Record number of Ukrainians mobilized to Armed Forces in May - MP Kostenko

Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline in Donetsk Oblast, June 4, 2024
Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline in Donetsk Oblast, June 4, 2024

“The pace of mobilization has now increased” Parliamentary Defense Committee's Secretary, Roman Kostenko, said in an interview with Radio NV on June 9.

"In the past month, we have recruited, perhaps, as much as in the past six months. In the last four months. We had the highest numbers in May,” he said.

Earlier, on June 6,  Ruslan Horbenko, MP and deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, De-occupation and Reintegration, said that about 120,000 people are expected to be mobilized in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2024.

According to Horbenko, the command and the military at the front have determined the need for 100-110,000 soldiers, which is significantly less than the previously announced estimate under former Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi. It was planned to mobilize up to 500,000 men for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive.

However, when Oleksandr Syrskyi became Commander-in-Chief, a new defense plan for 2024 was approved, adjusting the needs of the Armed Forces to actual training, maintenance capabilities, and weapons availability amid delays in Western military aid.

Earlier, on April 3, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine did not need to mobilize “half a million people.” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also said that Ukraine would not need an additional 500,000 troops as previously anticipated, indicating a shift to a ‘much softer’ approach to conscription.

Last December, Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine's military leadership had requested the conscription of an additional 450,000 to 500,000 people, which would cost UAH 500 billion ($12.7 billion).

The then-Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said the military "did not make a specific request for numbers [of troops to be drafted]."

On April 11, the Ukrainian parliament passed a mobilization reform bill that comes into effect on May 18. Among other measures to bolster military recruitment, the legislation lowers conscription age from 27 to 25 years.

Read also: Ukraine bans draft-eligible dual citizens from leaving

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