Verkhovna Rada votes to increase the UAF troop strength

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3/5/2015

Verkhovna Rada increases the size of UAF to quarter million

UAF to receive 11 brigades, 4 regiments, 18 battalions, 16
companies, and 13 platoons

By Yuliya Mai

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

With 270 votes in favor, the Verkhovna Rada supported
President’s proposal to increase the size of the UAF to 250 thousand, including
204 thousand military servicemembers.

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“The increase in UAF size is necessary if it is fulfill its
function of defending Ukraine, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and
inviolability. The UAF is forming two operational commands, 11 brigades, 4
regiments, 18 battalions, 16 separate companies, and 13 platoons of various
specialization,” says the explanatory note.

It was also announced that once the ATO is concluded and the
UAF demobilizes, the size of the military will be reduced “in accordance with
the military and political situation.”

J.Hawk’s Comment: This is either a joke, a bluff, or something serious. No way can Ukraine’s economy sustain that kind of a military effort. The units mentioned in the article are new units, being formed out of the 4th wave of mobilization, for the most part motorized infantry with very little armor and artillery. Maintaining a force of this size would also imply stopping the demobilization that is supposed to begin in the spring of 2015, which would lead to major discipline problems. 

Therefore it is more likely Poroshenko and Rada and bluffing for the benefit of internal constituencies (the extremists, especially), but also Russia, Novorossia, and the international community. Still, given that Kiev is prone to self-destructive policies, one cannot rule out yet another attempt to force a military solution. 

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