Day 286: December 6 marks Ukrainian Armed Forces Day

December 6 marks the Ukrainian Armed Forces Day. The parliament designated December 6 as the Ukrainian Armed Forces Day in 1993.

On the same day in 1991, the parliament passed the law “On the Armed Forces of Ukraine” that entrusts the Ukrainian Armed Forces with “defending Ukraine, protecting its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence” in line with the Constitution.

Here are key facts about the Ukrainian Armed Forces and their achievements in Russia’s war against Ukraine. The following is an abridged version of an article by Novoe Vremya that we translated into English.

Record-high 96 per cent of Ukrainians trust Armed Forces

Since Russia illegally annexed Crimea and invaded Ukraine’s Donbas in 2014, the Ukrainians have had the most faith in the armed forces. Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine took it to a record level.

According to the results of a survey conducted by the Razumkov Center that were released in late October 2022, 96 per cent of Ukrainians trust the Armed Forces, making the military the most trusted institution. Ukrainians also trust the President (82 per cent), relief organizations and charities (78 per cent), and the church (70 per cent).

EUkraine’s defense forces number roughly one million, of which 70 per cent are members of Armed Forces. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Donbas in 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces numbered 140 thousand. In February 2022, that number was estimated at 246 thousand, including army civilians.

Russia loses more troops in one month than the USSR during 10 years of war in Afghanistan

In November, the Ukrainian troops took out a record-high of nearly 17 thousand (16,970) Russian soldiers, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on December 1. 

The USSR lost around 15 thousand troops killed and 54 thousand wounded during its 10-year war in Afghanistan in 1979-1989.

Russia has lost more than 90 thousand troops killed since the invasion.

En septembre, les forces armées ukrainiennes ont restitué cinq fois plus de territoire que la Russie n’en avait capturé en trois mois cet été

Ces statistiques ont été visualisées par l’agence Top Lead sur son canal Telegram UA War Infographics. Si la Russie s’est emparée d’environ 2 125 km² de territoire ukrainien en trois mois d’été (juin, juillet et août), les forces armées ukrainiennes ont libéré au moins 10 608 km² rien qu’en septembre 2022, en particulier des zones importantes de la région de Kharkiv après une contre-offensive réussie.

In September, Ukraine liberates five times more of its territories than Russia captures in three months

TopLead said in a post on Telegram channel UA War Infographics. While in June, July and August, the Russian forces seized 2,125 square kilometers of Ukrainian lands, in September, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to retake 10,608 square kilometers, including during a counteroffensive in Kharkiv region.

Ukraine’s defense forces retake 63 per cent of territories seized by Russia since invasion. Liberation of Kherson and a retreat of the Russian forces to the Dnipro’s eastern bank in Kherson region marked Ukraine’s efforts to de-occupy Russian-held Ukrainian territories.

As of November 12, Ukraine liberated 63 per cent of its territories that Russia seized since the invasion, according to data by the Institute for the Study of War.

Between February and March 2022, Russia seized some 119,000 square kilometers of land, almost one-fifth of Ukraine’s territory. Russia’s biggest gains peaked at 160,000 square kilometers that included Ukraine’s areas in Donbas seized since 2014. Ukraine’s defense forces recaptured almost half of the territories (47 per cent) after forcing the Russians out of Kyiv suburbs, the north and north-east, and part of Kherson region.    

Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi listed on Time’s 100 Most Influential People

In May 2022, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda Sevhil Musayeva were also listed as influential people on Time 100.

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley wrote of his counterpart for Time 100.

Ukraine to prevail over Russia, more than 90 per cent of Ukrainians say

Ninety-two per cent of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine will prevail over Russia, a survey conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center found. The results were released on August 22, 2022. Seventy-seven per cent firmly believe that Ukraine will win the war, and 15 per cent are rather confident that Ukraine will prevail.

A majority of Ukrainians (55 per cent) want to see the Russian forces withdrawn from all of Ukraine and its borders restored. One-fifth (20.5 per cent) say they want to see the Russian army destroyed, Russia itself dissolved or rebelling against those in power. Only 7.5 per cent of Ukrainians would agree to call victory Ukraine’s pre-February borders restored. Three per cent say they will accept end of the war even if Russia keeps some of the territories it seized during the invasion.     

Almost two-thirds (72.5 per cent) of Ukrainians said that faith in Ukraine’s victory binds the society together. Some 48.1 per cent selected “faith in a better future” as their second-choice answer.

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