Canada to dress Ukrainian soldiers for winter warfare

A Ukrainian serviceman stands in front of an armoured personnel carrier destroyed after recent mortar shelling in the Donetsk region on November 24, 2014 (AFP Photo/Anatolii Stepanov) (AFP/File)

Ottawa (AFP) - Canada's Defense Minister Rob Nicholson announced Wednesday the sending of winter coats, boots and gloves to dress 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers fighting pro-Moscow separatists in east Ukraine.

The shipment is to be flown to Kiev on Thursday, he told a press conference.

Early next year, a second shipment of non-lethal military aid including a mobile field hospital, night vision goggles, bomb-disposal equipment and tactical communications apparatus will be sent by sea, he added.

Ukraine had requested the supplies.

More than 4,300 people have been killed and nearly half a million displaced in the fighting that has raised East-West tensions to their highest level since the end of the Cold War.