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Police open investigation over attempted suicide in Zakarpattia Oblast enlistment office

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 16, 2024 4:07 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: A chevron reading Ukraine is seen on a serviceman uniform during a celebration ceremony of the Independence Day at St. Sophia Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Aug. 24, 2023. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The police launched an investigation into the circumstances of a supposed attempted suicide by a man in the Khust military enlistment office in Zakarpattia Oblast, Hromadske reported on March 16, citing a statement from the police.

The enlistment office's press service claimed that the man was detained on March 13 while attempting to illegally cross the border. Border guards took him to the enlistment office to verify his registration data, according to the official statement cited by Suspilne.

Ukrainian men aged 18-60 are forbidden to leave the country due to the martial law that has been imposed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, with some exceptions.

After the man went to the restroom, he was allegedly found with cuts and blood on his hands. After being taken to the hospital, the doctors said the man attempted suicide, enlistment officials said.

According to the man's girlfriend, he was kidnapped by border guards from a hotel in the city of Vynohradiv, taken to a border crossing, and pressured to confess to trying to cross illegally. The girlfriend said the accusations were untrue.

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The man's partner also said that he was beaten and abused by employees of the Khust enlistment office in the presence of police officers.

The police denied that their staff would be present during the alleged beatings but opened an investigation under the criminal article of driving a person to suicide. The enlistment office also said that an internal inspection is ongoing.

There have been multiple cases of suspected abuses committed by enlistment officials toward civilians and conscripts. One conscript died at a military enlistment center in Ternopil Oblast following a many-day stay at the center earlier this year. The man was reportedly found to be epileptic, with bruises all over his body.

Last October, a commander of the security department at the Ternopil military enlistment office was charged with torture, and another staff member of the same department was charged with illegal imprisonment of a civilian.

As the full-scale war entered its third year, Ukraine seeks to ramp up its mobilization efforts while reforming the system to take into consideration the needs of the soldiers. The parliament is now considering a new draft of the mobilization law after its initial, contentious version was withdrawn.

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