Kyiv has drafted a law aimed at closing a loophole that “a significant number of individuals” had been using to avoid being conscripted into Ukraine’s armed forces.
Under current legislation, men aged 18-60 are exempt from being mobilized if they are students enrolled on a higher education course.
The new law seeks to limit this so that it would only apply to those aged over 30 as a large increase in the number of older, male students since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine suggests it was being used to avoid conscription.
From 2019 to 2021, around 40,000 male students in Ukraine were aged over 25. After February 2022, this number jumped to 106,000.
In the explanatory note, the draft law's authors emphasize that, with the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion, a "significant number of individuals of conscription age" exploited this legal provision to evade conscription during mobilization.
These individuals often pursued education at a level equal to or lower than their prior education.
The draft law's authors believe that "the practice of evading conscription for military service during mobilization negatively impacts Ukraine's national security and defense".
"It also affects the morale and psychological well-being of military personnel who defend Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity with arms in hand."
The Kyiv Post reached out for comments to one of the initiative's authors, the president's representative in parliament, Fedir Venislavskyi, and the deputy head of the pro-presidential faction "Servant of the People," Yevgenia Kravchuk. The People's Deputies noted that the draft law had not yet been discussed during the faction meeting.
"The committee (on issues of national security, defense, and intelligence) discussed it. There is an understanding of the correctness of the draft law," said Venislavskyi.
However, it remains uncertain when the document might be considered in the parliament's session hall and whether this legislative initiative will receive support from the majority of deputies.
"Predicting political outcomes is often more challenging than forecasting the weather," Venislavskyi remarked.
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