Espreso. Global

New approaches to mobilization in Ukraine: army should be voluntary. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

21 March, 2024 Thursday

Today we need to change approaches to mobilization activities. In particular, the army should become a volunteer army. Ukraine should consider a draft law on recruitment, not mobilization. Such steps could change the situation with mobilization measures

Ukrainian forces successfully deploy FPV drone with automatic guidance on the battlefield

Ukrainian developers have successfully used new FPV drones equipped with so-called machine vision in combat. Volunteer Serhii Sternenko released a video of two mechanized brigades working together. The video shows how the drone operator first identifies the enemy target, then the target is captured and the drone is escorted to the target. That is, automatic targeting was used in the final part of the drone's flight. This means that such FPV drones can bypass enemy electronic warfare.

In general, this development reduces the requirements of the drone operator, who previously had to fly the drone until the target was hit. This definitely increases the efficiency of using FPV drones, even if they cost twice as much as before. However, Russia is also working out similar solutions on the battlefield. So we need a breakthrough in this technology race. If everything goes well, after the pilot batch of FPV drones Serhii Sternenko is currently collecting money for, the state will join in to finance such production, which will allow us to scale up production.

Drone attack on Engels-2 airfield on March 20

Just as it happened with the scaling up of the production of long-range drones with a flight range of 800 km or more. Another confirmation of this is the attack of Ukrainian-made drones on the city of Engels in Russia's Saratov region. It is there that the Russian strategic aviation airfield Engels-2 is located. If we analyze satellite images, 9 Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers were based there yesterday. It is the Tu-95 strategic bombers that the enemy uses for missile attacks on the territory of Ukraine, as these aircraft are carriers of Kh-101 and Kh-555 missiles. Today, a number of Ukrainian media outlets, citing sources in the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, reported that targets at the airfield were hit, and the results of the attack are still being clarified. However, there is no information on which targets were hit.

The attack on the Engels-2 airfield involved Ukrainian-made Liutyi drones. This particular UAV was used to attack numerous Russian refineries. This type of drone, as well as the Bober UAV, have already proven their effectiveness. Both types of UAVs have a range of up to 1,000 km. We hope that Ukraine will also be able to use the potential of long-range UAVs to strike strategic airfields and the locations of Russian frontline bombers. Since these frontline bombers are the main lever of influence on the front line. In particular, because they are carriers of guided bombs.

The decision to engage the core staff should be made directly by unit commanders

Pavlo Kyshkar, deputy battalion commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and head of the Defense Ministry's Accelerator project office, said that they have not yet cooperated with recruiting centers. There have been no requests for recruiting concepts. According to him, mid-level officers are fully responsible for their personnel, but they cannot dismiss or invite people to join the unit. For example, Pavlo Kyshkar said that his unit issues orders to place engineers in the appropriate positions, but they are sent to a military training base. It is impossible to take the personnel back from there. That is, according to Kyshkar, the Territorial Center of Recruitment and Social Support and personnel centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for some reason decide for themselves whether a person is suitable for a particular unit.

Kyshkar emphasized that giving the relevant powers directly to military commanders would improve the situation with mobilization. According to him, many qualified people are willing to join their units. He noted that the Defense Ministry should consider this issue more carefully. They should trust the units to choose their own personnel.

Volunteer army instead of forced mobilization

Pavlo Kyshkar believes that forced mobilization will not lead to anything good and will not change the situation with mobilization activities. He emphasized that today it is necessary to change approaches to mobilization measures. In particular, the army should become a volunteer army. The first step towards such changes could be to allow commanders to recruit personnel to their units. He emphasized that the entire officer corps of the Armed Forces is ready to do so. The only thing is that the Defense Ministry should allow them to invite and train the personnel themselves.

According to him, the general methodology of forcing mobilization in a country that is fighting for democratic values is absurd. That is why, in his opinion, we should consider a draft law on recruitment, not mobilization. The draft law on recruitment should define various incentives for service in the Defense Forces, in addition to salary. In particular, the issuance of land plots to combatants, a ban on working in public office for persons who have not served in the Armed Forces, etc. However, as Kyshkar noted, everyone should be involved in the war process according to their skills. Civilians today must also do everything to ensure that the country wins.

Digitalization of personnel decisions in the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Pavlo Kyshkar said that the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, has set a task to shorten the decision-making chain. This is necessary to make important decisions on the battlefield more efficiently and quickly. Kyshkar emphasized that the speed of decision-making on the introduction of the latest weapons systems is a matter of life and death. If we delay the resolution of relevant issues, the army loses people and equipment. He noted that the issue of personnel movements in the Armed Forces could be digitized. Although today, for example, the government has significantly simplified the procedure for writing off military equipment and weapons.

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