Ukraine has concentrated military groupings on the border with Crimea and Transdniestria, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said addressing the military on Friday.
“We have focused powerful groupings in the direction of Crimea and unrecognized Transdniestria,” he said.
“We have increased the real rather than ‘paper’ strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We have created groups of troopers who cover of all potentially dangerous directions, including from the sides of Crimea and unrecognized Transdniestria,” the Ukrainian president said adding that it was the purpose why Ukraine had to carry out several mobilization campaigns and increase the numerical strength of its armed forces.
Poroshenko also said that Ukraine had increased its military budget, which is to reach 5% of the GDP (about 100 billion hryvnias) in 2016.
Earlier, Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff, announced plans for the seventh round of mobilization in Ukraine due early in 2016.
“In accordance with the rotation and mobilization plans, the servicemen drafted this year will be transferred to the reserve early next year when the next 7th round of mobilization is due to start,” the Ukrainian president said.
Ukraine has seen six rounds of partial mobilization. In mid-October 2015, President Petro Poroshenko promised that no new mobilization campaigns would take place in autumn except for military conscription. For the moment, the Ukrainian army is staffed with soldiers recruited in the fourth, fifth and sixth mobilization campaigns. Men who were drafted during the first, second and third rounds of mobilization would be recruited anew if the seventh mobilization campaign starts.
According to Ukraine’s defense minister, the strength of Ukrainian army has nearly doubled over the past year to 280,000 people. Seventy thousand Ukrainian troopers are deployed on the disengagement line in Donbas.