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Ukrainian Special Forces Have Helped Canada to Evacuate Translators from Afghanistan

August 30, 2021 / online edition
Ukrainian servicemen on foot surrounded and escorted buses to the airport for 600 meters.
Ukrainian Special Forces Have Helped Canada to Evacuate Translators from Afghanistan

Ukraine has helped Canada to evacuate Afghan translators and their families from Kabul.

Ottawa has promised to resettle 19 Afghans in Canada provided they can make way from Afghanistan to the third countries. The Canadian government has asked the Ukrainian government whether it would be ready to transport other refugees to Canada. This was reported by popular Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

The rescue mission was carried out early Friday morning in Kabul, a day after the last Canadian evacuation plane left Afghanistan, and hours after the deadly suicide attack happened near the airport.

Despite the restrictions to evacuate the Afghans, as well as a terrorist threat, the Ukrainian Special Forces personnel, in accordance with the media reports, went out into the city of Kabul on foot to escort two minibuses, carrying the translators and their families, who had expressed willing to fly to Canada via Ukraine.

Military surrounded and escorted the buses to the airport for 600 meters.

“The convoy entered the airport thanks to Ukrainians. We just sent them the plate numbers of our vehicles… and they came to the local bazaar to find us. They said, ‘Ukraine?’ We said, ‘Yes!’ And then they accompanied us,” said Mohammed Sharif Sharaf, a translator and a father of five children, who had covered Canada’s role in the war for Afghanistan.

After making it into the airport, the 19 Afghans were put onto a military cargo aircraft – which was stationed in Kabul – and flown to Islamabad along with a group of military. In the Pakistani capital, they were transferred onto a chartered commercial plane that carried the group to Ukraine, with a brief stop in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.

After the completion of the rescue mission, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a Tweet the words of gratitude to the Ukrainian military, intelligence and diplomats who had helped to evacuate compatriots and citizens of other states.

In addition, other efforts to evacuate these Afghan people failed.

“The Ukrainian operation succeeded where others had collapsed because the Ukrainian military deployed Special Forces troops into the city on foot to conduct the rescue missions,” the Canadian media reads.

The evacuees said that they were stunned that Ukrainian troops had taken risks to save them that Canadian and U.S. forces had not.

“Canada has additionally requested our further support and we will be happy to help,” Ukrainian Forign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in reply to e-mailed questions from The Globe.

He added that the rescue operation in Kabul city had demonstrated the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and why it should finally be accepted into the NATO alliance.

“In these horrific circumstances, our military officers have demonstrated bravery, high class and exemplary professionalism,” said Kuleba to Canadian journalists.

It should be reminded that at Boryspil airport on August 28, on Saturday, border guards checked passengers from three evacuation flights from Afghanistan in. There were Ukrainians and foreigners who needed support.

Head of the President's Office of Ukraine Andrii Yermak said that Ukraine had evacuated from Afghanistan all Ukrainians who had declared their desire to leave Afghanistan.