Ukrainian army composed of 75% contract servicemen - president
Seventy-five percent of the people who now serve in the Ukrainian army are contract servicemen, and over 20,000 servicemen are expected to join them before the end of the year, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.
"The formation of a professional, contract army became a priority this year. On average, up to 6,000 contract servicemen join the Armed Forces every month. Over 46,000 contract servicemen have joined the army since January, and we expect over 20,000 other people by the end of the year. An overwhelming majority of them sign long-term contracts. As of today, contract servicemen account for 75% of the army," Poroshenko said during a military parade marking the 25th anniversary of Ukraine's independence in Kyiv on Wednesday.
The president said the formation of a military reserve now continues and now comprises over 80,000 people. State-of-the-art modernized and repaired weapons and pieces of military equipment are being provided to the troops.
"It's true that we cannot always get what we want and need. In the meantime, there is still a big divide between what is needed and what we can afford. We will need years and dozens of billions to sleep calmly," the president said.
"However, you will see the real progress of the country in strengthening its defense potential right now," Poroshenko said.