On 1 January 2022, the Law of Ukraine “On the Fundamentals of National Resistance” came into force. It was approved by parliament and signed by the Head of State last summer.

The document regulates the development of territorial defence, the organisation of the resistance movement, and the corresponding training of Ukrainian citizens for national resistance. At the same time, the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is increasing by 11,000 people, including 10,000 for the Territorial Defence Forces and 1,000 for the Special Operations Forces.

The Territorial Defence Forces are withdrawn from the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and receive separate funding. They are assigned the leading role in organising and fulfilling the tasks of the territorial defence of Ukraine.

The day before, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba noted on Twitter that Ukraine would defend itself from the Russian Federation, even if Western countries chose a policy of appeasing the aggressor.

“Ukraine has been defending itself from the ongoing Russian aggression for almost eight years now. Not being a NATO member. We are capable of defending ourselves. If the West falters and chooses appeasement, we will still defend ourselves, our right to exist and choose our own future,” the Minister wrote.

As a reminder, the Russian government continues its policy of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs related to its sovereign territories, without recognising itself as a party to the conflict.

Thus, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov openly threatened, saying that the Kremlin intends to “give an adequate response” in the event of any action in Donbas, which it considers “provocation.”

“As for the residents of Donbas, where hundreds of thousands of our citizens live, Russia will take all necessary measures to protect them,” the Minister said in an interview with Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti on 31 December.

At the same time, Lavrov did not specify on what grounds Moscow dictates to Kyiv how to act on the territory of its own state. The Minister once again rebuked Western countries for cooperating with Ukraine in order to strengthen its security, calling the aid support for the militaristic aspirations of the Ukrainian government.

Bohdan Marusyak

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