We can and will do it – Ukraine’s top army chief has reassured all with regard to withstanding a possible new Russian military incursion.

“It doesn’t matter what the Russian Federation’s plans are. The Armed Forces will do their job and fulfil their duty,” Lieutenant General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander of the Armed Forces has said in an interview carried by Ukrinform.

Speaking at the side-lines of the NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels on Jan. 13, he expressed satisfaction and gratitude that the Ukrainian Army was included in the schedule, and that allies were well up to date on the situation within and near Ukraine.

More than 4,000 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine sacrificed their lives to make Ukraine what it is today,

Zaluzhnyi noted, adding that “we have already paid a terrible price” in this war against Russian aggression.

As to his assessment of an imminent threat from Russian forces, he stressed that operations have been ongoing since 2014 to defend Ukraine, and that the army is always ready to defend Ukrainian territory.


With regard to present numbers of Russian forces within and near Ukraine, the Commander said the Russian Federation has a serious and significant army that might be counted as 100,000 servicemen one day and 780,000 a week later.

In this context he expressed gratitude to the NATO alliance for political support and leverage to deter and demotivate further Russian incursions while Ukrainian troops stand physically on the ground to deter aggression and to defend freedom if called upon.

Answering a question about Russia's superior number of tanks, the Commander revealed that in a recent exercise to test Javelin and home manufactured anti-tank systems the Army destroyed a convoy of seven equivalent Russian tanks in 36 seconds much to the surprise of invited observers.

Speaking in a military and not a political context, Zaluzhnyi conveyed that the Ukrainian Army has “mastered more than 300 NATO standards” and continues to make progress towards parity and interoperability with the NATO coalition of 30 nations. He understands that his task is to keep improving standards to make it easier for politicians to agree a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO whenever such political dialogues occur.


Another ongoing task within the military is the replacement of old restrictive Soviet approaches with modern effective and efficient systems and procedures so that Ukrainian forces begin to think and act like Western partners.

There is also the need to replace restrictive Soviet approaches with modern effective and efficient procedures to align Ukrainian and Allied thinking, standards and activities

As another measure of support to the army President Zelensky has approved the “Doctrine for the Use of Territorial Defense Forces,” according to Zaluzhnyi. This and work to develop new volunteer units will transform and reorganise national defences by training citizens to swiftly meet the defensive requirements of their local districts and also to defend their families.

The Commander of the Armed Forces expressed the hope that allies will continue to use political deterrence and leverage measures to avoid appeasement misjudgements that were made before wars in 1939, 2008 with Georgia and 2014 in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.


He encouraged allies to persist in supporting the rights of Ukraine and he reiterated his reassurance that the Ukrainian army will perform  its duty reliably.

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