Zelenskyy meets defense chief to assess Ukraine's military ranks, terms of conscription
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: OP)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, at which they discussed the issue of mobilization and demobilization, the head of state announced in an evening video address.

"Held a meeting with the Minister of Defense and the team. We are preparing solutions to the questions posed by our units, our combat brigades. Questions of motivation, questions of certainty, questions of terms of service, questions of replenishment. Defense Forces depend on people, and people are the spirit and weapons. We have to provide both components," Zelenskyy said.

At the year-end press conference looking back at 2023, the president stated that the military command proposed to mobilize an additional 450,000 to 500,000 soldiers. This will cost the state 500 billion hryvnias ($13.3 billion).

However, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov earlier made it clear that the issue of mobilizing such a large number of people is not a short-term plan.

On December 21, in an interview with Welt, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov stated that Ukrainians of draft age living in Germany and other countries should join the ranks of the Defense Forces in 2024. He also spoke about sanctions for those who do not comply with this requirement.

Illarion Pavliuk, a representative of the Ministry of Defense, explained the words of the Minister of Defense in a comment to LIGA.net: the fact that a citizen abroad did not receive a draft summons does not eliminate the threat to Ukraine. However, there is no issue on the agenda regarding the mechanism of punishment or legal pressure on those who are not currently residing in Ukraine.