Protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is the most important function of the state and work of the entire Ukrainian people.

According to the Law, national resistance is a set of measures organized and implemented to promote the defence of Ukraine by involving Ukrainian citizens in actions aimed at ensuring military security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state. The general leadership of the national resistance is exercised by the President of Ukraine as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the Minister of Defence of Ukraine.


Three levels of military forces in Ukraine:

Regular Armed Forces of Ukraine

Territorial Defence Forces

Volunteer Defence Forces

The VDF are a vital part of Ukraine’s national defence framework within the concept of Territorial defence. 

Territorial defence is a concept that combines military, civilian, and civil-military components in a ‘total’ approach to defence, ensuring all elements of society are coordinated in the effective protection of population and territory, strengthening national resilience. The military component consists of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Territorial Defence Forces, whilst the civilian component includes state agencies, local authorities, emergency services, and others.  The VDF are a civil-military component, and provide an important link between the Armed Forces and communities, enhancing cooperation and defensive capability across the territories. 


The VDF work alongside the Armed Forces, TDF, and other agencies to perform the following territorial defence tasks within their communities:

  • Defence of territory and protection of the population from armed aggression
  • State border protection and defence
  • Response to emergency situations and post-incident management
  • Training of citizens for civil defence and national resistance
  • Ensuring security for the continued functioning of public authorities, state bodies, local government and military administration
  • Protection of important facilities and critical infrastructure
  • Facilitating movement and assembly of military forces within areas
  • Assisting with movement / traffic control
  • Assiting law enforcement in public order activities
  • Assisting in the introduction and implementation of measures required by martial law
  • Countering enemy reconnaissance and sabotage activities
  • Conducting information and counter-information operations

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