Kateryna Koval, reserve officer in the Ukrainian armed forces and civilian activist, explained that it was “awesome” to have seen an influx of young people applying for military school to enlist both as reservists and on time. full amid fears of a Russian invasion of the country.
Explaining the situation, Ms. Koval spoke about how the past few years have seen huge investments in the Ukrainian armed forces and their weapons capabilities.
It is estimated that 4.12% of GDP was spent on the military in 2021, according to figures from the World Bank.
Although large investments also included aid from the United States, which sent $ 450 million in security assistance in 2020 alone, boosting Ukrainian confidence.
Since 2014, when Russia invaded and then Crimea, the United States has sent $ 2.5 billion in aid to Ukraine.
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But Ms. Koval underlined how on the ground, the will of young people to join the army “is maximized on a daily basis”, in addition to those who already enlist by conscription from the age of 18.
She noted that in recent years, large numbers of people have enrolled in military schools and academies to become officers in order to offer their service to the country as the threat from Russia has become more apparent.
The reservist noted, “It’s great, we have a lot of reserve officers now, we have special programs for these officers.”
Ukraine’s reserve force now stands at an astonishing 900,000 troops, while it is associated with a regular army of around 225,000 men. Ukraine has a combat force of around 1.1 million.
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The officer went on to stress that it was “no secret” that many young people want to become “patriots” and go to eastern Ukraine, where a war is taking place in the Donbass between the separatists. supported by Russia and government forces since 2014.
She said: “I can say that a lot of young people would like to become real patriots …
“And of course more young people would now like to join the armed forces.”
The comments come as fears grow of an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is now believed to have amassed more than 100,000 troops at four locations along the country’s border.
He has repeatedly asserted that this move was aimed at countering what he claims is growing NATO aggression against Russia and its allies, he also claims that NATO and its expansion threaten Russian interests.
Russia annexed Crimea to Ukraine in March 2014, when unmarked soldiers entered the Crimean Peninsula in an almost bloodless takeover.
This decision was followed by the war in Donbass between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed militants, 14,000 people died in the fighting.