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Ukraine's Defence Minister explains what Ukrainian army should look like in future

Friday, 7 July 2023, 12:40
Ukraine's Defence Minister explains what Ukrainian army should look like in future

Ukraine needs a professional army in the long run, relying on several trained reserves, says the country’s Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

Source: Reznikov's article for Interfax-Ukraine news agency

Quote: "The human aspect of Ukraine's defence of the future is a professional army with a transparent military career path and a high level of social protection, based on a trained reserve formed of all men liable for military service and involving women on a voluntary basis (except for those categories of women who are liable for military service)."


Details: Reznikov believes that conscription should be abolished and replaced with an intensive basic military training course for those liable for military service.

And after basic training, the minister said, separate training tracks are needed for different groups of conscripts, aimed at ensuring a real rather than a formal reserve.

Reznikov is of the opinion that Ukraine needs:

  • сombat reserve, consisting of individuals with combat experience who can quickly replenish specific military units;
  • territorial reserve for territorial defence units;
  • operational reserve – persons liable for military service who have served but usually do not have combat experience; they will create a safety margin for operational commands;
  • conscription reserve, consisting of persons who have undergone basic military training;
  • registration reserve – persons without basic training, etc.

Reznikov believes Ukraine also needs to move away from the assertion that "there are 7 million people liable for military service in Ukraine", which is useless, and fully digitalise the registration of individuals liable for military service. He added that the Defence Ministry is actively working on this.

Meanwhile, the defence minister said the registration function should be separated from the reserve preparation function.

He believes that the function of military record-keeping should be excluded from the tasks of the General Staff and the Ground Forces Command and that a separate agency should be created within the MoD. Meanwhile, the conditions for training and maintaining the readiness of the relevant reserve should be ensured at the level of units, operational commands, etc.

As Reznikov said, the potential for voluntary participation of citizens in defence measures should be maximised and increased by improving the motivation system. Starting with the instruments of legalising firearms circulation.

The minister also believes a decision should be made on the civilian reserve.

Quote: "During the active phase of the war, we see how many people, including those drafted, are directly involved in the hostilities. A significant part of the 'million under the bayonet' performs purely civilian functions. It would be irrational to make these people 'military' until the end of the special period. There should be a different approach.

When we show society that we involve people in defence as rationally and fairly as possible and train them, the volume of negative phenomena will decrease. After all, some of those who run away from their duty to defend the country and avoid the army are primarily fleeing uncertainty, injustice and abuse," Reznikov concluded.


Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that after the war, Ukraine will abandon conscription in its current form and create a professional army and two reserve components.

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