On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree to add 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s armed forces over the next three years and said the move does not mean war with Russia is imminent.
Zelensky told parliament that he signed the decree “not because we will soon have a war … but so that soon and in the future, there will be peace in Ukraine.” Ukraine’s armed forces currently consist of 250,000 soldiers.
Zelensky has been at odds with the US over the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. He has been calling for calm and said Western leaders are creating a “panic” by claiming a Russian assault was imminent, and his position has angered some US and European officials.
At the same time, Zelensky wants the US and other NATO countries to continue arming Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion claims began in November, the US has approved additional military aid for Kyiv. In recent weeks, US planes have been delivering weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.
Also on Tuesday, Ukraine’s prime minister said Kyiv is working with Britain and Poland to boost cooperation and military ties. As part of the increased cooperation, Poland is planning to send Ukraine shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
“I hope that in the near future we will be able to officially launch a new regional format of cooperation Ukraine-Poland-UK, in the context of ongoing Russian aggression, we should sign a trilateral document on cooperation to strengthen regional security,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.