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War in Ukraine: Zelensky unveils controversial law on military mobilization

This is a controversial text in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday unveiled a law aimed at mobilizing more people in the face of a Russian invasion. The law is being challenged because it does not provide for a demobilization period for soldiers.

According to a message published on the website of the Rada of Ukraine, the text was handed over to the president on Tuesday, who then signed it. The Ukrainian parliament passed this bill on April 11 with 283 votes in favor.

The Ukrainian army, weakened by a failed counteroffensive in the summer of 2023 and dwindling Western aid, is struggling to contain Russian attacks at several points along the front. To do this, he needs people and ammunition. In an effort to find volunteers, Kyiv has just expanded mobilization, lowering the age of conscription from 27 to 25.

Ukraine, facing a shortage of volunteer soldiers, has been working on the text for months, marked by controversy after more than two years of war against the Russian occupier that left tens of thousands dead.

Removal of demobilization clause

The text, which markedly tightens sanctions for those who resist, caused a scandal due to the last-minute exclusion of a clause providing for the demobilization of soldiers who had served 36 months, which was a heavy blow for soldiers who fought at the front. for more than two years. The authorities have assured that the issue of demobilization will be regulated by a separate law, but the date for its preparation and adoption has not been set.

From now on, sanctions for those evading mobilization will be tightened. The text also simplifies registration procedures by creating a dedicated digital system.

500,000 additional soldiers

In December 2023, Volodymyr Zelensky said that the army had proposed to mobilize up to 500,000 additional people, a figure that was revised downwards by the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Alexander Syrsky.

Many Ukrainians consider the current hiring system to be unfair, ineffective and often corrupt. There are also voices demanding the demobilization of those who have been at the front for a long time.

Last summer, Russia also passed a law raising the conscription age from 27 to 30 from January 1, 2024. The country is preparing to launch a recruitment campaign that should affect tens of thousands of young people aged 18 to 30 years. The army assured that these recruits will not be sent to Ukraine.

Source: Le Parisien

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