Threats from Russia prompted a “patriotic” wave of young people to join the army, according to a Ukrainian soldier.
The looming threat of Russia, according to a UKRAINIAN soldier, prompted a patriotic wave of young people to sign up to defend their country.
In the wake of fears of a Russian invasion, Kateryna Koval, a reserve officer in the Ukrainian armed forces and a civil activist, said it was “great” to see a rush of young people apply to military school to join up as both full-time and reservists.
Ms Koval explained the situation by mentioning how Ukraine’s armed forces and weapons capability have seen significant investment in recent years.
According to World Bank figures, the military spent an estimated 4.12 percent of GDP in 2021.
While major investment has included assistance from the United States, which has bolstered confidence among Ukrainians with (dollar)450 million in security assistance sent in 2020 alone.
Since 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, the United States has sent Ukraine a whopping (dollar)2.5 billion in aid.
However, Ms Koval emphasized that on the ground, young people’s willingness to join the army “maximizes every day,” on top of those who have already joined through conscription since the age of 18.
She mentioned how, as the threat posed by Russia has grown more apparent, a large number of people have enrolled in military schools and academies to become officers in order to serve their country.
“It’s great,” the reservist said, “we have a lot of reserve officers now, and we have special programs for those officers.”
Ukraine’s reservist force has grown to 900,000 troops, with a regular army of around 225,000 troops, for a total fighting force of around 1.1 million.
The officer went on to say that it is “not a secret” that many young people want to become “patriots” and travel to eastern Ukraine, where a war has raged in the Donbas since 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and government forces.
“I can say that many young people would like to become true patriots,” she said.
“Of course, more young people now want to join the military.”
The remarks come as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are intensifying.
Putin is thought to have amassed over 100,000 troops at four locations along Russia’s border.
He has stated numerous times that the move was made in his best interests.
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