Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ukraine to Mobilize 50,000 Soldiers in January

KIEV – Ukraine will begin to mobilize 50,000 conscripts and reservists on Jan. 20, amid the truce signed between the nation’s army and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country, Viktoria Kushnir, a spokeswoman for the defense ministry, said on Tuesday.

“Mobilization will begin on Jan. 20. Officers and military specialists in the reserves will be called up. They will undergo training at Ukraine’s Armed Forces training bases for 25 days. Then all will undergo team training,” Kushnir said at a press conference.

The spokeswoman declined to answer when asked if the new batch of troops would be sent to the conflict-torn eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces has halted since the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided on Saturday to convene a new wave of military mobilizations, which will be divided into three stages: January, April and July 2015.

Ukraine resorted to conscription due to a shortage of volunteers to join the armed forces to fight against the more experienced pro-Russian militants, volunteers, and mercenaries coming from Russia.

The Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, announced in mid-December that his ministry was planning to mobilize 40,000 soldiers and 10,500 contractors.

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