Ukraine’s military has proposed mobilizing 450,000-500,000 more Ukrainians into the Armed Forces, Zelenskyi says. Russian forces have advanced up to two kilometers in Tavria section of front lines since October. Russia has deployed a cruise missile submarine to the Black Sea, the southern group of Ukraine’s defense forces says.
Ukraine’s military proposes mobilizing 450,000-500,000 more Ukrainians into Armed Forces, Zelenskyi says
Ukraine’s top military commanders want up to 500,000 more Ukrainians to be mobilized into the Armed Forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi told an end-of-the-year news conference on Tuesday. He said the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the General Staff made the suggestion during a regular meeting that Zelenskyi holds with top government officials and military commanders.
“They have proposed to mobilize 450,000 to 500,000 extra people. That’s a very serious number. I said I would need more arguments to support this move. Because this is a question of people, justice, defense capability, and finances,” Zelenskyi said.
He said an additional UAH 500 billion (USD 13.2 billion) would be needed to support the army’s mobilization proposal.
Additional mobilization should be considered along with demobilization, he added.
“We have issues of rotation and holidays. It should be a comprehensive plan. In this plan, they have to answer my questions, and, firstly, the questions that people have. They have begun to work on the plan. As of now, I did not see demobilization in it. I believe, this is a number one question,” the President said.
It takes six Ukrainian working civilians paying taxes to pay the salary of one soldier, Zelensky said. Three million more working people are needed to be able to pay for the additional troops, he revealed.
Last month, Zelenskyi tasked the military and the government to prepare a “comprehensive mobilization plan.”
Lawmakers are working on an extensive bill that will change the draft. Asked by reporters to comment on the Defense Ministry’s recent plan to boost military recruitment, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said the old system should be brought back.
Russian forces have advanced up to two kilometers in Tavria section of front lines since October
In some areas of the Tavria section of the front lines, Russian forces have advanced one and a half up to two kilometers after more than two months of offensive operations, spokesperson for the joint press center of Ukraine’s defense forces in the Tavria direction, Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun said on national television on Wednesday, December 20.
“Since October 10 when the enemy began an offensive push [toward Avdiyivka], they have advanced one and a half up to two kilometers in some areas. But they have paid a very high price,” Shtupun said.
Russia has lost around 25,000 troops to death or injury in the area of responsibility for Ukraine’s Tavria operational strategic group, he said. Ukrainian troops have destroyed around 200 Russian tanks and more than 400 other armored vehicles there. Eighty per cent of the losses occurred on the Avdiyivka axis, according to Shtupun.
He also said that Russia has an advantage in the number of troops, but they’re not always high-quality troops. The Russians often form companies or battalions from military units that took losses, and deploy them to the front, Shtupun said.
Russia deploys cruise missile submarine to Black Sea, southern group of Ukraine’s defense forces says
On Wednesday, Russia has deployed a cruise missile submarine to the Black Sea. The vessel is able to carry as many as four Kalibr cruise missiles, the southern group of Ukraine’s defense forces said on Telegram.
“After three weeks of inaction, the enemy has deployed a cruise missile submarine to the Black Sea that is able to carry up to four Kalibr-type missiles,” the statement reads. Russia has put on combat duty five ships in the Black Sea and one in the Azov Sea.
The southern group of Ukraine’s defense forces warned of a heightened threat of missile attacks, urging citizens to observe air alarms.
This winter, the Russian navy is less active in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea than last year, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, Captain First Rank Natalia Humenyuk said earlier this week. It is highly likely that Russia is waiting for the cold weather to set in to begin attacks, she added.