Zelensky called the number of participants in hostilities on the side of Ukraine

Ukraine needs a larger army than before the start of the Russian special operation, Zelensky said. Now 700 thousand people are participating in the hostilities on the side of Kyiv

700 thousand people take part in the hostilities against Russian forces in Ukraine, they are deployed throughout the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview TV channel «Ukraine 24».

«Today it is 700 thousand»,— he said (quote from Ukrayinska Pravda).

Zelensky expressed confidence that Ukraine needs an army significantly larger than the previous 250-260 thousand people. He added that this was the reason for the signing in early February of a decree that provided for an increase in the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 100,000 people over three years.

The President of Ukraine noted that Russian forces before the start of the special operation, troops were transferred to the Crimea, Belarus and other areas, and “today, no country in Europe could cope with such a volume.” Russia did not name the number of troops participating in the military operation in Ukraine.

An end to hostilities between Russian and Ukrainian forces will be put through diplomacy, Zelensky is sure. In his opinion, “the victory will be very difficult, it will be bloody, it will definitely be in battle, but the ending will definitely be in diplomacy.” He explained that there are “some things” that can only be completed through dialogue, because Kyiv wants to “return everything” and Moscow “wants not to give everything back.”

The head of Ukraine's military intelligence, Kirill Budanov, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that Kyiv intends to fight until the Russian forces leave the country. “I don’t know any borders [of Ukraine], except for the borders of 1991,” — he emphasized.

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At the end of last May, against the background of the aggravation of the situation around Ukraine, Kyiv proposed to increase the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from 250,000 to 261,000 people. The relevant bill was submitted to the Rada and adopted. At the end of July, Zelensky signed it.

Later, on February 1, the President of Ukraine signed a decree on the creation of 20 army brigades as part of the country's armed forces and an increase in the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 100,000 people over three years. The document also consolidated the process of the country's transition to a professional army, an increase in the minimum wage for a military man to a level of at least three minimum wages, an increase in the duration of contracts and other measures.

“This decree is so that soon and in the future there will be peace, peace in Ukraine,” — Zelensky explained.

Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine on the night of February 24th. President Vladimir Putin justified his actions with the desire for “denazification and demilitarization” neighboring state, claiming that official Kyiv pursued a policy of “genocide” civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine, in response, severed diplomatic relations with Russia, declared martial law and mobilization.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that since the start of hostilities, 174 Ukrainian aircraft were destroyed, 125 helicopters, 966 unmanned aerial vehicles, 315 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3182 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 402 multiple rocket launchers, 1614 field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as 3054 units of special military vehicles.

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