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26 Dec, 2023 12:31

Ukraine set to lower conscription age – media

The bill also calls for the introduction of electronic military summons sent by email, local media have reported
Ukraine set to lower conscription age – media

The conscription age in Ukraine could soon be lowered from 27 to 25, in line with changes to mobilization laws proposed by President Vladimir Zelensky’s government, local media has reported.

The draft law was submitted to parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on Monday, according to Hromadske, Strana.ua and other news outlets. Information on the plans and an explanatory note were briefly made available on the parliamentary website, but the page soon became inaccessible, the reports said.

Besides lowering the conscription age by two years, the draft law calls for the introduction of electronic military summons, which would be sent to the draftees online, including via email, the note said.

The legislation sets out penalties for those who fail to show up at recruitment offices on time. Draft dodgers will be added to the country’s unified register of debtors. Those on the list are banned from receiving benefits and services from the state, obtaining loans, traveling abroad, and carrying out transactions with movable and immovable property, the reports said.

The draft law states that the 18-month compulsory military service period should be abolished in Ukraine, and that those currently going through it should be dismissed and become reservists.

Another change is the removal of the “limited fitness for service” category during the medical examination of draftees, the explanatory note states. According to current laws, those in the category cannot be recruited during peacetime, but must still take up arms at times of war.

Basic military training courses of up to three months for those aged between 18 and 25 will also be introduced at all educational institutions in the country, the explanatory note read.

Last week, President Zelensky said the Ukrainian military had proposed mobilizing an additional “450,000-500,000 individuals” amid the fighting with Russia. The announcement followed a statement by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who said earlier this month that some 400,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed or wounded since the start of the conflict in February 2022.

The Financial Times reported last month that “manpower becomes Ukraine’s largest challenge,” stressing that Kiev needs not only more troops, but also younger ones, with most current servicemen aged between 30 and 40.