Ukraine passes law to draft more people

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Apr 2024 by Alex Teddy

On April 11 the Verkhovna Rada voted for the bill that has been debated since 2023. The objective is to increase the size of the army. The army is struggling because of the major Russian advantage in munitions. There was a clause in the bill to allow soldiers who had served 3 years to leave the army. This clause was dropped because the army needs every man it can get. Moreover, seasoned soldiers are worth more than raw recruits. The new law also increases the punishment for draft evasion and makes the registration process more comprehensive.  The new law obliges men aged 18-60 to update their draft information and to carry documents on their draft status at all times. Anyone who does not comply will lose his driver's license. Those serving suspended sentences will be able to join the army. Financial incentives to volunteers have been increased. Men below 25 will have to do compulsory training. They may volunteer for the army but cannot be drafted.  The new law has a tracking process for Ukrainian military age men outside the country. They are not being drafted because it would be unenforceable.  It is almost certain that Zelensky will sign the law. In April 2024 Zelensky already lowered the age for the draft to 25.  It is proposed that a new bill to allow those who have served 3 years be debated. Some soldiers have not had leave in all that time. The government fears that if troops are granted leave they will desert.  A Ukrainian general said that the army is outnumbered by Russia by at least 7 to 1. Western analysts consider that a major exaggeration.

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