Report of Oleksii Reznikov on 22 months of work as the Minister of Defense of Ukraine

2023-09-05 14:15:00 | ID: 70625

22 months ago at this rostrum I have promulgated work’s priorities, based on which an action plan for the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine was established.
The essence of the plan is accession to NATO de facto.

In 112 days after my appointment the full scale russian invasion has started. Since then the Ministry has been moving simultaneously through two related tracks.

The first one is – repelling russian invasion and maintenance of the frontline.

The second one is – reforms to make our army stronger and interoperable with the Alliance armies.

Whilst being a civilian agency, we have been gaining capabilities during the war unprecedented for Europe for 80 years.

I will focus just on some results of the Ministry’s team.

These results, especially – on the international axis, are part of the achievement of a large team headed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Success was ensured by the joint efforts of the Government, the Office of the President, the Verkhovna Rada, our diplomats, activists, the diaspora, and most importantly - our soldiers, who impressed the world with their bravery and excellence.

After February 24th, the most acute problem that had to be solved was weaponry.

According to the assessment of the General Staff, the resources of the Defence Forces were supposed to sustain 2-2.5 months of intense struggle. After that, our army would be physically finished.

We have been hunting for everything possible and impossible.

In 18 months the Defence forces have procured, produced by the order of the Ministry of Defence and received as an international technical assistance the following:
● More than 7 million artillery shells, mines, projectiles for tanks and MLRS.
● More than 4,5 thousand artillery systems and mortars.
● Up to 3,5 thousand systems, protecting our sky - starting with MANPADS and tills the Patriot’s.
● More than 6,5 thousand tanks, armored vehicles and equipment.
● More than 2 thousand trucks.
● Countless amounts of small arms, radars, engineer equipment, different types of missiles, helicopters, recovery vehicles and plenty of other equipment.
● More than 70 thousand Ukrainian warriors completed training abroad.

Less than 2 years ago we got a refusal to give us Stingers.

Nowadays our pilots, engineers and technicians are mastering modern western aircrafts.

This result is difficult to comprehend - since 1991 we have nothing to compare it with.

As of today Ukraine received physically or in the form of commitments an amount of military support estimated at up to 100 billion $.

Every time a new weapon was mentioned, I heard "it's impossible".

We have been fighting for tanks for a year. For cluster ammunition - period from the official request of the Ministry of Defence to delivery took 9 months.

During the term of office, my team and I have worked on more than 160 official international events, not counting numerous speeches for various audiences and informal contacts…

In terms of provision, at the beginning there was a terrible shortage of everything. Volunteers, ordinary citizens and businesses have helped a lot. Great thanks to them.

In six months, we have not only provided the army, but also created a reserve of 200,000 body armor and more than 120,000 helmets.

More than 1,2 million sets of winter uniforms and 2,5 million summer uniforms were delivered, as well as plenty of other stuff.

In a word, we have survived as a state and a nation.

And we began to implement the plan of our victory.

International axis.

Work in the “Ramstein” format has been set up. The world has not seen anything like this since the anti-Hitler coalition.
Tank coalition, which will be soon supplemented with “Abrams”.
Jet coalition.
Naval coalition.
Air and missile defence family.
Artillery family.
Long range missiles, to whose family we expect American and German replenishment.
Ammunition coalition.

These are all practical assets bringing our victory closer.

We have made interested in Ukraine those states that historically were not interested in military cooperation with us - from Australia to the Netherlands, from Norway to Portugal.

We have reset cooperation with NATO. A new system is being established in the format of the "Ukraine-NATO" Council.

I have approved an action plan for the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for implementation of the Vilnius Summit decisions in the framework of preparation process for the Washington Summit.

Interoperability is in the heart of the cooperation. This Autumn we expect to receive the Concept of the Interoperability Map.

By the end of the year 200 more standards will be added to the 287 NATO standards that have already been implemented.

Up to 300 samples of new weapons and equipment were put into service, the lion's share of them being Western weapons.

A powerful contractual base has been built with NATO and EU countries - in defense cooperation, information exchange and defence industry.

We do not have military-political agreements only with Iceland and Luxembourg, with which we cooperate in other formats.

Work with NSPA - NATO Support and Procurement Agency has been brought to the next level.

