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Parliament passes in 1st reading bill allowing some convicts to serve in military

by Martin Fornusek April 10, 2024 2:20 PM 1 min read
People's Deputies of Ukraine vote during session of the Verkhovna Rada on March 14, 2024 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Andrii Nesterenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed on April 10 in the first reading 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 under serious and violent charges, such as premeditated murder, sexual violence, or crimes against national security.

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.

The bill has to pass a second reading and be signed by the president before it becomes law.

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.

Ukraine's parliament is now also considering a general mobilization bill that seeks to reform the draft process and replenish the military ranks.

Ground Forces commander calls on Ukrainians to join the army amid manpower shortage
“No matter how much help we get, how many weapons we have – we lack people,” Ukraine’s Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Pavliuk said.
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