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11 May, 2024 23:48

Ukrainian government warns of possible full mobilization

Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Lazutkin declares end of “peaceful life” until Russia defeated
Ukrainian government warns of possible full mobilization

The whole of Ukrainian society will need to make sacrifices and forget about their peaceful lives to defeat Russia, Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Lazutkin has argued.

Kiev is overhauling its conscription system to boost troop numbers following a series of setbacks in its conflict with Moscow, with harsh reforms set to come into force next week.

“Globally speaking, starting on May 18, when the mobilization law comes into force, first of all, the approach to this war will change,” Lazutkin told Espresso TV on Saturday. “This situation [where] some people are fighting at the front lines while others are living their quiet lives, is obviously coming to an end.”

Life in Kiev is “strikingly different” from the situation in the east of the country, which is “abnormal.”

“It would be normal if our enemy was weak. But with such an enemy, the whole country and the whole of society need to mobilize,” Lazutkin added.

Ukraine has been desperate to replace nearly half a million casualties – by Moscow’s estimates – since the outbreak of hostilities in February 2022. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last week that Ukraine has lost more than 111,000 soldiers in 2024 alone.

Last month, President Vladimir Zelensky enacted amendments to conscription rules, lowering the draft age to 25, automating draft notices and greatly expanding the powers of enlistment officers, while introducing assorted restrictions for draft dodgers. 

The Foreign Ministry has suspended consular services for military-eligible Ukrainians abroad. Under the legislation, fines for violations of military registration rules will increase to $520, with Ukrainian authorities threatening to block bank accounts and impose restrictions on the property of those trying to avoid military service.

In response to the changes, there has been a surge in Ukrainian men seeking to flee the country. Border Service spokesman Andrey Demchenko recently said that around 120-150 people are caught trying to illegally leave Ukraine every day, while some end up dying in such attempts.