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Zelensky signs law on allowing soldiers to preserve reproductive cells for free

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2024 6:00 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian soldier holds his child at the railroad station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on Nov. 3, 2023 (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian soldiers will be able to preserve their reproductive cells for free, allowing them to have children in case of death or injury, according to a law signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky on March 12.

The law, which was first passed by Ukraine's parliament in November 2023, ensures that both male and female military personnel can extract and store their reproductive cells for free, so that they can still have children if they receive injuries that affect their sexual function.

It also allows for children to be born from the reproductive cells of a soldier who has been killed on the battlefield.

Soldiers must, however, arrange their legal affairs so that in the event of their death, they will be "recognized as the father or mother of the child born in this way," lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said on Telegram.

The reproductive cells will be stored for free for at least three years from the date of the soldier's death.

Soldiers also have the right to have their stored reproductive cells destroyed after their death if they wish.

The soldier's will, certified by a notary, "is the basis for the use of assisted reproductive technologies using these reproductive cells," Zhelezniak said.

The law on reproductive cells is not the first change to Ukraine's law that has been prompted by the country's wartime reality.

Zelensky signed a law on Feb. 15 that legalized medical cannabis to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as to provide pain relief to people with serious illnesses such as cancer.

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Editor’s Note: The young people featured in this article are either quoted by first name at their family’s request for privacy reasons or, in the case of service members active on the front line, for their safety. “The past two years have flown by. It’s hard to
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