Estonia is ready to sign an agreement with Kyiv to help mobilize Ukrainian men residing on its territory, the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs has said.

According to, Lauri Läänemets, around 7,500 Ukrainian citizens of conscription age currently stay in Estonia, though only those who arrived after Feb. 24 2022 and living under a temporary residence permit are subject to military draft.

Currently there is no legal agreement in place between the two countries to enforce their conscription.

“Estonia will not stand aside,” Läänemets said. “We are happy to conclude such an agreement and help Ukraine.

“We have an idea of where these people live in Estonia. We are ready to help transfer these individuals from Estonia to Ukraine if required.”

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Earlier this week, President Zelensky said he had received a request from his army to mobilise hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to replenish Kyiv's forces fending off Russia's invasion.

The Ukrainian leader said that Ukraine's military leadership had proposed mobilising “450,000 to 500,000 people” but that he “needed more arguments to support this idea.”

The Ukrainian army is struggling to find new recruits to battle Russian forces that are once again on the offensive, military officials told AFP.

Some Ukrainians who joined the fighting at the February 2022 start are still in combat and exhausted, while volunteers to replace those killed or wounded are becoming rarer, they also said.

Zelensky Calls for Fast Deliveries of Air Defense Systems, Fighter Jets
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Zelensky Calls for Fast Deliveries of Air Defense Systems, Fighter Jets

Ukraine relies on Western military backing to help it defend against Russian attacks, which have accelerated as Moscow seeks to take advantage of Kyiv's stretched resources on the battlefield.

Zelensky asked at the start of December that the military command review the recruitment system.

Zelensky said another wave of mobilisation was “very sensitive” and needed to be handled in a fair way.

He also warned that Ukraine may not be able to afford mobilising huge numbers, explaining that roughly six taxpayers were needed to finance one soldier.

“How do we find three million more taxpayers from January on?” Zelensky asked.

The Ukrainian leader also ruled out mobilising women, but said he could agree to lowering men's conscription age from 27 to 25.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said its country had 617,000 troops deployed in areas of hostilities, and excluded another wave of mobilisation.

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Comments (2)

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Mark Taylor
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Zelensky MUST bite the bullet and stop just flapping about on this issue. Lower the conscription to 20. Now. This "the youth are the future" stuff is all very well, but Ukrainian youth will have no bloody future at all if they don't step up and ensure the swiftest possible victory for Ukraine. Part of growing up is not to rely on the old folks any more. And not to later be reminded that you did.

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Philip Tummarello
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Nice to have true allies. Germany take note.

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