News / Europe

Ukraine Votes to Call Up More Reservists

FILE - Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Heletey, third from right, raise a Ukrainian flag in downtown Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.
FILE - Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Heletey, third from right, raise a Ukrainian flag in downtown Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.
Reuters

Ukraine's parliament approved a presidential decree on Tuesday to call up more military reserves and men under 50 to fight rebels in eastern Ukraine and defend the border against a concentration of troops in Russia.

Some 45 days after the latest call-up of additional reserves, which has now expired, Kyiv repeated the decree to “declare and conduct partial mobilization” to ensure the ranks of what Ukraine calls its “anti-terrorist operation” are filled.

Ukrainian troops have forced pro-Russian rebels back to their two main strongholds, the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, slowly taking villages and city suburbs around them.

On Tuesday, heavy fighting went on around the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk near Luhansk and a security official in Kyiv said Ukraine's army was aiming to close in on the rebels in Luhansk in the coming days.

The army is under orders not to use airstrikes and artillery in the cities, complicating operations to restore control despite Kyiv's accusations that the rebels were responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner. The separatists deny the accusations.

“Russia continues its policy of escalating its armed confrontation,” Ukraine's top security official, Andriy Parubiy, told parliament before 232 deputies in the 450-seat parliament voted in favor of the decree.

Reiterating accusations leveled by Ukrainian officials against Moscow, he said: “Over the last week, close to the Ukrainian border, there has been a regrouping and build-up of forces of the Russian Federation.”

Parubiy put the numbers close to the border at 41,000 and said they were equipped with 150 tanks, 400 armored vehicles and 500 other weapon systems.

He said some of the new Ukrainian recruits would join or support combat units and some of the others would support units to help defend the border.

Growing support for NATO

Separately, the parliament also sought to raise to 60 the maximum age of Ukrainians who may be called up from military reserves in the future from the current ceiling of 50. The change needs to be approved by the president and it was not immediately clear if it would apply to the Tuesday call-up.

Russia withdrew most of the 40,000 troops it had close to the border earlier this year, reducing them to fewer than 1,000 by mid-June. But since then, it has been building up its forces again, a NATO military officer said this month.

Parubiy accused Russia of continuing to supply the rebels, who say they are fighting to win independence from Kyiv for the Donbass coal mining region.

“Such actions are classified as aggression against our state,” he said.

Moscow denies supplying the rebels.

The violent stand-off between Kyiv and pro-Russian rebels in the east, which started in April, increased support among Ukrainians for joining the European Union and NATO, an opinion poll conducted by the Raiting Group pollster showed on Tuesday.

The survey, conducted at the turn of the month, showed 44 percent in favor of joining the Western military alliance, versus 40 percent in April. The number of those opposed stood at 35 percent and was down from 46 percent in April, it said.

A different poll by the Razumkov think-tank in Kyiv in early June put support for joining NATO at 40.8 percent compared to 40.1 percent against. The pollster said the roughly equal figures mark the highest level of backing for becoming a NATO member recorded in years.

Russia vehemently opposes any NATO enlargement in the former Soviet bloc, which Moscow sees as a sphere of special interest. Kyiv says joining NATO is not on the agenda now, and there is no suggestion from the alliance that Ukrainian membership is a near-term possibility.  

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
July 22, 2014 8:56 AM
Ukraine better hurry up and win this war before winter, because the biggest weakness in it's army, (will be), how old are the batteries in his old 10,000 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, because there's nothing worse, (in subzero weather), than having 10,000 old tanks and armored fighting vehicles with old dead batteries..... you'd be a sitting duck, in a steel coffin, won't you be?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs