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Minister of Defense on mobilization, return of Crimea and weapon - Interview with WELT and Bild

Minister of Defense on mobilization, return of Crimea and weapon - Interview with WELT and Bild Photo: Defense Minister of Ukraine Rustem Umerov (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, gave an interview with Western media, where he talked about plans to enlist men into the army who are living abroad. He also shared optimistic forecasts regarding the return of Crimea and discussed the support from allies.

For details on what Umerov said in the interview with WELT and Bild, read the material on RBС-Ukraine below.

As reported by the media, in search of additional forces, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine plans to enlist men living abroad into military service next year.

According to him, Ukrainian men of conscription age, from 25 to 60 years old in Germany and other countries, will be asked to appear at the draft offices. He emphasized that this is about invitations.

However, Umerov noted that sanctions await those who do not comply with this requirement, and discussions on this matter are ongoing.

"We are still discussing what will happen if they do not come voluntarily. Fairness is important. In the future, it should be clear in advance how they will be trained and equipped, where and when they will serve, and when they will be released," the minister is quoted by WELT.

The Minister of Defense also indicated that he has no sympathy for those who refuse military service on conscientious grounds: "Advocating for your country and serving it is not punishment. It is an honor."

According to his statements, since the start of the full-scale invasion by Russia on February 24, 2022, 221,571 Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 have arrived in Germany, i.e., of the conscription age. Currently, 189,484 of them are in the country.

Updated. Chief of the Press and Information Department at the Ministry of Defense, Ilarion Pavliuk, clarified Umerov's statement in a comment to RBC-Ukraine. He noted that there is no discussion on the agenda regarding conscription of men from abroad.

"There is no discussion of conscription from abroad on the agenda. If Ukrainian citizens abroad want to join (the army - ed.), they come to Ukraine and join," he stated in a comment.

About military plans and the return of Crimea in 2024

As reported by Western media, despite reports of a confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, the minister is full of optimism. He is convinced that the Crimean Peninsula, occupied by Russia in 2014, can be liberated next year.

"I am 100 percent sure. This is our strategic goal," stated Umerov.

He also mentioned that he was born a Crimean Tatar far from his homeland in Central Asia because the "Soviet authorities deported the entire population." Today, the Russian Federation is on the dark side of the world. And what is more important: Putin's regime is condemned by the entire civilized world. The minister is confident: "There is no doubt that we will win."

About the U.S. support

"I don't think the U.S. will drop out of the game," said the Minister of Defense, commenting on the support from the United States.

He noted that both sides in Congress support Ukraine, and they also understand that the forces of evil want to change the world order.

Umerov explained his optimism through regular consultations with partners: "They instill in us the confidence that we will be able to stick to our plans."

Ukraine needs weapons

As BILD points out, without electronic warfare, drones, artillery, and an adequate supply of ammunition, Ukraine will face a "tough" situation.

However, Umerov emphasizes, "It is also clear that we will not give up."

The publication reminds that German Taurus-guided missiles are still on Ukraine's wish list.

"We definitely need all long-range missiles from our partners," the minister emphasized.

When asked for clarification if this desire was about obtaining Taurus, Umerov said, "We would be happy if the government (of Germany) could provide us with this."