Ukraine backs mobilization of troops in east

2015-01-16 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Ukraine’s parliament has approved a mass military mobilization amid allegations that thousands of Russian troops have invaded the east where separatists have sharply increased their activities. The measures come amid confusion over who is in control over the strategic airport area in Donetsk. 

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos:

Ukrainian legislators agreed to a partial conscription, as authorities want 100,000 reservists mobilised to strengthen the frontline.

Parliament backed a decree by President Petro Poroshenko to replace long-serving troops on the front and bring in veterans from the reserve. It also passed a law increasing the maximum age for compulsory military service from 25 to 27.

“We are seeing the resumption by the enemy of full-scale attacks and advance by the rebels and Russian troops, resulting in a full-scale continental war,” said Oleksandr Turchynov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council. 

RUSSIAN TROOPS

He also told Parliament that "8,500 Russian regular forces have now been deployed" in eastern Ukraine, charges Moscow denies.

Fighting has intensified with Russian-backed separatists claiming to have captured the shattered remains of the Donetsk airport terminal in eastern Ukraine, waving a flag over at least one building. 

Ukraine's military denies it lost control over the airport. 

Yet, the latest clashes have been dashing hopes for a lasting peace agreement in a conflict that killed more than 4,700 people. A planned peace summit was already called off this week. 

(from Vatican Radio)