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    UKRAINIAN ARMY TO BE CUT TO 200 000

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    MOSCOW, 24 January. /RIA Novosti/. On Saturday at a meeting of the Russian Academy of Military sciences Aleksander Zatynaiko, chief of the Ukrainian Armed forces General staff stated that by the end of 2005 the strength of the Ukrainian Armed forces would be reduced to 200 000 people.

    Zatynaiko stated that "in the course of restructuring of the Ukrainian Armed forces they planned to reduce 500 tanks, 640 armored personnel carries and 110 combat aircraft by the end of 2005. The total strength of the armed forces would amount to approximately 200 000 people, 160 000 of them being servicemen." According to him, a mobile and independent brigade would become the basic tactical unit of the Ukrainian army.

    Zatynaiko reported that the Ukrainian Armed forces by the end of the reform would consist of the Air force, the Navy and the land troops.

    The possible objective of the Ukrainian armed forces is to participate in peace-keeping operations. The Chief of the General staff reported that military training was mostly devoted to that objective.

    According to him, priority would be given to rapid deployment forces.

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