Reforms in Ukraine: Soldiers get new weapons as contract army announced in Ukraine (photo)

13:20 Oct. 15, 2016

Soldiers get new weapons as contract army announced in Ukraine (photo)

Poroshenko addressing soldiers in Kharkiv (UNIAN Photo)

Kyiv promises, only contract soldiers will be deployed in conflict zone soon

Ukrainian army has received more than 150 military vehicles and weapons including upgraded tanks T-64 and T-80 along with artillery systems and trucks.

In addition, the armed forces have received several modernized helicopters Mi-24, equipped with Ukraine-manufactured engines, transport helicopters Mi-8 and fighter jets MiG-29, SU-25, SU-27 plus a transport plane An-26.

Read also: Donbas militants have more tanks and artillery than German army - President Poroshenko

A welcome replacement for the aircraft lost in fighting with the Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbas.

President Poroshenko, who was present at the ceremony in Kharkiv, said that Ukrainian armed forces have become one of the most experienced and efficient armies in the world.

‘We are seeing changes not only at the command level of the army, but in every division too, and it's simply impossible not to notice the changes, even though sometimes they don't happen as fast as we'd like', Poroshenko said.

Vowing to bring Ukrainian armed forces up to speed with NATO standards, the President announced a new era for all soldiers.

Read also: Ukrainian army is becoming the most efficient in Europe - Turchynov

‘Over the last 15 years many politicians promised to switch to a contract army, but I emphasize, Ukrainian armed forces will become contract, volunteer since the end of October', Poroshenko stressed, adding, that the 6th mobilization wave was the last.

Ukraine used to rely on conscript soldiers in the past, but as of late we are switching towards a contract base. As the country's Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said, more than 57 thousand people signed an agreement with the armed forces in the first 9 months of 2016.

Around 5-7 thousand people join the ranks of the army every month.

Poltorak promised, after the 6th wave is demobilized, only contract soldiers will be deployed in the conflict zone.  

After the ceremony ended, Poroshenko went to the conflict zone to meet with the soldiers, who soon will be demobilized.

Source: (in Ukrainian)

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