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Ukraine’s president wants defense factories to work in three shifts

December 30, 2014, 14:07 UTC+3
The Ukrainian armed forces will receive almost T-64 tanks and two Mi-8 helicopters from the presidential aviation pool
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

LVIV, December 30. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday he intended to ensure that the country’s defense factories work in three shifts.

“We’ll achieve the transition of defense enterprises to work in three shifts,” Poroshenko said during his visit to the west Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The Ukrainian armed forces will receive almost 100 pieces of the armor (T-64 tanks), and also two Mi-8 helicopters from the presidential aviation pool, Poroshenko said.

Currently, “combat brigades are being formed at an accelerated pace,” the president said. Also, “the first tests of counterbattery [radar] stations will be held today after the completion of the Ukrainian military’s training,” the president said.

On November 20, the United States gave Ukraine three light radars designed to detect and suppress mortar crews.

Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren has said the US plans to supply 20 such anti-mortar radars to Ukraine. In December, US military instructors started to train Ukrainian military personnel to operate these systems.

The radar systems detect incoming mortar rounds and are quick to calculate the origin of mortar fire, the Pentagon spokesman said.

Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleksadr Turchynov said in mid-December that Ukraine has set a task of creating one of the strongest armies in Europe and bringing Crimea back from Russia.

“We need to create one of the strongest armies in Europe, and we have no other alternative,” Turchynov said. “Our war will end only when the whole territory of Ukraine is freed, including Crimea,” he said.

Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said earlier Ukraine plans to increase military spending to some $3.2 billion next year.

Some 40,000 people will be called up for Ukrainian military service next year, bringing the number of troops to 250,000, the minister said. The United States and the European Union will provide funding for the military reform in Ukraine.

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