#World News

Ukraine lowers combat call-up age to boost numbers

The move will allow Ukraine to call up more people to replenish its reserves, after volunteer numbers dropped.

Mr Zelensky said in December that 500,000 more soldiers were needed.

Although the bill was voted through by MPs in May 2023, it did not come into force because Mr Zelensky did not sign it.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the president to sign the bill on Tuesday, however he has previously warned of plans Russia may have to launch a spring or summer offensive this year.

Mr Zelensky’s signing of the bill could signify Ukraine’s effort to build up strong defensive fortifications in preparation for a Russian offensive.

Ukrainian forces had hoped to take back swathes of territory gained by Russia as well as cutting off Russian supply lines to Crimea.

But lacking air superiority and faced with formidable Russian defences, Kyiv’s counter-offensive ground to a halt at the start of winter and there are fears that Russian forces could outgun Ukraine.

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