, arguing that the move would not be “feasible” due to “the costs, time and technical resources needed to return aircraft to a fully operational state,” according to Australia’s Nine News.

Although U.S. military aid to Ukraine has recently dried up entirely amid a partisan dispute in Congress, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last month accused President Joe Biden’s government of sending Kyiv “old ancient junk” as part of a scheme to replenish U.S. stockpiles and make the war a “profitable business project.”