Ukraine requires 250,000 recruits to sustain defense, says battalion commander

Serhii Filimonov
Serhii Filimonov

Ukraine's defense efforts require the mobilization of at least 250,000 individuals to maintain combat effectiveness, said Serhii Filimonov, leader of the "Honor" youth movement and commander of legendary Da Vinci Wolves battalion in an interview with TSN on Feb. 12.

"We simply will not be able to fight without mobilizing at least 250,000 people," Filimonov said, noting the urgency of reinforcing Ukraine's military ranks with trained fighters and those with combat experience.

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Filimonov referenced former commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi's estimate of needing up to 500,000 recruits and stressed the importance of current soldiers passing on their knowledge to new recruits. He pointed out the challenges new soldiers would face if experienced fighters were lost to injuries, psychological burnout, or death.

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Ukraine does not require active offensive actions this year but should focus on building defense, accumulating weapons, training personnel, and mobilizing more forces, according to Filimonov.

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Filimonov took command of the Da Vinci Wolves battalion, part of the 59th Brigade on Feb. 6. Previous battalion commander of the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade and Hero of Ukraine, Dmytro Kotsyubailo (callsign ‘Da Vinci’), was killed in March 2023 in battle near Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, at the age of 27.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, citing military recommendations, mentioned the potential mobilization of an additional 450-500 thousand personnel on Dec. 19. This figure was formulated based on current and projected needs for 2024, as announced by then Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi at the year's end.

Following Zaluzhnyi's dismissal, President Zelenskyy appointed Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief, tasking him and his team with revising mobilization strategies, recruitment, troop rotations, and front line management.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine