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President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
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Ukraine's military needs younger men not only because they are physically fitter than older men but also because they can master technology used on the battlefield faster, President Volodymyr Zelensky told French YouTuber Hugo Travers in an interview published on April 21.

Zelensky signed several laws on mobilization on April 2, one of which lowered the minimum age of compulsory military service from 27 to 25, making men eligible for the draft from age 25.

"There are specific criteria regarding the age and physical condition of combatants so that they can be trained and sent later to the front," Zelensky told Travers.

"This is a request from the military command in response to the specific needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," as there is a need to train new soldiers to "replace those who have been fighting for two years," Zelensky said.

Zelensky said the replacement will only work if the new recruits are "properly trained and in good physical condition."

"With all due respect to our fighters, there's a difference between a 25-year-old combatant and a 50-year-old one."

Younger fighters can also master the different technologies used on the battlefield, Zelensky said. "It is a modern type of war," especially in terms of technologies such as UAVs, maritime drones, and cybersecurity.

"The new generation masters new technologies much more rapidly," Zelensky said.

Ukraine has made steps to update the legal framework around conscription in order to ramp up mobilization in 2024, in the works since late last year. Zelensky signed the new law on mobilization on April 16.

Who was Pavlo Petrychenko, the prominent activist recently killed in combat?
In his battle for Ukraine, Pavlo Petrychenko used not only weapons but also his voice. A renowned Kyiv activist, he fought for the prosecution of corrupt Ukrainian officials, demanding justice for his fellow activists, including Kateryna Handziuk, who was murdered in 2018. As a team member of the…
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