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Territorial Defence of Ukraine. Background, current state and way forward

This study describes the development and evolution of Ukraine’s territorial defence since the country’s independence. It also offers the alternative options for the future development of territorial defence that were relevant as of the first half of 2021. As a recommendation, we propose a universal algorithm to define the current and potential tasks for territorial defence forces, as well as a list of principles that we believe should be followed in making territorial defence forces more capable. As part of the historical background overview we studied the initial stages of territorial defence development, the period of its deployment in combat, and a few attempts to reform the territorial defence system. We also studied and grouped the challenges in the territorial defence systems that remained relevant as of 2021.

This study was prepared by the Research Department of NGO “COME BACK ALIVE!” as part of the Initiative for the Development of Research Centres in Ukraine conducted by the International Renaissance Foundation in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) with financial support of the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy of the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine, the International Renaissance Foundation, and the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE).

We believe that the information presented here is accurate and relevant as of the first half of 2021. NGO “COME BACK ALIVE!” is not responsible for any consequence of the use of this information for any other purpose or in any other context. The Research Department of NGO “COME BACK ALIVE!” was established in May 2018. The purpose of the Research Team is to deeply study the issues related to the defence posture of Ukraine.

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