Further reduction of the size of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from 285,000 to 143,000 is stipulated in the State Program for Development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the 2006-2011 Period and Development of Arms and Military Equipment in until 2009.

Commenting on the reform of the Armed Forces on Thursday, acting Defense Minister Anatoly Grytsenko said that the provisions of the program outline concrete tasks for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the period of preparation for their implementation in times of peace and war, and the relevant compositions of military units.

Among other things, Ukraine will have rapid-reaction forces with a size of about 23,000 that will perform tasks within and outside Ukraine.

Out of these, 6,000 will be in constant battle readiness.

The main Ukrainian defense force will have strength of up to 120,000.

The Armed Forces is requesting 1.6 billion US dollars for financing implementation of the program next year.

According to Grytsenko, the relevant draft law has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and while two parliamentary committees have held hearings on it.


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