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Military Reserves

Reserve service is a kind of voluntary duty status to be discharged by the citizens of Ukraine. It is established to provide the systematic training of army reservists for the purpose of procuring the Ukrainian Armed Forces with military personnel in a special period of time.

On 17 March 2014 the Rada gave assent to limited mobilization, and on May 6 to second phase of mobilization. On 02 March 2014 Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andrii Parubii declared the nationwide mobilization. "According to the decision of the NSDC, the mobilization is being held throughout the country," he said. He said that according to the mobilization plan, military registration and enlistment offices expect those willing to be mobilized in the morning. Russia's President Vladimir Putin won the approval of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on March 1 to send Russian troops into Ukraine.

The third mobilization started 22 July 2014, when the Verkhovna Rada announced the third wave of the partial military draft. The draft law on approval of the Decree of the President of Ukraine “On Partial Mobilization” (Reg. No. 4320a) was reported by the Secretary of the National Defence and Security Council Andrii Parubii. He noted that the results of analysis of the developments in the eastern Ukraine testify to the fact that Russia continues the policy of escalation of armed conflict in this region.

Limited mobilization was to be held in the territory of 24 provinces and Kyiv within 45 days. This time it was a complement of the Armed Forces, National Guard, Security Service, Border guard service etc. Only experienced servicemen and officers were drafted. They also mobilized only those people who had specialties which were in lack in the ATO zone. The third mobilization was to bring 15 military and 44 supply units in complete readiness. President’s decree came into force right after it was approved by the Parliament. Draft of commandeered persons, reservists, and supply of vehicles to meet the troops' needs was to be of the scope determined by the mobilization plans with account of the reserve.

The members of the Parliaments also increased the age limit of those who are bound to military service – from 50 to 60 years old and for the higher officers – from 55 to 65 years old.

Being a key defense factor and a source for the enhancement of military forces, the army reserves get involved into the profound transformations of the Ukrainian Army. A number of organizational arrangements for facilitation of the reservist training have been suggested. These include arranging syllabuses in compliance with the army training requirements; options for organizing training sessions; implementation of effective training methods; full training maintenance, etc.

The Ministry of Defence announced that the length of service of conscripts would be reduced to 12 months in 2005. On Nov. 18, 2010, Colonel-General Hryhoriy Pedchenko, Chief of General Staff and Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told a briefing in Kyiv that the current situation was 51 percent of privates and non-commissioned officers were under contract, and the rest conscripts. The last conscription to the Armed Forces of Ukraine was to be held in autumn of 2013. The 2013 spring conscription campaign became the last but one. Although 15,429 young men were summoned to undergo health checks, but only 750 conscripts carried their constitutional duty. Reservist obligations applied up to the age of 40, and up to the age of 60 for officers. Other sources place the reserve obligation at five years after active duty.

Reserve soldiers training
(Development Program for 2006-2011)

year Plannedamendedactual
An experiment involving creation of an army reserve force that would be in a state of constant readiness was performed in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2006. Defense Minister Anatolii Hrytsenko announced in an address at the Starokonstiatinivka air force garrison (Khmelnytskyi region). According to the press service of the Defense Ministry, the reserve would consist of 1,200 people this year. These reservists were mainly specialist officers such as pilots, marines, etc. Hrytsenko said that the number of Ukrainian army reservists had reached 6 million since independence. However, these are mainly people who had lost their abilities. Hrytsenko believed that it will be more effective for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to have over 10,000 reservists in a constant state of readiness by the year 2011.

Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko said 21 August 2007 that it was planned to have 12,000 professional reservists by late 2011. As of 2007 there had been 7 million retired soldiers, and as he pointed out, Ukraine saw no need in the amount of reservists, as it was impossible to provide them will qualified training. Thus, the number had been reduced three-fold [eg, to about 2 million]. Anatoliy Hrytsenko said the Ministry was working to form a new reserve - the level readiness reserve. These would be volunteers for the reserve service, who are to sign a contract with the Defense Ministry, they would receive money for staying in the reserve and will be examining and training monthly during a year. In particular, these could be Air Defense and Navy officers, who will be able to contribute to the work and occupy relevant positions. Anatoliy Hrytsenko said it was expected to have about 800 persons within the experiment in 2007, and by late 2011 - 12,000 of professional reservists.

However, the limited resources provided considerably decreased the pace of implementing the State Program. The plans for Reservists’ training were not executed. 6,300 Reservists were planned in 2010. At the end of the year the number was 1,681 (27% of the plan).

Ukrainian Parliament, on 21 Jan 2010, approved a new law “On amendment to the “Law of conscription and military duty” regarding serving in the military reserve component. Under the Law any Ukrainian citizen voluntarily can sign for a service in the military or another Security structure reserve. Reserve soldiers perform only part-time duties as opposed to full-time ("active duty") soldiers and their training periods are fixed by the General Staff or another equal staffs. Although the registrants are liable for military service and may be called at any time for a two-week examine or training events, reserve soldiers typically performed two continuous weeks at some time during the year (annual training).

On 23 May 2013 the Committee on National Security and Defence recommended that the Verkhovna Rada should adopt as a basis the draft law on amendments to several laws of Ukraine re service in the military reserve. The bill suggested standardize the procedure of seeing duty in the military reserve of the Armed Forces and other military unions. In particular, it was suggested to recognize military reserve service as a special kind of performance of military duty and establish at a legislative level the legal status of a reservist, as well as the requirements to seeing duty in the military reserve.

The respective amendments and supplements were to be made to the laws “On the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, “On the Defence of Ukraine”, “On mobilization preparation and mobilization”, and “On Military Duty and Military Service”. Committee members upheld the bill adoption of which would allow legislatively determine military reserve service as a special kind of performance of military duty; distinguish the notions of “reservist” and “bound to military service”; establish the mechanism of involving reservists in solving the tasks of the Armed Forces and other military unions, including during peacetime; etc. The respective bill was registered under No. 2591.

With the aim of improving the social protection of army reservists, the Ministry of Defense developed a draft Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine that refer to the military service in the reserve," which was adopted by Verkhovna Rada in the first reading by 336 votes on 02 July 2013. The adoption of the resolution will be an important complement to the social protection of the army reservists and strengthen the financial motivation to do military service in the reserve.

The Resolution proposed to increase the size of a one-time cash reward to all categories of the army reservists by UAH 600 - 1100 (due to the cash security increase approximately by 1.6 times as compared to 2006). Initially, the size of a one-time cash reward for an army reservist was UAH 1500 on the average (from 1000 to 2000 USD). After the above increase, it would be 2,400 USD on the average (from 1600 to 3100 USD). The draft Project of the State integrated program of reforms and development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provides that the number of the army reservists by the end of 2017 should reach 14,000 people. Payment of a one-time cash reward is to be made once a year and only to those reservists who have completed a training program in the relevant year (i.e. they did the reserve training exercise).

Exercises with military reservists were conducted at the separate Special Forces’ regiment of the Land Forces of Ukraine, which is stationed in Khmelnytskyi region in October 2013. The event lasted for two weeks. About 50 soldiers and officers of military service in Reserve took part in the exercises which were conducted under the guidance of deputy regiment commander. As part of exercises, it was carried out a number of theoretical and practical classes on engineer, firing, jump training, special tactics and map reading. At the end of the event, the reservists passed an exam – they overcame the scout’s combat course in groups.

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