Ukraine's military size nearly 6 times larger than before beginning of conflict

Ukraine's military size nearly 6 times larger than before beginning of conflict

The president says the national military consists of 700,000 people.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Ukrainian military's size is now almost six times larger than it was at the beginning of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

There was an army of more than 250,000 or 260,000 troops in Ukraine before the start of the Russian military operation in late February, Zelensky told Ukraine 24 on Friday.

The president said in early 2022 that he d given an order to increase the number of soldiers by another 100,000, no matter if we had the money or not. He acknowledged that even those numbers weren't enough to stop the Russian military.

Now you see the results of the work of 700,000 who are fighting, he said.

After the war began, Zelensky ordered a general mobilization of all men aged between 18 and 60 to stay in the country and fight.

A law was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament this week calling for males who still managed to flee and didn't return to the country within 30 days to be deprived of their citizenship.

Russia attacked its neighboring state almost three months ago, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied it plans to retake the two republics by force.