On December 11, in his radio address to the nation, Victor Yushchenko reiterated that one of the points of his election program was to withdraw Ukrainian peacekeepers from Iraq.

“I promised to withdraw Ukrainian peacekeepers from Iraq. Eight hundred soldiers have returned to Ukraine so far. We will welcome eight hundred more between the twentieth and the thirtieth of December. They will be celebrating New Year with their families,” he said, adding that Ukraine was withdrawing its troops from Iraq “in a planned and responsible way.” “1,600 Ukrainian peacekeepers have trained 2,700 Iraqi soldiers – this is a normal brigade within three battalions,” he stressed.

The President also said that only our peacekeepers had managed to train the whole Iraqi brigade “from scratch.”“This brigade has already been put in charge of the zone our peacekeepers used to guard,” he added.


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