On July 5, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced procedures that would require citizens of Ukraine who are on military registration during martial law to obtain permits to leave their place of residence.
The procedure stems from the 1992 bill “On Military Duty and Military Service”. The bill states that, during wartime, it is prohibited for conscripts and reservists to leave their place of residence without permission from the head of the corresponding territorial military recruitment office.
The decision of the General Staff to invoke the restrictions was sharply criticized for potentially causing more harm than good – an opinion shared by most economic experts and political figures in Ukraine.
On July 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, to cancel the procedure. The president was indignant at such a decision being made without his knowledge.
“Today, I had a meeting with the General Staff… We agreed that the decision was not entirely correct and will be canceled.” The president was keen to ensure that “there are no misunderstandings” between him and the General Staff.
A draft law on the free movement of conscripts and reservists through the territory of Ukraine without obtaining permission has now been registered in Parliament.
Zaluzhny explained that the procedure announced on July 5 had been misinterpreted. He said it “did not create obligations or restrictions on the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine” and that the situation “became the basis for discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the military-political leadership of the state.”
To prevent further confusion, Zaluzhny has sent the document for revision.
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