Threat of Russia sparked ‘patriotic’ wave of young people to join army – Ukrainian soldier

Ukrainian army recruitment soared due to Russia says Koval

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Kateryna Koval, a reserve officer in the Ukrainian armed forces and a civil activist explained that it was “great” to have seen a rush of youngsters apply to military school to join up as both full-time and reservists amid fears of a Russian invasion of the country.

Explaining the situation, Ms Koval referenced how recent years have seen huge investment in Ukraine’s armed forces and its weapons capability.

An estimated 4.12 percent of GDP was spent on the military in 2021, according to figures from the World Bank.

While major investment has also included help from the USA, which saw $450 million of security assistance sent in 2020 alone, which has bolstered confidence amongst Ukrainians.

Since 2014, when Russia invaded and subsequently Crimea, America has sent a whopping $2.5 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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But Ms Koval stressed how on the ground, the willingness of young people to sign up to the army “maximises everyday”, on-top of those already joining through conscription from the age of 18.

She noted how in the recent years a large number of people have signed up to military schools and academies to become officers in order to offer their service to the country as the threat of Russia has become more apparent.

The reservist noted: “It is great, we have lots of reserve officers now, we have special programmes for those officers.”

Ukraine’s reservist force now stands at an astonishing 900,000 troops, when couple with the regular army of around 225,000, Ukraine has a fighting force of around 1.1 million.


Ukraine should join NATO says Kateryna Koval

The officer went on to note how it is “not a secret” that many young people want to become “patriots” and head to eastern Ukraine, where a war has waged in the Donbas between Russian-backed seperatists and Government forces since 2014.

She said: “I can say that many young people would like to become real patriots…

“And of course, more young people now would like to go into the armed forces.'”

The comments come as fears are mounting of an imminent invasion by Russia into Ukraine.


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Russian President Vladimir Putin is now believed to have amassed over 100,000 troops at four locations along the country’s border.

He has repeatedly claimed that the move is to counter what he claims is increasing aggression frm NATO against Russia and its allies, he also claims NATO and its expansion threaten Russian interests.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 when soldiers bearing no insignias entered the Crimean Peninsula in an almost bloodless takeover of power.

The move was followed by the War in Donbas between Ukrainian Government forces and Russian-backed militants, 14,000 people have died in the fighting.

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