Polish Armed Forces See Record Interest Since Ukraine War

Polish soldiers standing around waiting for an event to start.
Polish soldiers prepare to participate in the 1st Bataan Memorial Death March on March 6, 2020, at Powidz Air Base, Powidz, Poland. (Ryan C. Matson/U.S. Army Reserve)

Warsaw — Poland's armed forces have seen a record level of interest since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine 11 months ago.

Poland's armed forces recruited 13,742 new professional soldiers last year, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in Lublin. "This is a record since the abolition of conscription."

The last time conscripts were drafted in Poland was in 2008. Soon after, military service was suspended.

Poland's armed forces have a total of 164,000 servicemen and women, including 36,000 members of volunteer homeland security units.

Warsaw is currently raising investments in defence since the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. Poland's army is due to expand to 250,000 professional soldiers and 50,000 homeland security members.

Warsaw has moved to attract more citizens to the armed forces, introducing voluntary basic military service and one-day military training courses nationwide for those who are interested.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has altered the security architecture across Europe and beyond, with governments raising their investments in defence as well as sending aid to Kiev.

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