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Ground Forces commander calls on Ukrainians to join the army amid manpower shortage

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 8, 2024 6:54 PM 2 min read
Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, Ukraine's deputy defense minister since February 2023, was appointed as the head of Ukraine's Ground Forces by a presidential decree on Feb. 11, 2024. (Defense Ministry/Telegram)
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Ukraine's Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Pavliuk called on Ukrainians to join the Armed Forces, highlighting the manpower shortage faced by the military in a Facebook post published on April 8.

"No matter how much help we get, how many weapons we have – we lack people," Pavliuk said.

Ukraine's government aims to ramp up mobilization efforts in 2024, updating the legal framework and clarifying the recruitment process, among other steps.

Pavliuk said that Ukraine's enlistment system is "not perfect," and Ukrainian authorities are working on improving it.

The commander stressed that in case of receiving a summon or coming to the enlistment office to update personal information, the person would not be sent to the front to take part in assault operations immediately.

Pavliuk claimed that Russian propaganda had distorted the information about mobilization and recruitment in Ukraine, adding that there is a specific procedure defined by law.

"Everyone who was examined as eligible (for service), with no exceptions, will go to the training centers. The basic training program lasts one month," the commander said, claiming that this procedure complies with NATO standards.

In 2024, Ukrainian authorities opened two military recruitment centers in Lviv and Zaporizhzhia, reportedly independent from enlistment offices, to give more choices to potential conscripts.

New centers appeared amid the news of multiple cases of suspected abuses committed by enlistment officials toward civilians and conscripts, as well as corruption scandals. In 2023, the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) said that 260 cases regarding abuses by military enlistment offices have been brought to investigation since the all-out war started.

Several complaints on medical commissions were recorded as well, mainly relating to non-compliance with the electronic queue system, uncomfortable conditions during medical checks, doctors' negligence, and corruption practices, among other things.

In March, Ukraine's Health Ministry announced an inspection of military medical commissions in Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed on April 2 three laws on mobilization, lowering the minimum draft age from 27 to 25. Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is still considering the draft of another mobilization bill after its initial, contentious version was withdrawn.

As Ukraine tries to boost mobilization, Russia plans to mobilize an additional 300,000 conscripts by June 1, according to Ukraine's military intelligence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed a decree on March 31 to conscript 150,000 citizens as part of the regularly occurring spring conscription campaign.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russia is likely recruiting around 30,000 people a month to help bolster its war effort.

Ukraine struggles to ramp up mobilization as Russia’s war enters 3rd year
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