Ukraine's withdrawal of its military contingent in Iraq, which will be complete by the end of December, has begun with the return home of 69 soldiers. The troops, part of the country's 927-strong mission to Iraq, were airlifted to Ukraine by an IL-76 transport plane on Wednesday night, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
The Ukrainian contingent is deployed in Wasit province, some 140 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, an area that falls under Polish command in the division of responsibilities within the US-led multinational force in Iraq. On November 17, Ukranian troops transferred their duties to an infantry brigade of the Iraqi army.
Ukraine plans to withdraw its servicemen from Iraq by December 30, leaving 90 armoured personnel carriers, 300 wheeled vehicles and other hardware, AKI reports.