Women join Ukraine's army in huge numbers as Russian threat looms

WION Web Team
Ukraine Updated: Jan 29, 2022, 01:52 PM(IST)

A military exercise (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Women have been serving in Ukraine's army since 1993 including in combat roles. According to a report, the number of women in the Ukrainian army has more than doubled since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea.

According to reports, women have joined Ukraine's army in large numbers including thousands of civilians as threat of war with Russia looms over the country.

The women have been drafted into the army reserves and have been receiving basic training. In December last year, Ukraine's defence ministry had declared women between 18 and 60 were "fit for military service".

The move is being seen as a "powerful signal to Moscow", Ukraine's lawmaker Oleksandra Ustinova said it was not about conscription but was "logical, timely and sensible” with thousands of Russian troops massed at Ukraine's border.

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Over 31,000 women reportedly serve in Ukraine's defence forces with women from various professions asked to register for possible military service. The professions include musicians, veterinarians, librarians and journalists, 

The new law states that women between the ages of 20 and 40 can be mobilised as regular soldiers and those between  20 to 50 can become officers. However, there are exceptions for women with children including full-time students and graduates.

Women have been serving in Ukraine's army since 1993 including in combat roles. According to a report, the number of women in the Ukrainian army has more than doubled since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea.

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There are 109 women who serve as platoon commanders in Ukraine's armed forces with 900 women officers in command positions with 13,000 women fulfilling the role of combatants.

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Ukraine has 255,000 soldiers on active duty with 900,000 reservists who are expected to play a key role if hostilities break out with Russia.

Russia has over 1 million personnel on active duty with 378,000 reserve personnel and 250,000 paramilitary troops. 

Russia has a gigantic budget to sustain its armed forces. A US congressional report two years ago stated that the country's military expenditures ranged between $60 billion and $65 billion a year which was roughly 4 per cent of its GDP.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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