Parliament of Ukraine Passes Bill to Increase Size of Armed Forces


The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed two presidential bills that increase the size of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 11,000 people (up to 261,000) and lays foundations of national resistance (creation of territorial defence).

The draft law on national resistance regulates the development of territorial defence, the organisation of resistance movement in the occupied territory while repelling armed aggression and training Ukrainian citizens.

A new division is expected to appear within the Armed Forces of Ukraine – the Territorial Defence Forces. In addition, territorial defence will have a civilian component (state and local authorities) and a military-civil component (headquarters of territorial defence zones, voluntary formations of territorial communities).

The general leadership of the national resistance will be exercised by the President of Ukraine, and directed – by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces through the Commander of the Territorial Defence Forces.

In peacetime, the Territorial Defence Forces will be staffed by contract servicepersons and conscript officers. Those bound to service and reservists will join in special periods. Voluntary formations of territorial communities will be formed from volunteers.

The law is scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2022.

Bohdan Marusyak

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