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21 Feb, 2024 09:00

Children of draft dodgers may be barred from Ukrainian universities – MP

Kiev is moving to reform the mobilization system to provide the military more manpower
Children of draft dodgers may be barred from Ukrainian universities – MP

The Ukrainian parliament is debating restrictions on the children of draft dodgers as part of sweeping mobilization reforms currently being pushed by Kiev. The penalties to children of draft dodgers would include barring them from higher education, a member of parliament has revealed.

Kiev is overhauling military service legislation due to a manpower shortage, which is undermining its war effort against Moscow. As part of the new rules, people who fail to report to conscription offices will face significant penalties.

Vadim Ivchenko, an MP who sits on the National Security, Defense and Intelligence Committee, told the Ukrainian news outlet Telegraf on Tuesday that the challenge is to ensure that coercion is constitutional. “Leaving a person without money to die, that would be wrong. But there have to be other measures,” he explained.

“The political leadership proposes this: if you don’t want to fulfill your civic duty and defend the homeland… the state can deny you services. For instance, you will not get supported by the state, your children will not enter a high education school, and neither will you,” Ivchenko explained.

The MP claimed that failing to defend the state may be unconstitutional and pointed to Israel as a positive example of a militarized society.

Ivchenko claimed that cutting access to bank accounts would be effective in a cashless society. “They will withdraw cash but what can you buy with that except groceries? Nothing: not an apartment, not a car, not a train ticket. Everything is electronic now,” he mused.

Dismissing any possible appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, Ivchenko said the authorities counted on the support of rank-and-file soldiers. “Those, who are at war, need this bill because they want to be demobilized,” he said.

Amendments to the bill will likely be debated this week, before the legislation is expected to be passed to a second reading, the MP predicted. Members of the ruling party of President Vladimir Zelensky will vote “as they are told” by the government, he said.