Ukrainian troops provided a sizable chunk of the multinational forces in Iraq, and will be missed. But as the Iraqi forces step it up, I don’t think we’ll see much of a void left behind by the Ukrainians.
With the Ukrainian contingent’s departure and the Bulgarians before, the Multinational Division is down to 11 nationalities. Twenty-three nationalities comprised the unit when it began.
Czerwinski, the Polish general, said commanding such a multicultural division has been a challenge and has taught him the importance of communication. With units coming from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Latin America, he found that even deciding on which language to use was a challenge. The division sends all operations orders in English, but on the battlefield troops use anything from Spanish to Russian to Polish.
Czerwinski said the close working relationship among all nationalities in the division has helped build understanding on a national level, and he is proud of his Ukrainian allies for the role they played. “For Iraq, for Iraqi people for the multinational division, this is a big success,” he said. “More people should know about this.”
A number of nations have probably found that their commitment ended up being for longer than they envisioned, and we should wish the Ukrainian troops and government well.