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9 Jan, 2024 08:49

Ukraine buys 50,000 women’s military uniforms

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has announced the purchase amid a struggle to mobilize enough men for the front
Ukraine buys 50,000 women’s military uniforms

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense says it has purchased 50,000 sets of women’s uniforms for the first time since the start of the conflict. The announcement by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov comes a day before an expected parliamentary vote on amendments to the law on mobilization.

The proposed changes have caused a public outcry, with some calling them “unconstitutional” and aimed mainly at cracking down on draft dodgers. While it has been said that the changes to legislation do not foresee the conscription of women, such proposals have been previously voiced.

“For the first time, the Ministry of Defense purchased 50,000 sets of women’s uniforms, 100,000 electric heaters, and 15,000 active headphones,” Defense Minister Rustem Umerov wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

Last month, Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun said the government should consider drafting women if deemed necessary. She suggested the provision of uniforms for women as among the preparations needed to implement the plan. Last October, requirements for the military registration of women with a medical degree entered into force.

More than 60,000 women already serve in the Ukrainian army, making up about 7% of the country’s armed forces, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Kiev has been struggling to mobilize enough men to send to the frontline. President Zelensky told journalists last month that 450,000-500,000 new soldiers were needed, but that achieving this was a “sensitive issue.” It comes in the wake of a large-scale counter-offensive by Ukraine last year, which has been acknowledged as a failure by the armed forces chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny. Ukraine has also suffered several setbacks in obtaining aid, with Republicans in Washington blocking a $61 billion military package and Hungary vetoing an EU financial deal worth €50 billion.