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Territorial defense units in all regions to be staffed by 70% or more by Feb end- defense minister

KYIV. Jan 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – By the end of February, territorial defense units in all regions will be staffed by 70% or more, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.

“In the border regions, territorial defense units are already staffed by 70% peacetime staff. This makes it possible to perform the necessary tasks. By the end of February, units in all regions will be staffed by 70% or more,” Reznikov said during the “hour of questions to the government” in the Verkhovna Rada on Friday.

The Minister informed that the deployment of territorial defense will take place in three conditional stages.

“All the necessary units – from the command to almost 150 battalions – have already been created at the district level. They are manned by peacetime personnel and their places of deployment are being arranged. The deployment will take place in three conditional stages. The first stage is the creation of a command and management core, which is 10,000 professional servicemen,” Reznikov explained.

The second stage, he pointed out, is the staff of a special period, which will total about 130,000 people.

“These are civilians who will be selected and will sign a contract to serve in the territorial defense reserve. They will be under the command of the military. The state will assign weapons to them and will conduct training and coordination,” Reznikov said.

According to him, work on the deployment of the special period staff is already underway, and the Ministry of Defense, together with the General Staff, have reduced the list of documents that were needed for enrollment in the reserve, in particular, an application, passport, identification code and military ID, if any, are required for this.

“The third component is the volunteer formations of territorial communities. They can be created in small settlements only if such an initiative is taken by the command of the territorial defense forces, and the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine makes an appropriate decision. They will act according to the tasks of the relevant military leaders of the territorial defense forces,” the minister said.

Reznikov said that in February, exercises are planned on a regional basis with the participation of heads of local authorities and self-government to work out the interaction of “east-north-south and west.”