The average age of a Ukrainian soldier has increased to 43
02/29/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

At the second anniversary of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Kyiv is facing a new and unique challenge: the increasing average age of its armed forces personnel.

More and more middle-aged men are joining the frontlines, posing difficulties for commanders in planning and executing strategic operations.

Dmitro Berlin, the battalion commander of the 32nd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, revealed that the average age of soldiers in his battalion has soared to 45.

Stationed in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kupiansk, the 32nd was heavily targeted by the Russian Armed Forces during its winter offensive campaign. The older average age of the 32nd's troops presented it with more physical challenges. Berlin acknowledged that at this age, even simple tasks like carrying ammunition and body armor become more arduous.

Compounding the issue is the lack of fresh forces or younger soldiers joining the battalion. Consequently, whenever the unit experiences casualties, the quality of the reinforcements diminishes and the brigade's average age increases. (Related: Ukraine purchases 50,000 women’s uniforms amid worries that females could be conscripted.)

Traditionally, military forces, especially in the last century, comprised younger individuals in their 20s and 30s. In contrast, the average age of soldiers in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is now significantly higher, with the Sunday Times estimating the average age to be 43. The average age in individual brigades can soar as high as 54.

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Aging troops parallel aging Ukrainian population

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine's overall population has decreased from 52 million to 37 million.

The average age of Ukrainian citizens has increased, and the average life expectancy for men and women from 2023 and 2024 is projected to decline to 57 and 70, respectively, as a result of the Russian special military operation.

The average lifespan of Ukrainians is not expected to return to the pre-war levels of 66 and 76 for men and women, respectively, until at least 2032, as projected by the Kyiv Institute of Demography and Social Research.

The conflict in Ukraine has claimed the lives or caused injuries to more than half a million people. The Ukrainian military has faced significant casualties, with over 200,000 reported, comprising both wounded and killed personnel over two years of war.

Despite the length of the conflict and the fact that Russia's population of over 140 million dwarfs that of Ukraine, Kyiv still maintains a volunteer-only military, where enlistment requires a conscious decision, with no forced conscription in the middle of the night.

However, there is a catch to this: Only men over 27 are eligible for frontline duty. While this policy is meant to protect younger generations and secure the nation's future, the prolonged conflict may necessitate Kyiv to reconsider its position on the draft.

There are already indicators that Ukraine is considering a shift in policy. President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an injection of 500,000 troops into the armed forces back in December to counter Russia's own mobilizations.

Then-Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi mentioned the possibility of a mass mobilization to meet wartime demands for more troops, with a strategic focus on recruiting younger Ukrainians to meet the physical demands of soldiering and active combat.

Watch this video from Southfront Press discussing how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is preparing to send Europeans to shore up Ukraine's rapidly depleting armed forces.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

More related stories:

Ukraine received $1.25 billion grant from US taxpayers to pay the wages of government employees.

Ukraine pays huge rewards to Russian DEFECTORS who turn over military equipment.

Ukraine suddenly discovers money to manufacture its own weapons as U.S. funding dries up.

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