In accordance with the NATO program we agreed upon, NSPA will conduct a Ukraine’s National defence procurement review, in order to build an efficient and transparent system.

We have awakened security mechanisms in the European Union.

Now the EU is making a decision to transfer 1 million 155-caliber projectiles to Ukraine and train tens of thousands of our soldiers.

Behind all this is a new philosophy of defence diplomacy, the basis of which is the political leadership of the President of Ukraine, which made it possible to overcome many established patterns.

We are not asking. We are not just beneficiaries of the assistance.

We are donors of European security, Eastern shield of Europe, cornerstone of European security architecture.

Internal axis.

A strong foundation has been laid for the development of the Ukrainian defence industry.

The approach to putting new samples of weapons and equipment into operation has been changed. The time to put weapons and equipment into operation was reduced from 2 years to 3-5 weeks.
An Accelerator of the Ministry of Defence, has been established. It leads the developers and manufacturers through the bureaucratic slums.
● Ukrainian 155-mm self-propelled guns, artillery shells, mines, and tank rounds are mass-produced. Most of this is being done for the first time.
● More than 30 models of Ukrainian drones have been put into operation. Production has increased more than 100 times and is increasing. Stake on Ukrainian drones was and is my fundamental position. Ukraine can be a world leader in this segment. Therefore I decided to establish a Competence Center in the domain of robotic platforms.
● Once we will tell about missile program, air and missile defence programs. At the end of 2021, the financing of the Neptune complex was doubled. The result was best experienced by the cruiser "Moscow".
● Agreements were concluded that opened the way to cooperation with such companies as Baykar Makina, BAE Systems, Rheinmetall, SAAB, etc.

An automated strategic-level command and control system was put into service. A number of situational awareness systems have been adopted.

Logfas logistic program, which is used by NATO states, has been set up to the brigades’ level.

Koravai” program has been launched, so our allies immediately see the needs of the Defence Forces.

The transition to SAP software was approved by the joint decision of the Minister of Defence and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. This is a new quality of planning and management of defence resources.

We begun with logistics and medicine, in the future personnel, finance, and some other blocks should be transferred to SAP. Not all NATO countries have reached the level we are at now.

The Government approved the Concept of the military education reform according to NATO principles and standards.

The procurement reform is at the finish line.

The supply of food, fuel, and other critical items has been demonopolized.

Two service agencies have been created that will implement new standards for the army provision.

The agency, dealing with weapons, functions successfully.

The agency, dealing with resource provision, should show the results yet in October.

Digitalization of military records is being finalized. Territorial manning and social support centers’ reforms have been prepared. Changes will happen in a matter of months.

The process of obtaining a status of participant of the hostilities has been simplified to one document by the Government's decision.

The reform of the medical commission system is underway. This is a difficult complex issue, but we are moving…

In the conditions of war and with such a scale of tasks, not everything is perfect. There were mistakes, I am aware of them.

I have underestimated some moments. For instance, that the kremlin will start shelling peaceful cities with missiles. Therefore, I perceived the strengthening of air and missile defence as a personal challenge.

The most painful moment is losses. Being aware of them and, at the same time, proud of the exceptional resilience of our people encouraged me not to stop in the most difficult moments.

For victory, in addition to maintenance of the front, a new range of tasks has been outlined. It is necessary to create the image of the Ukrainian army of the future - Future Force Concept, in order to attract the resources of the partners through long-term support programs laid in their budgets. These are real security guarantees.

Much has been done in this regard. First of all, the Capability Review of the Defence Forces has been conducted. It lasted almost a year. There is something to rely on and speak the same language with partners.

I am convinced that the creation of a framework from long-term international aid programs should become the main priority for the next year…

If we assess the situation in essence, the integration of Ukraine into NATO has de facto taken place. An important stage is over.

In this regard, I am asking the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to resign.

I am grateful to the President of Ukraine for his trust, support and the opportunity to serve my country in the darkest times.

I thank the Government and Ukrainian Parliament colleagues for the team work.

I am grateful to each and everyone defending Ukraine on the battlefield today.

Eternal memory to those, who sacrificed the most precious - their life - to assure a bright future for Ukraine.

Glory to our warriors!
Glory to Ukraine!