Yanukovych says Ukraine's Armed Forces to be reduced, professional army to be formed

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Dec. 6, 2012, 1:26 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

A Ukrainian army soldier voting in Kyiv on February 7, 2010 (pictured). President Viktor Yanukovych wants the Armed Forces to focus on training rather than numbers. The size of the army will be reduced, and military service scrapped by 2017.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has stated that the country's Armed Forces will be reduced further and a professional army will be formed in Ukraine.

"An analysis of recent military conflicts shows that victory depends not on the size of the army, but on a high level of training, equipment, and professionalism," the president said at an event to mark the 21st anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the Officers' House in Kyiv.

In connection with this, the president said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces' tasks, structure, and system would be revised.

"Their size will be reduced noticeably, we will suspend the draft, and start forming the army only according to contracts," Yanukovych said.

As reported, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine developed reform of the Armed Forces that foresees the reduction of the size of the army during the next five years from 192,000 to 70,000 servicemen, as well as the cancellation of compulsory military service by 2017.

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