Home World News In Manpower Push, Ukraine Permits Certain Prisoners To Join The Military

In Manpower Push, Ukraine Permits Certain Prisoners To Join The Military


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a law allowing some convicts to join the armed forces, the parliamentary database showed.

The new law offers parole to convicts who sign a contract to join the army. Officials have said this could generate a maximum of 20,000 soldiers for the Ukrainian war effort. Convicts wanting to enlist would have to write an appeal to the head of the prison and conditional probation would be granted by a court decision. Those convicted of serious crimes, such as the premeditated murder of two or more people, rape and crimes against national security, would not be allowed to enlist.

Ukraine’s parliament passed the bill more than a week back. “It’s no secret that the mobilisation resource of our enemy is huge, and therefore we should use all available opportunities to fight back armed aggression. Some of these people are motivated and patriotic citizens who are ready to redeem themselves before society on the battlefield,” a note attached to the bill said.

Ukraine battles to hold the line against Russian offensives in its northeast, east and south. Manpower has long been an issue for Kyiv’s military, more than 26 months since Russia launched its full-scale invasion. The problem has grown more acute in recent months, prompting authorities to introduce stricter measures for draft evaders.

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Separately, Zelenskyy has signed a law increasing fines for draft dodgers to up to $218, according to the parliament’s website. The average monthly wage in Ukraine is about $560.

Ukraine has already lowered the draft mobilisation age from 27 to 25. The upper limit is 60. In tandem, the government has also temporarily suspended consular services for men of military age who reside abroad, complaining they were not helping the Ukrainian state fight for its survival. Sweeping legislation overhauling the rules governing army mobilisation comes into force on Saturday.

With inputs from Reuters