Ukraine Moves to Boost Armed Forces Personnel to 250,000

Ukraine | March 25, 2015, Wednesday // 20:43|  views

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko gives a speech in front of Humvee armoured vehicles provided by the US and delivered at the Boryspil International airport near Kiev, Ukraine, 25 March 2015. EPA/BGNES

President Petro Poroshenko has signed into law a bill to increase the number of Ukraine’s armed forces personnel to 250,000, including 204,000 military servicemen, Interfax-Ukraine reported on Wednesday.

The bill, approved by Ukrainian lawmakers earlier this month, states the increase is aimed at ensuring “the timely deployment of troops  to contain and repel an armed aggression and eliminate an armed conflict."

According to media reports, Ukraine’s armed forces had 232,000-strong personnel at the end of last year.

Last week, Ukraine started the demobilisation of troops summoned for active duty since 17 March 2014 over the conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the country’s eastern regions.

About 30,000 government troops will be discharged from the combat area starting 18 March.

Meanwhile, the US delivered on Wednesday 10 Humvee armoured vehicles to Ukraine as part of a military support programme aimed at assisting government forces in their fight against pro-Russian separatists in the country's eastern regions. Moscow has repeatedly rejected Western accusations of providing support to the rebels.

Poroshenko said at a handover ceremony in Kiev's Boryspil International Airport that more Humvees were to be delivered within 45 days, according to the AP coverage of the news. 

The US plans to provide to Ukraine 30 heavily armoured Humvees along with 200 regular Humvees, as well as radios, counter-mortar radars and other non-lethal military equipment worth USD 75 M.

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Tags: Ukraine, US, Humvee, armed forces, personnel


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