Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, said that the system of territorial defense which is being established in the country will make it possible to train 500,000 soldiers as reservists for the army.
Speaking at a training ground in the Chernihiv province where territorial defense drills were taking place, the NSDC secretary said that the reserve training system developed by the General Staff should provide Ukraine with “a powerful half-million strong army, capable of reliably protecting the country from any aggressor,” the NSDC’s press service reported.
“The development of a territorial defense system must ensure that under the conditions of a special period, that is, under conditions of large-scale military opposition, every region and every city is transformed into an impenetrable fortress,” Turchynov said.
The NSDC secretary also noted that young people and veterans of the military operation in the Donbas are working side by side in the training exercises. Such cooperation is “an important component of a patriotic upbringing,” he observed.
The Northern Fortress drills will take place over two weeks, not far from Ukraine’s border with Belarus. The primary participants are persons liable for military service who are in reserve.
Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, who was present at the drills, said that the territorial defense brigade will help to “double the country’s defensive capabilities, train the patriotically inclined population, and form a security belt in Ukraine,” Interfax-Ukraine reported.