Ukrainian commander reveals most of Kyiv’s soldiers are “old men”
By Ramon Tomey // Jan 17, 2024

Most of the troops under the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) are old men, a commander has revealed.

Aleksey Tarasenko, commander of the AFU's Fifth Assault Brigade, made this claim during a Jan. 14 interview with the Ukrainian channel Espreso TV. According to him, the average age of soldiers in the AFU is more than 40 years old. Tarashenko also issued a dire warning that the military needs younger recruits.

"The [Ukrainian] military is eagerly awaiting fresh reinforcements because the situation in many units is critical in terms of personnel," the commander explained. "Even those who do come often leave much to be desired. Mostly, these are men of a much older age with a multitude of problems that typically arise."

Tarashenko also rebuked those doubting the need for another mobilization, calling their skepticism "outlandish and perplexing." He continued that the AFU desperately needs "young men" because those who joined at the very beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022 are mostly "gone."

The commander's remarks came after the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's unicameral parliament, asked Kyiv for additional revisions of a much-debated bill. The proposal sought to lower the maximum draft age from 27 to 25, limit deferrals for conscription and increase penalties for draft dodgers. However, critics claim the bill contains unconstitutional provisions that pave the way for corruption.

Last December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that the AFU had requested the mobilization of between 450,000 and 500,000 people. But AFU Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny denied that the military asked for a specific number of new fighters.

Meanwhile, Mykolaiv Oblast Gov. Vitaly Kim warned at the time that conscripting half a million people "is not enough." According to him, Kyiv needs to enlist at least two million soldiers.

"Nevertheless, the situation prompted [Ukrainian] authorities to consider options for replenishing battlefield losses – including the introduction of electronic call-up papers, and [a proposal for] the conscription of women," Russia Today stated.

"Ukraine does not reveal its casualty numbers. According to Russia's estimates, around 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded during the conflict – including 125,000 throughout Kyiv's failed counteroffensive between early June and late November."

Expect women to be conscripted in Ukraine soon

Given the unfavorable situation the AFU is in as of writing, it won't be long before Kyiv changes its mind and drafts women to fight on the frontlines to make up for all its military losses. A recent purchase of tens of thousands of uniforms point to this possibility.

According to a report by Remix News, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) bought 50,000 women's uniforms. Rustem Umerov, Ukraine's defense minister, announced the acquisition in a Jan. 8 Facebook post. Aside from the uniforms, MoD also purchased 100,000 electric heaters and 15,000 active headphones. (Related: Ukraine purchases 50,000 women’s uniforms amid worries that females could be conscripted.)

Umerov said this was the first time such an investment was made. More than 60,000 women serve in the AFU – making up around seven percent of the total number of personnel as per the MoD.

"There was already talk of women being conscripted into the army if necessary," Remix News stated. In October 2023, requirements for Ukrainian women with medical degrees to sign up for the military came into force. The purchase of uniforms thus serves as "evidence that the country could move to draft women in large numbers to replenish lost manpower."

Despite this purchase, Ukrainian lawmaker Yehor Cherniev denied that women would be sent to the frontlines.

"I can say for sure that there will be no lottery [for conscription], there will be no mobilization of women [and] there will be property census," he said during a radio interview. "In fact, it is unconstitutional; there should be no such thing. There will be no unconstitutional positions."

Head over to for more stories about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Watch Kevin J. Johnston discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's plan to conscript men over the age of 40 in the AFU.

This video is from the Kevin J. Johnston channel on

More related stories:

Ukrainian front line on the brink of collapse as soldiers' morale plummets.

Ukrainian soldiers angry at losses, lack of supplies as war against Russia continues.

Female soldiers in Ukrainian army burdened by health issues, ill-fitting equipment.

Ukrainian military rapidly losing manpower as Zelensky regime refuses to negotiate ceasefire with Russia.

Former high-ranking official says Ukraine has 500K CASUALTIES, urges Zelensky to be transparent about losses.

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