Defence minister urges Ukrainians throughout Europe to join new legion


(Reuters) – Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov urged his compatriots throughout Europe on Tuesday to sign up for a Ukrainian legion to be based in neighbouring Poland, describing it as a key step in improving battle readiness with Western help.

The creation of the unit, part of a security agreement with Poland, appeared to be a means to boost the ranks of Ukraine’s military against numerically superior Russian forces. It was announced by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Warsaw on Monday.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Despite considerable help from its Western allies and the resumption of U.S. aid after a break of several months because of disputes in Congress, Ukraine is still taking on an enemy with greater numbers of personnel and weapons.

CONTEXT

Ukraine has devised several schemes to maintain and increase personnel levels in its Armed Forces, including passage of a mobilisation law in April lowering the draft age to 25 from 27 and closing loopholes against men avoiding the draft.

Umerov said the plan would also provide Ukrainian servicemen with the most modern and sophisticated hardware available from Kyiv’s western partners.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Oleksander Kozhukhar; Editing by Richard Chang)



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