Ukraine aims to amass ‘million-strong army’ to recapture south, says defence minister

Image credit: BBC

According to the defence minister, Ukraine intends to liberate the country’s southern region from occupying Russian forces with a “million-strong army” armed with NATO weapons.

According to Oleksii Reznikov, retaking the regions near the Black Sea coast was essential for the nation’s economy.

The comments from the military minister come as Russia advances in annexing land in the eastern Donbas region.

At least 22 people were killed in an attack on a residential building on Sunday, with more bodies possibly trapped under the rubble.

At the site of the five-story building in Chasiv Yar, close to the city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region that has been the focus of a Russian offensive, rescuers are still searching for survivors.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Mr. Reznikov lauded the UK for playing a “key” role in helping Ukraine move from receiving Soviet-era weapons to Nato-standard air defence systems and ammunition.

For the sake of saving our soldiers’ lives, we urgently need more. We risk losing 100 soldiers daily while waiting for howitzers, explained he.

“We have about 700,000 in the military forces, and when you add the national guard, police, and border guard, we are around a million strong,” the defence minister claimed.

The Royal United Services Institute’s senior research fellow, Dr. Jack Watling, issued a warning on the statistic.

The counterattack won’t involve a force of a million people, Mr. Watling.

By making the announcement public, you are partially requiring the Russians to commit more resources to thwart this threat. Normally, you would want an operational surprise when you launch a counterattack.

The regional governor reported that residential areas in the eastern city of Kharkiv were hit by Russian shells, resulting in three fatalities and 28 injuries.