Ukraine seeks to mobilize between 300,000 and 500,000 citizens for military service

The country’s mobilization potential is around 5 million people, according to independent estimates.

Ukraine’s parliament, Supreme Rada, is almost done adopting a new legislation on mobilization for its armed forces.

The document, which lowers the minimum age for conscription from 27 to 25, envisages the transition of maximum half a million citizens into the military service while the government is trying to cut the number down to 300,000 men in a bid to keep the economy working with sufficient labor and the rating of President Volodimir Zelenski above the ground line.

While half a million new troops look impressive, in reality the mobilization potential of Ukraine is at least ten times higher. Estimates by two independent sources show that the country can theoretically call more than five million people for arms.

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One of those sources is the Financial Times, which conservatively assessed Ukraine’s mobilization potential at 3.7 million men aged 25 to 60. 

The other is the investigative outlet, which used open data and transparency methodology. It put the manpower reserve at 5.2 million people. 

The Kyiv government has not made public its own assessment of the country’s reserve.

Although counting heads is a difficult task during the war - which changes the demographic situation, forces residents into emigration and internal displacement, and omits the missing people – journalists found a way to provide credible figures.

Based on the estimate of all men of conscription age who were on government-controlled territories in 2023, as surveyed by the Ptukha Institute of Demographic and Social Research in Kyiv, they subtracted those who cannot be mobilized for various reasons, mainly who are unfit for military service.

The remaining number, taking into account the double counting of overlapping groups, provides the final mobilization potential, which the outlet published on this spreadsheet. used the pessimistic version of the Ptakha survey – without the occupied Crimea and Donbas region and found that, in principle, the number of male population fit for military service is 10.4 million, the report claims.

The total Ukrainian population as of mid-April was 37.67 million people, according to data by, a live statistical portal.

The manpower reserve estimate includes over 650,000 Ukrainians who have emigrated in Europe (EU, UK, Moldova), though it’s not clear how many of them are men and how would Kyiv pass them mobilization orders. Some have fled to the US and Canada, going unaccounted in the report.

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The Financial Times put the number of the war-triggered Ukrainian emigration at 1.5 people.

The Ukrainian armed forces in late 2023 counted 1.1 million people, a number confirmed by Kirill Budanov, chief of Ukraine’s intelligence.

According to Meduza, an independent Russian outlet, with proper endowment and training, the Ukrainian armed forces can resist and even win the war. US and EU military and financial assistance is crucial for victory. 

In March, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered the enlisting of 150,000 men as part of the spring conscription. 

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