Territorial Defense Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: October 2, 2022

Territorial Defense Day in Ukraine Territorial Defense Day in Ukraine is observed annually on the first Sunday of October. It was officially established by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decree in September 2020 and celebrated for the first time on October 4, 2020.

Territorial Defense Day in Ukraine was established to highlight the importance of territorial defense in ensuring the national defense capability and territorial integrity of Ukraine, especially taking into account the ongoing War in Donbass. According to Volodymyr Zelensky, achieving piece in Donbass and preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine are among the top state policy priorities, and Territorial Defense Day is intended to serve as a reminder of this.

The formation of territorial defense battalions in the regions of Ukraine was part of limited mobilization in the spring of 2014, shortly after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the outbreak of hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (regions) of Ukraine. The battalions were volunteer units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. They were administered by the heads of their respective oblast state administrations, and oblast military commissariats were responsible for their equipment and maintenance.

According to the law of Ukraine “On Defense of Ukraine”, the key tasks of territorial defense battalions were assistance in protecting the state border, guarding strategically important facilities and communications, ensuring the functioning of local government bodies, fighting illegal armed groups, ensuring law and order in their respective regions, and protecting the state sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Territorial defense battalions operated in the regions where they were created and based, but the law enabled them to operate outside their regions in case of emergency.

In 2015, the Ministry of Defense announced the demobilization of the servicemen who had been drafted during the first and second waves of mobilization in 2014. After the announcement, territorial defense battalions were transformed into independent motorized infantry battalions and attached to certain brigades of the Armed Forces. They also began to receive funding from the Ministry of Defense (before that, territorial defense battalions had been funded from regional budgets). The only exception was the 5th Territorial Defense Battalion “Prykarpattya”, which was disbanded.

In 2017, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine developed a project to improve the organization of territorial defense. The reorganization involved the formation of territorial defense brigades in all oblasts of Ukraine, which began in 2018. Each oblast of Ukraine has at least one territorial defense brigade, and border oblasts have more than one. In addition, oblasts retained their independent rifle battalions formed by oblast military commissariats, as well as military commissariat defense companies.

In addition to the tasks already listed above, territorial defense brigades are responsible for serving at checkpoints, eliminating the consequences of natural and man-made emergencies in peacetime, and organizing partisan detachments and resistance movement in case of enemy occupation.

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Category

Professional Days

Country

Ukraine

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Territorial Defense Day in Ukraine, holidays in Ukraine, professional observances, military observances, territorial defense battalions and