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Poll: Most Ukrainians say they understand motivation of draft evaders

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 1, 2024 6:05 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian soldier is seen along the frontline in the direction of Kreminna, Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region on March 31, 2024. (Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Most Ukrainians say they understand the motivation of those who try to avoid mobilization, according to a poll by Ukraine's Institute of Social and Political Psychology published on April 1.

Ukraine aims to ramp up mobilization in 2024 and a draft law on mobilization, which is currently being discussed and amended in parliament, proposes to lower the enlistment age and introduce basic military training for adults.

The poll showed that 53.9% of respondents agreed with the statement that "those who avoid mobilization can be understood - no one wants to die."

Another 17% disagreed, while 29% of respondents said it was difficult to answer. Among respondents in central regions of Ukraine, the number of those who said they could not answer rose to 35.5%.

The highest figure of those who disagreed with the statement was among respondents in the west of Ukraine, at 22.6%.

At the same time, almost 43% of respondents said they were ashamed of men who evade mobilization.

This number rose to 50% among respondents living in the south of Ukraine, where much of the front line is located. This region also had the highest number of respondents who said they understand the motivations of those who want to evade mobilization, at 70.9%.

The survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews between March 1 and March 15, and had 2,000 respondents, who were adults living across Ukraine, other than in areas under Russian occupation.

President Volodymyr Zelensky initially said in December 2023 that the army required the mobilization of 450,000-500,000 additional conscripts, but Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on March 29 that this number has been "significantly reduced."

Defense committee considers all parliamentary amendments to mobilization bill
The parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee reviewed all the 4,269 amendments of a mobilization bill, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said on March 29.
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