As ordered by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, a million-strong fighting force has been amassed in the country to recapture its southern areas, which have previously been taken by Russian forces, defense minister Alexey Reznikov has told The Times.
“We understand that, politically, it’s very necessary for our country. The president has given the order to the supreme military chief to draw up plans,” he said in an interview published on Sunday.
“We’re people of the free world and with a real sense of justice and liberty. We have approximately 700,000 in the armed forces and when you add the national guard, police, border guard, we are around a million strong,” the minister added.
Reznikov praised the British effort to help Ukraine, especially Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, who, according to him, was key to helping shift the approach from providing Soviet equipment to NATO-standard 155mm artillery, guided multiple launch rocket systems and high-tech drones.
This, Reznikov explained, will make up for heavy losses in the Donbass region in the face of mass Russian artillery shelling. President Zelensky previously said Ukraine was losing some 200 men a day in the area.