As Moscow’s troops mass on borders, Ukrainians encouraged to join territorial defense forces

11 January 2022, 09:49 AM

Ukraine’s newly created territorial defense forces are encouraging Ukrainians to join their ranks and present a united front against a possible Russian invasion.  

Ukrainian Territorial Defense Brigadier-General Yuriy Halushkin said Ukraine’s citizens could join the fight against Russia if Moscow decides to attack

“An armed and trained nation, ready for counteraction, is capable of killing any desire on the part of an enemy soldier to seize and, moreover, hold on to territory where the population will resist,” Halushkin said.

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“To put it plainly, by just evoking the thought of downed assault helicopters and columns of burned military equipment that crossed the border, we can cause a Russian soldier’s fighting spirit to be multiplied by zero. That is incredibly valuable.”

 What do we know about Ukrainian territorial defense?

 Ukrainian territorial defense forces were created as a separate army unit on Jan. 1, 2022, to be led by Brigadier-General Halushkin. They are a volunteer force that will serve as partisans if there is a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.

The backbone of the force is expected to be Ukrainians with previous experience of serving in the army, or in law enforcement. Those without previous service experience will be able to join after taking an oath, as well as a medical, professional, and psychological check. They will also be required to sign a contract.

According to the Law on National Resistance, territorial defense brigades will be set up in each city with a population of over 900,000 inhabitants. These battalions will be created in the administrative center of each Ukrainian region, with additional units formed in territorial defense zones with a population of 2.5 million inhabitants.

 These units should be created by Feb. 15, 2022.

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