Ukraine, Zelensky seeks a turning point: Kiev needs soldiers

The president announces changes in the management of the armed forces

Volodymr Zelensky calls for a turning point in the war against Russia and announces radical changes in the management of Ukraine’s military apparatus. After almost 650 days of war, the situation appears blocked. Kiev’s counteroffensive produced results but did not change the situation in a decisive way. Now, with winter upon us, a new phase of the conflict is opening which requires a change of strategy and gear.

“This also concerns issues relating to mobilization”, says the president, touching on the topic of expanding the bands intended to feed the armed forces. “Everyone in Ukraine understands that changes are needed in this area. It’s not just about the number of those who can be mobilized. It’s about conditions – for everyone who is currently in the army and for those who will join the army. These are comprehensive issues that the military leadership and the Ministry of Defense must work out and present to the General Staff for approval,” he says without going into details.

Turnover is one of the key issues in resource management. Kiev is about to approve a new law, as parliamentarian Mariana Bezuhla recently announced on Facebook, to broaden the segments of the population from which to select soldiers for the conflict. Oleksandr Zavitnevych, president of the Committee on National Security and Defense, confirmed a few days ago that the law is being defined. The measure becomes necessary as the war is now approaching 2 years. The last few months have been characterized by very harsh clashes, particularly in the East.

In October, Russia launched a massive offensive and, according to analysts, deployed thousands of men, tanks and vehicles in the area. In total, Russia would use 40,000 troops for the attack. To resist the shock wave, Ukraine had to demand an extreme effort from its military apparatus, at the same time as the Kiev forces tried to maintain pressure on the southern front in the pressure of Zaporizhzhia.

The new laws could eliminate the exemption currently provided for those who excel in their studies up to a specialization level. Furthermore, citizens who performed military service for other countries and then obtained Ukrainian citizenship could also be called to arms. Another ‘reservoir’, as has already happened in Russia since the early stages of the war, will be represented by those who have been convicted of a crime.

Last month, the BBC, reporting official EU data, revealed that 650,000 Ukrainian men of fighting age had fled from Ukraine and have obtained residency in Europe. The real figure is believed to be much higher because many refugees are not officially registered in the EU or may have fled to other destinations such as the United States or Canada.

“Everyone in Ukraine understands that changes are needed in this area,” repeats Zelensky. Under Ukrainian martial law, male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 are generally prohibited from leaving the country, except for exceptions for medical, educational and business reasons.