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10 May, 2024 15:41

Ukraine to block bank accounts of draft dodgers – MP

This could happen to those unable to pay increased fines for violating mobilization rules, Andrey Osadchyuk has said
Ukraine to block bank accounts of draft dodgers – MP

Ukraine could start blocking bank accounts and imposing penalties on the property of those trying to avoid military service amid the conflict with Russia, Andrey Osadchyuk, a member of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has said.

The measure might be applied to draft dodgers in line with a law that introduces stricter penalties for breaching the country’s mobilization rules, which the MPs voted on last month, Osadchyuk told journalists on Thursday.

Under the legislation that will go into force “sometime in late May,” the fines for violations of the military registration rules for individuals have been increased to between 17,000 (around $430) and 20,500 hryvnia (around $520), he said, as cited by UNIAN news agency.

“This is a big sum for anyone in Kiev and for me, but for some provincial towns and villages it is a gigantic sum,” the MP said. Because of the hefty penalties, “we will, most likely, have a situation when these fines will not be paid by citizens on a mass scale, as they simply may not have the money or will just not want to do it,” he warned.

In this case, an enforcement procedure is activated against non-payers, which makes it possible to “block accounts and impose a penalty on the property” owned by those individuals, Osadchyuk explained.

The MP noted that denying those unwilling to serve access to their money was among the proposals included in the initial proposed mobilization law, which was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament late last year. The Verkhovna Rada rejected the measure as unconstitutional; it was eventually removed from the bill that was passed, he added.
However, “now a scheme will be launched” that will allow the government to block the accounts of draft dodgers “through what are, in principle, absolutely legal means,” Osadchyuk stressed.

Last month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a new mobilization law amid troop shortages experienced by Kiev’s forces on the front lines. The legislation lowers the conscription age from 27 to 25, greatly expands the powers of enlistment officers and introduces assorted restrictions for draft dodgers. The country’s foreign ministry has suspended consular services for military-eligible Ukrainians abroad in preparation for the mobilization reform that is slated to come into effect later in May.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last week that Ukrainian military casualties this year alone have amounted to more than 111,000.

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