KIEV, March 11 Ukraine will raise a new national
guard force among military veterans in response to Russian
attempts to annex Crimea, the acting president told parliament
Oleksander Turchinov said mismanagement of the armed forces
under his ousted predecessor meant that the Ukrainian military
had to be rebuilt "effectively from scratch". The acting defence
minister said the country had only 6,000 combat-ready infantry
compared to over 200,000 Russian troops on its eastern borders.
Turchinov, who warned against provoking further Russian
action, said the National Security and Defence Council decided
to establish a National Guard, using the existing Interior
Ministry forces as a base. The goal would be "to defend citizens
from criminals and from internal or external aggression".
A partial mobilisation of volunteers drawn from those with
previous military experience would begin, he said.