Ukrainian prime minister holds government meeting in Donetsk Oblast, sharing plans to strengthen the army

Denys Shmyhal held a meeting in Donetsk Oblast. Photo: Shmyhal on Telegram
Denys Shmyhal held a meeting in Donetsk Oblast. Photo: Shmyhal on Telegram
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On Tuesday, 13 February, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal held a remote meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers (the Ukrainian government) while in Donetsk Oblast to discuss the defence of Ukraine and efforts to strengthen the Ukrainian army.

Source: Denys Shmyhal on Facebook; Shmyhal’s opening remarks during the Cabinet meeting

Quote from Shmyhal: "We are holding a government meeting in the east of our country. The country’s top priorities for 2024 are defending the country from Russian occupiers, strengthening our army, and creating the right conditions for our victory over the aggressor.

We are working 24/7 to achieve all the defence and security goals we have outlined.

Our first goal is to develop the Ukrainian military-industrial complex through [investing in] innovation and technology.

The second goal of our defence policy is to build strong lines of defence.

Our third goal is to make the army less bureaucratic."

Details: During his opening remarks, Shmyhal mentioned that this year’s defence budget is 1.7 trillion hryvnias (approximately US$44.6 billion), or "over 22% of Ukraine’s GDP".

The prime minister stressed that 40 billion hryvnias (US$1 billion) was allocated to drone procurement; "and that’s not the limit", Shmyhal added. He said that Ukrainian forces deployed attack drones to strike over 14,000 targetes (including Russian military equipment, air defence systems, electronic warfare systems and fortifications) in the past six months.

Shmyhal also said that in 2023 Ukraine has grown its mortar bomb production by 42 times, and artillery shell production by 2.5 times. He added that the government anticipates a "new growth spurt" in 2024 in light of the recently introduced deregulation measures.

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