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Zelenskyy says he’s weighing Ukrainian navy’s request for mobilization of as much as 500,000 troops

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s navy desires to mobilize as much as 500,000 extra troops to combat Russia’s invasion, however Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Tuesday that he has requested them to spell out their plans intimately on what’s “a really delicate matter” earlier than deciding whether or not he grants their want because the conflict approaches the two-year mark.

Such a significant mobilization would price Ukraine round 500 billion hryvnias ($13.4 billion), Zelenskyy stated. Different points to be thought of embrace whether or not troops at the moment on the entrance line could be rotated or allowed residence depart after virtually 22 months of full-scale conflict.

Ukrainian Ministry of Protection statistics say the Ukrainian military had almost 800,000 troops in October. That does not embrace Nationwide Guard or different items. In complete, 1 million Ukrainians are in uniform.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the nation’s navy to extend the variety of troops by almost 170,000 to a complete of 1.32 million.

Russia, Ukraine’s far larger neighbor, outguns and outnumbers Kyiv’s forces.

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The round 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) entrance line has barely budged this 12 months as a Ukrainian counteroffensive ran up towards sturdy Russian defenses. Now, with winter setting in, troop actions are being slowed by unhealthy climate, inserting grater emphasis on the usage of artillery, missiles and drones.

Putin stated earlier Tuesday that the Kremlin’s forces have taken the initiative in Ukraine and is nicely positioned for the approaching 12 months.

Zelenskyy, talking at a year-end information convention, insisted that the Kremlin’s forces had failed of their efforts to occupy extra of Ukraine since their full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

It wasn’t doable to independently confirm battlefield claims by both aspect.

Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine has acquired further Patriot surface-to-air programs and superior NASAMS anti-aircraft programs, offering medium- to long-range protection towards Russian missile assaults, however declined to supply extra particulars.

They are going to assist fend off anticipated Russian assaults on Ukraine’s energy grid over the winter.

Amid indicators of conflict fatigue amongst Ukraine’s Western allies, Zelenskyy stated that he was assured that america and European Union would make good on their guarantees of offering Ukraine with extra navy and monetary assist subsequent 12 months — an important problem for Kyiv because it fights its bigger foe.

In different developments:

— The U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, stated Tuesday that his company has confirmed greater than 10,000 civilian deaths in Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began. The quantity contains greater than 560 kids, he stated.

“The true toll might be considerably increased,” he stated.

Additionally, Türk stated that his workplace is investigating six new reported {cases} of Russian troopers allegedly killing civilians in Ukraine.

Because the begin of all-out conflict in Ukraine, the Russian navy has repeatedly used missiles to blast civilian targets throughout the nation, with devastating penalties.

— The toll the conflict is taking over the Ukrainian economic system was clear in figures printed Tuesday that confirmed the amount of Ukraine’s items exports via November was 19.3% decrease than in the identical interval final 12 months.

The drop was due largely to Russia’s “blockade of seaports and Russian assaults on our export transport logistics,” Ukrainian Economic system Minister Yulia Svyrydenko tweeted.

Nonetheless, a current uptick in sea exports got here after Ukraine created a brief grain hall within the Black Sea and launched a ship insurance coverage mechanism, she stated, including that the expansion bodes nicely for subsequent 12 months.


Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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