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29 Mai. 2023

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International Day of UN Peacekeepers: what is Ukraine's role in peacekeeping missions

Krieg
Ukraine

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International Day of UN Peacekeepers: what is Ukraine's role in peacekeeping missions

The UN peacekeeping contingent was created to resolve situations in post-conflict countries. Learn more about the functions of peacekeepers and the missions Ukraine has participated in

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The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is celebrated annually on May 29. This day is intended to honor and support the work of peacekeepers who risk their lives to establish and maintain peace in various conflict regions of the world.


The United Nations plays an important role in peacekeeping efforts around the world. Its peacekeeping operations are aimed at ending armed conflicts, maintaining ceasefires, protecting civilians, providing humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction. Participation in such missions is important for maintaining stability and ensuring security in conflict zones.


Ukraine also takes an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. Ukrainian soldiers and peacekeepers are deployed to missions on different continents, including Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. They perform various tasks, such as providing security, supporting peace processes, protecting human rights, and providing humanitarian assistance.


Participation of Ukrainians in peacekeeping missions


The war in Yugoslavia


The first participation of independent Ukraine in peacekeeping operations abroad was during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. For this purpose, the 240th separate special battalion was formed, which became part of the UN international force - UNPROFOR.


Once at war, the units with Ukrainians were immediately attacked and shelled by enemy groups. 


Ukrainian peacekeepers often used all types of regular weapons to protect themselves and the local population. They guarded important facilities, escorted convoys with humanitarian aid, unblocked positions and checkpoints, destroyed snipers, and ensured the evacuation of the dead and wounded. During the first three months of the mission, three Ukrainians were killed and more than 20 were wounded.


The war in Iraq


Another major operation of Ukrainian peacekeepers within the UN was the mission in Iraq. There, Ukrainians were fighters of the international coalition against which Islamic militants were waging a guerrilla war.


The decision to send a Ukrainian contingent to Iraq was made in May 2003. Ukraine responded to calls from the United States and the United Nations to help establish stability in Iraq.


In total, three separate mechanized brigades (5th, 6th and 7th) and one tactical group (81st) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were deployed to Iraq from August 2003 to December 2005.


In total, more than 6,000 Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen have passed through Iraq. 18 of them were killed and over 40 were wounded.


Prior to the full-scale war in Ukraine, peacekeepers from our country participated in many missions, including in Congo, Transnistria, Kosovo, Georgia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.




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Recall of Ukrainian peacekeepers to their homeland


After russia's invasion on February 24, 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on the return of all peacekeepers. At the time, 308 Ukrainian citizens, including 250 military personnel and 22 police officers, were involved in UN operations outside the country. 


The last peacekeeping contingent was returned in May 2022 from Mali. At that time, six Mi-8 helicopters with crews returned to Ukraine.


Ukraine's role in peacekeeping missions


Ukraine's participation in peacekeeping missions is a manifestation of its international responsibility and desire for peace and stability in the world. It is also a way for the Ukrainian state to show its support for the principles and goals of the United Nations. Ukrainian peacekeepers have made a significant contribution to efforts to resolve conflicts and help affected populations. Their participation helped to promote peace, reduce violence, and create conditions for the stable development of society in post-conflict regions.


It is important to note that Ukrainian peacekeepers bore significant risks while working in dangerous areas and facing various challenges. They demonstrated high professionalism, courage and dedication while performing their duties in difficult conditions.


In general, Ukraine's role in UN peacekeeping missions is an important contribution to efforts to ensure peace and security in countries where armed conflicts have broken out.


Earlier we wrote that after February 24, 2022, the life of every Ukrainian citizen changed forever. What awaits the country after the Victory and how Ukrainians will change, read our article.



Photo: U.S. Navy




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