Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men in draft push

Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men in draft push
Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men in draft push

Hello and welcome to the details of Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men in draft push and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Potential recruits who aspire to join the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces take part in a testing basic military course, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 27, 2024. — Reuters pic

KYIV, April 23 — Ukraine today suspended consular services for military-age men abroad except those needed for them to return to Ukraine, dramatically stepping up its effort to boost conscription in the war against Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of military-age Ukrainian men are living abroad and the country faces an acute shortage of troops against a larger, better-equipped enemy nearly 26 months since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a statement that he had ordered measures to be taken to restore what he described as fair treatment for men of mobilisation age.

“How it looks like now: a man of conscription age went abroad, showed his state that he does not care about its survival, and then comes and wants to receive services from this state,” he said on X.

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“It does not work this way. Our country is at war.”

Kuleba said the foreign ministry would clarify the procedure for military-age men to obtain consular services soon.

Some 4.3 million Ukrainians were living in European Union countries as of January, 2024, of whom about 860,000 are adult men, the Eurostat database estimated.

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Ukraine imposed martial law at the start of the full-scale war, banning men aged 18 to 60 from travelling abroad without special dispensation and beginning a rolling mobilisation of civilian men into the armed forces.

Mobilisation law

Military analysts say the shortage of manpower is Ukraine’s most significant battlefield weakness. It also faces an acute shortage of artillery shells, although Kyiv hopes U.S. military aid will replenish its stocks soon.

There have been numerous cases of draft dodgers trying to flee the country. The border guard service said it had detained eight men trying to cross into Hungary illegally on Tuesday.

The state passport service said the issuance of ready-made passports had also been suspended for “technical reasons” for all citizens abroad expect children under the age of 12.

A foreign ministry helpline said the suspension of consular services would remain in place until clarification on how to implement the new law overhauling the way the mobilisation effort is conducted.

The law that was signed by Zelenskiy last week and comes into effect next month aims to improve and speed up the way the military mobilises civilians into the armed force.

The law will require all military-age men to report to draft offices to update their papers, remotely or in person within 60 days. Military-age men abroad would need those papers to receive consular services.

“Staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of his or her duties to the homeland,” Kuleba said. — Reuters

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