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MP: Parliament considering changes to mobilization eligibility

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 20, 2023 5:21 PM 2 min read
Three Ukrainian soldiers walk through the forest at dawn, which has been covered with smoke after artillery fire during combat manoeuvers in the Kreminna Forest in Luhansk Oblast on Sept. 24, 2023. (Photo by Libkos/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is considering making changes to its law on mobilization to expand the list of persons who must register for military service, lawmaker Mariana Bezuhla said on Facebook on Nov. 20.

Bezuhla, who is a member of parliament of President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People party, said that a number of changes are set to be made, including clamping down on those who enroll in higher education in order to avoid having to register for military service.

According to current legislation, students have the right to defer military service, which has led to thousands more young men signing up to continue their studies, compared to pre-war figures.

The changes to the law will mean that an exemption only counts for an individual's first degree in higher education, not for continuing education with additional degrees.

Another proposed change will be that the exemption will no longer apply to all of those who care for a disabled family member.

Only those who need to care full-time for a disabled family member of the first degree of kinship, meaning parents, parents-in-law, children, or husband or wife, will remain exempt from conscription.

Those who have done military service in another country prior to becoming a Ukrainian citizen, will also now be eligible for military service, as well as those who have been convicted of a criminal offense and are currently in prison.

Fedir Venislavskyi, Zelensky's parliamentary representative, told the BBC on Nov. 17 that "those who try to avoid mobilization are about 1-5%" of all Ukrainian men.

BBC: 20,000 Ukrainian men have illegally crossed border since February 2022
According to the BBC, authorities in Ukraine’s neighbors, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Moldova, said that 19,740 men had illegally crossed their borders between February 2022 and Aug. 31, 2023.
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