The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has published a draft law detailing plans to mobilize a further 500,000 citizens to replenish the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). The latest development – as yet lacking full details – has sparked active discussions across social media, with most people reacting negatively.

Many accuse the draft law of violating the democratic principles of the state.

"We are establishing a dictatorship. This law will deprive people of any rights. According to this law, the only thing a person has to do is die," writes Facebook user Iryna Frieden.

Ihor Lutsenko, a former lawmaker and now a member of the military, addressed lawmakers on the subject and proposed that 10 percent of men from various parliamentary factions go to the front for six months at a time (on a rotating basis) and work in such roles as aerial scouts, snipers and drivers “to show other citizens how to do things.”

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He added: “No-one can then claim that they voted and sent someone to death whilst sitting in the warmth and under the protection of anti-aircraft defense.”

A lawmaker from the ruling "Servant of the People" party, Maryana Bezuhla, wrote in response that she is ready for such a proposal.

“I am ready. I have already spent six months [on the front line] since Feb. 24, 2022 and none of my [government] colleagues were motivated to go there.  There was not a single off-site meeting of the National Security Committee during the full-scale invasion.”

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Her colleague Iryna Herashchenko from the opposition “European Solidarity" faction has also drawn attention to the government's draft law apparently imposing “unconstitutional, flagrant norms in terms of restrictions on citizens,” which she says “hardly justify the necessary strengthening of mobilization.”

Solomiya Bobrovska, a lawmaker from the "Holos" faction, criticized the government for publishing the draft law at Christmas, which Ukraine officially celebrated for the first time this year on Dec. 25.

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Communications expert Oksana Moroz spoke her mind about the state of communications between the authorities and society regarding the mobilization bill.

She believes that the authorities are currently testing Ukrainians’ reactions to the proposals, noting that the nature of current discussions will ultimately serve to “discredit mobilization” and will “unfortunately, change the percentage of those who want to ‘fight to the end’.”

“Under such conditions, the result of the test will be obvious – the majority is against any changes that bring the possibility of mobilization closer.”

Lawmaker Bezuhla promises that further key details pertaining to draft law will be clarified soon. Despite the criticism, she has sought to assure citizens by adding that preparation of the draft law involved public discussions.

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