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President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, May 8, 2024. (President's Office)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 17 signed into law a bill permitting citizens convicted under certain charges to serve in the military.

Ukraine's parliament passed a bill last week, paving the way for the voluntary mobilization of prisoners.

The list of convicted citizens who were allowed to be drafted does not include those convicted of premeditated murder, sexual violence, drug trafficking and production, or crimes against national security.

Based on suggestions of the anti-corruption parliamentary committee, the measure will also exclude lawmakers and top officials imprisoned for corruption, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said.

However, the final version of the bill allowed military service for those convicted of involuntary manslaughter, except for cases when the perpetrator was in a state of intoxication.

The proposal was first submitted to the parliament in March as part of Ukraine's efforts to replenish the ranks of the Armed Forces amid the ongoing war with Russia.

Ukraine could fill its ranks with as many as 20,000 convicts in a move that would also help ease overcrowding in Ukrainian prisons, Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said.

Ukraine recently updated the legal framework in order to ramp up mobilization in 2024. President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the new law on mobilization on April 16, introducing penalties for those dodging the draft.

Another law lowered the minimum age of compulsory military service from 27 to 25, making men eligible for the draft as soon as they turned 25.

Economy minister cancels conscription exemption for Glovo, Favbet Tech employees
Last month, Ukraine’s government decided to exempt from conscription employees at Favbet, Glovo, and the American-owned payment corporation Visa for six months.
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