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IPFS News Link • Ukraine

Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws As Russian Troops Close In On Kharkiv

•, by Tyler Durden

It lowers the minimum draft age from 27 to 25 (Ukraine has a demographic shortage of men ages 18-25).  And, all military age Ukrainian men abroad must come back to Ukraine to renew their passports, including refugees driven from their homes in the early days of the war.  

Conscripts must update their address, contact information, and military records within 60 days through government institutions or a mobile application.  This is in preparation for a national draft database containing information on every fighting age male in the country.  The conscription measures are expected to greatly reduce Ukraine's labor pool, forcing many businesses to shut down.  Essential workers are not exempt from the draft.

Vladimir Zelensky signed two other bills into effect, one allowing prisoners to be deployed to the front lines (the western media criticized Russia last year for implementing a similar measure), the other bill quintuples fines for people caught trying to evade the draft.    

Early versions of the law allowed for concessions on pay and better rotation for soldiers, including a policy which would relieve soldiers serving for 36 months or more.  All demobilization concessions were removed from the final version; Ukraine's military leadership argued that they needed the most experienced soldiers to remain at the front.

Kyiv has offered cash bonuses to troops towards purchases of housing and cars as an incentive to join the war effort, however, critics argue that the Ukrainian treasury does not actually have the funds to fulfill the promises Zelinsky is making. 

To counter charges of undermining soldier morale, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says it is working on a separate demobilization bill, but massive manpower shortages make any demobilization action highly unlikely.  Front line soldiers have repeatedly complained about the lack of rotation, with some rarely getting a chance to leave the trenches in the past two years.