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Parliament passes bill allowing some convicts to serve in military

by Martin Fornusek May 8, 2024 4:43 PM 2 min read
The flag of Ukraine flies in front of the building of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on August 24, 2023 in Kyiv. (Andrii Nesterenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The article initially stated that only those convicted of minor offenses would be allowed to serve. The final version of the bill permitted military service for more serious charges, such as involuntary manslaughter.

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed in the second and final reading on May 8 a bill permitting military service of citizens convicted of certain offenses, said lawmaker Oleksii Honcharenko, one of the bill's authors.

This does not include those convicted of premeditated murder, sexual violence, drug trafficking and production, or crimes against national security.

Based on suggestions of the anti-corruption parliamentary committee, the measure will also exclude lawmakers and top officials imprisoned for corruption, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said.

The final version of the bill allowed military service for those convicted of involuntary manslaughter, except for cases when the perpetrator was in a state of intoxication.

The bill was supported by 279 lawmakers, with 11 abstaining and none voting against it.

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The proposal was first submitted to the parliament in March as part of the efforts to replenish the ranks of Ukraine's Armed Forces amid the ongoing war with Russia. It passed the first reading on April 10.

Deputy Justice Minister Olena Vysotska told Suspilne that the proposal could free up 50,000 recruits among those who had already served their sentence, as well as 26,000 of those who are currently imprisoned.

In April, the parliament also passed a general mobilization bill that seeks to reform the draft process and address the growing manpower shortage.

Parliament passes mobilization bill in second reading
Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed on April 11 the updated mobilization bill in its second reading, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said. The bill was supported by 283 lawmakers.
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