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Minister: Ukrainian Troops To Leave Iraq

(RFE/RL) 10 November 2005 -- Ukraine's defense minister said today Ukrainian troops have completed their mission in Iraq and will be home by year's end.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, returning from a two-day trip to Iraq, said the military mission in Iraq is over, and that it was "time for diplomats, industry workers, and businessmen to have their word."

Ukraine contributed 1,650 troops to serve under Polish command at the start of the Iraq campaign, but the move was deeply unpopular with the Ukrainian public.

Eighteen Ukrainian soldiers were killed in Iraq, with 32 others wounded.

The roughly 900 Ukrainian troops still in Iraq are due home by 30 December.