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26 Dec, 2023 15:20

Ukrainian MP explains why Kiev needs 500,000 more conscripts

The head of the parliamentary national security committee says the number will cover losses and the need for new units
Ukrainian MP explains why Kiev needs 500,000 more conscripts

The Ukrainian military needs 500,000 new conscripts to cover casualties and man new units created during the next 12 months, the secretary of Ukraine’s parliamentary national security committee, Roman Kostenko, has said. The lawmaker also warned that eligible Ukrainians would not escape the ongoing mobilization.

President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last week that the military leadership had requested the mobilization of “450,000-500,000 individuals” amid the conflict with Russia. Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated that Kiev had lost more than 383,000 troops, both killed and wounded, since the start of hostilities in February 2022.

In an interview with the Ukrinform media outlet published on Monday, Kostenko lamented that his compatriots “thought that we would win soon,” which instilled the belief in Ukrainians that “they could live quietly [and] not prepare for mobilization.

And now the words about an additional 450,000-500,000 mobilized have become a cold shower for everyone,” the lawmaker said. He added that the figure roughly reflects the armed forces’ needs in terms of replenishing “sanitary losses during the year” as well as forming new units. The military, according to Kostenko, must plan years ahead as the conflict “can... drag on for a long time.

The national security committee chief added that the Ukrainian government should shift the focus of its information policy from the promise of a quick victory and a vacation in Crimea to a more solemn message that “everyone must protect the Motherland. No one will evade it.

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported on Monday that the legislation currently being considered by the Verkhovna Rada calls for the conscription age to be lowered from 27 to 25. The draft law is also said to include the introduction of electronic military draft notices, which would be sent via email and other means.

According to reports, draft dodgers will be banned from receiving certain benefits and services from the state, obtaining loans, traveling abroad, and carrying out property transactions.

MP Vadim Ivchenko told the Strana.ua news outlet that men hiding from mobilization abroad could be denied consular services, including the issuance of new IDs.