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A Ukrainian military instructor instructs soldiers during a tactical and live-fire exercise on Nov. 30, 2023 in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. (Roman Chop/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian government needs eight taxpayers per soldier to ensure the state budget has enough funding for the military, Denys Shmyhal said during a press conference on March 4 attended by a Kyiv Independent reporter.

The figure is higher than the number that President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned at a press conference on Dec. 19, 2023, when he said that "it takes six civilians paying taxes to provide for one fighter."

Zelensky said at the year-end press conference that Ukraine's military leadership had proposed to mobilize up to 500,000 additional conscripts, which could cost the state $13.4 billion.

Ukraine's government has to strike a balance between mobilizing enough men to fight, while simultaneously ensuring the country keeps running and the military is adequately funded by taxpayers.

Shmyhal said that according to current government estimates, 700,000 people will be exempted from mobilization due to economic reasons.

These include, for example, those who work in critical industries or for companies that generate above-average profits for the state, Shmyhal said.

The government submitted a new draft of the mobilization law to Ukraine’s parliament on Jan. 30, more than two weeks after withdrawing its initial, contentious version.

Ukraine's parliament supported the updated bill on mobilization in the first reading on Feb. 7. To become law, bills must be passed by parliament in two readings, and signed by the president.

Ukrainian businesses are reportedly concerned that, among other things, the new law would undermine the country's export sector and lead to mass staff shortages due to certain provisions of the new draft process, including online call-ups.

The Ukrainian Business Council urged the removal of certain proposals that could hurt businesses already operating in "survival" mode before the next reading, Reuters reported on Feb. 19.

The Council fears companies that supply the armed forces could lose staff and is opposed to provisions of the bill that allow the military to seize privately owned vehicles without meaningful oversight, as well as call-up notices being sent to citizens online.

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