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US Embassy: Ukraine may no longer allow men with dual citizenship leave country

by Rachel Amran June 5, 2024 5:19 AM 2 min read
A view of the U.S. Embassy on January 24, 2022, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The article previously said that the U.S. Embassy advised Ukrainians with dual citizenship not to leave Ukraine. In fact, the Embassy advised them not to travel to the country.

As of June 1, Ukraine may no longer allow men with dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizenship aged between 18 and 60 to leave the country, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said on June 4.

The Ukrainian government reportedly eliminated the "residence abroad" exception that previously allowed certain Ukrainian males with dual citizenship to travel abroad.

American embassy officials advised men with dual citizenship not to travel to Ukraine.

"If you are in Ukraine and cannot leave the country, shelter in place and obey all local orders," the statement read.

Ukraine passed a hotly debated bill on mobilization this past April to bolster its armed forces. The country is facing a manpower shortage and has had to resort to punitive measures for those deemed to be dodging the draft.

With some exceptions, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine during the war while martial law is in effect.

Kyiv does not recognize dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizenship. Therefore, men with dual status are subject to the same mobilization measures as other Ukrainian citizens.

"Previously, dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizens in this group could enter and then depart Ukraine if they had deregistered their Ukrainian residency and registered their U.S. residency," the Embassy statement reads.

"According to our information, this exception was revoked as of June 1."

In the weeks following the passage of the new mobilization law, Western countries with significant Ukrainian refugee populations have promised to help Ukraine address draft evasion.

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said on April 24 that "many Poles are outraged when they see young Ukrainian men in hotels and cafes, and they hear how much effort we have to make to help Ukraine." Warsaw had reportedly offered to help Ukraine identify refugees living in Poland who are under military obligation.

Back in November 2023, the BBC estimated that some 650,000 military-age Ukrainian men had left the country for the EU since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

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