Ukrainian Defense Minister: Kyiv has no plans to reduce its armed forces
Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk said on Saturday in an interview with Radio Liberty that Ukraine has no plans to reduce the composition of its armed forces, the actual number of which is about 250 thousand people.
"We do not plan to reduce the number of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Our task is to manage the resources that we have the right way. First, we need to increase military capacity. And this issue can be solved only systematically. Because if we had a specific strategy, then we would also have a correct defense plan," said Zahorodniuk.
"When we have a defense plan, then we will see what amount of the armed forces we need, and how to form them. We will be able to say where does our threat comes from, and what is our defense plan. We will also see how many people we need and where and how to use the brigades. Then the society and everyone will see that there is an understanding where the armed forces are directed, and how they are structured," added Minister.
In March 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine increased the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces to 250 thousand, including 204 thousand military personnel.
The size of the army was substantially reduced in 2011 from 245 to 192 thousand. In 2013, the number of the military was 165.5 thousand, including 120,9 thousand soldiers. It was assumed that by 2017 the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces would be reduced to 70 thousand people, but the situation changed after the beginning of the armed conflict with Russia.