Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Thursday banned all male citizens from 18- to 60-years-old leaving the country as part of a general military mobilisation.
According to the State Border Guard Service, Zelensky said that “in order to ensure the defense of the state, maintaining combat and mobilisation readiness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations,” a broad-based mobilisation was ordered, including in the capital, Kyiv, and all Ukraine’s major cities.
The mobilisation also instructed the “conscription of conscripts, reservists for military service, their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” and other state security services. Some 18 000 guns with ammunition have been distributed to reservists in the Kyiv region alone since the Russian invasion began early Thursday, according to Ukrainian authorities.
In a joint statement, defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Valeriy Zaluzhniy, chief of staff for the Armed Forces, said there were more arms coming. They said:
Soon we are to receive additional support with modern weapons and other resources from our partners.
This comes as NATO, the United States and European countries have ruled out sending troops into Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that move would be the gravest mistake of any country.