Ukraine president planning to add 100,000 troops to army

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday signed a decree that increases the country’s armed forces by 100,000 troops, along with increasing pay for troops over three years.

Zelenskiy said his decision was “not because we will soon have a war … but so that soon and in the future there will be peace in Ukraine,” according to Reuters

Overall, Ukraine’s armed forces comprise about 250,000 troops, while Russia has around 900,000.

To bolster its preparations, Ukraine has also said it was working alongside Poland and Britain “in the context of ongoing Russian aggression,” Reuters added.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said his country would help Ukraine with gas, arms and humanitarian aid in the event of an attack, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was scheduled to meet with Zelensky on Tuesday.

“We urge Russia to step back and engage in dialogue to find a diplomatic resolution and avoid further bloodshed,” Johnson said ahead of the meeting, Reuters reported. 

“As a friend and a democratic partner, the U.K. will continue to uphold Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of those who seek to destroy it,” the prime minister added.

These remarks come as Russia has amassed some 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. 

Though Moscow denies intentions of aggression, the White House too is preparing for the possibility of an invasion after President Biden announced last week that U.S. troops would be sent to the region in the “near term.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday said that Russia would not have amassed such a significant military presence near Ukraine without the intention of using it.

“We’ve seen the Russian playbook before. They are using disinformation. They’re encouraging Ukrainians not to worry about an attack, but we know that the attack is possible,” Thomas-Greenfield said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“You don’t amass 100,000 troops if you don’t have intentions to use them,” she added.

Tags Boris Johnson Joe Biden Linda Thomas-Greenfield Russia-Ukraine conflict Volodymyr Zelensky

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