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Government bans sending passports to military-age Ukrainian men abroad

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 24, 2024 11:39 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. A Ukrainian citizen is holding a passport while standing by a mobile passport office for Ukrainians who fled to Poland without any documents after the outbreak of Russian invasion on Sep. 29, 2022. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian government has banned sending identification documents and passports abroad for Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60, according to a decree published on the Cabinet of Ministers' website on April 24.

The ban comes into effect amid news of Ukraine suspending new applications for consular support for military-age men abroad following a new mobilization law passed recently.

According to the decree, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 will be able to get passports only at migration service offices in Ukraine. The service of sending the passports abroad will not be available anymore.

With some exceptions, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine during the war while martial law is in effect.

The legislation framework of Ukraine's consular services' activity was updated to align with the requirements of the new law, the Foreign Ministry said on April 23.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also wrote on X that he had "ordered measures to restore fair attitudes toward men of conscription age in Ukraine and abroad."

The ban will not apply to Ukrainians who have disabilities or who are traveling abroad to escort relatives with disabilities. The decree also does not concern those who escort ill or orphaned children, as well as people who "suffered from Russian aggression" and are traveling abroad for treatment.

Earlier, the Ukrainian government approved the updated mobilization bill as the country seeks to bolster its armed forces. Ukraine is facing a manpower shortage, and has had to resort to introducing some punitive measures for those deemed to be dodging the draft.

Kuleba also previously criticized men of fighting age who had left the country during the war.

"How it looks now: A man of conscription age went abroad, showed his state that he does not care about its survival, and then comes and wants to receive services from this state," Kuleba said.

Poll: 62% of Ukrainians say they are prepared to fight for country
Ukrainians have the highest readiness to fight for their country among other European countries, at 62% of the population, according to a survey by the Sociological Group Rating conducted in 2023 together with Gallup International and published on April 23.
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