Men willing to defend the country have been queuing at recruiting offices all over the country for three days already. Due to a difficult situation in Crimea, Ukrainians are coming together again and rallying to repel the common threat. After the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) announced the decision to put the armed forces on combat readiness, mobilization to the armed forces started. As recruiting officers explain to those who come to them voluntarily, they are now conducting a partial rather than a general mobilization. That is, they are so far just collecting contacts of those ready to defend Ukraine. The NSDC secretary Andrii Parubii said as much at his briefing on March 1: the Armed Forces will first call up those who are needed and as many as are needed. Volunteer enlistees will make up a reserve just in case.
Those whom the military needs right now have already been called up, by phone or by mailed summons. These are signalers or individuals with certain military occupational specialties. They are now in training. Meanwhile, volunteers who care about life and the future of the country are coming to recruiting offices of their own accord. The country saw greatest activity on March 2, as many rushed to sign up immediately after the national leadership’s decision on the mobilization. It is often said now that we are witnessing an exceptional situation where recruits are queuing at recruiting offices instead of recruiting officers chasing them.
“I was at the recruitment office of Solomiansky district on March 3, and recruiting officers told us that signing up started as early as March 1. As much as 10 people were in front of me in the queue, they were men aged 40 to 50, from many walks of life, some of them colonels or lieutenant colonels,” reserve officer Yurii Yushchenko told The Day. “They asked everyone if he wanted to leave his contacts, and it is said that some refused, then what was the point of their coming there? I know there are those who would evade service citing their loved ones’ wishes, and have heard that some wives just do not let their husbands sign up because they are afraid. But I swore an oath of loyalty to the Ukrainian people, and even without it still would have come there for patriotic reasons.”
The Day was trying to figure out how many Ukrainians volunteered to defend the country, but the Kyiv Regional Recruitment Office told us that such information, in accordance with military doctrine and other legal acts, was not to be disclosed, except by an official request to the Ministry of Defense. All who are now signing up as reservists will be called up when the country’s leadership will formally announce a general mobilization. Yushchenko explained to us that even then, there will be a list of persons who cannot be spared from their jobs and drafted into the military, including, for example, those working on strategically important facilities.