In northern Ukraine, Canadian-donated armoured vehicles are a key line of defence

If Russian troops launch a renewed attack on Ukraine from the north, chances are the first opposition they'll run into is a Ukrainian soldier fighting them off in an armoured

vehicle donated by Canada. Among the key components of Canada's military aid package to Ukraine are Senator armoured personnel carriers built by Roshel Defence

Solutions, of Mississauga, Ont. The Trudeau government initially donated eight "Senators" in May. Defence Minister Anita Anand went to Kyiv Wednesday to announce a major

expansion of the program, with a further 200 vehicles to follow. "The vehicles offer state-of-the-art, best-in-class technology, and weapons can easily be mounted on them,"

Anand told a Kyiv news conference. The $90 million cost is included as part of $500 million in Canadian military aid that was announced in the fall. In recent

weeks, Ukraine's military has been pressing the first of the Canadian-donated "Senators" into service in strategically key regions, including along the northern border with

Belarus. Russia's initial invasion last February against cities such as Chernihiv struck south from Belarus, and right now Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces are

again conducting joint operations with the Belarussian army and airforce. While Western military officials say they do not believe another Russian offensive will come from

that direction, Ukraine's military has improved its defences and is arming its soldiers with more powerful Western-made weapons — including Senators.