Ukraine lowers military mobilization age to strengthen defense capability

The bill has been voted on by Ukrainian representatives for more than a year, but will only come into force after the President's signature.

The move expands the number of civilians the Ukrainian military can recruit into its ranks to fight under martial law, which has been in place since Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Volodymyr Zelensky separately signed a second bill requiring men discharged from the military due to disability to undergo another medical evaluation.

The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) considers the move useful in terms of “replenishment of human resource reserves” at a time when Kiev's armed forces are facing shortages of soldiers, weapons and ammunition to control the advance of Moscow troops. East of the country.

Ukrainian troops face challenges on the battlefield, with ammunition supplies short and key U.S. funding blocked by Republicans for months, as well as the European Union's failure to deliver promised ammunition on time.

Extending the draft age has been a contentious issue in Ukraine. Many sections of the opposition disagree with the repression foreseen in some of the provisions and legal experts warn of the risk of unconstitutionality.

A disagreement over the age of recruitment is also believed to be one of the reasons for Zelensky's dismissal of the former commander of the armed forces in February this year.

In the same month, Valerii Zaluzhnyi expressed his frustration at “the inability of government agencies in Ukraine to improve the unmanned levels of our armed forces without resorting to unpopular measures.”

The current system of conscription is considered unfair, inefficient and often corrupt by many Ukrainians. And there are calls to field an army that has been massively depleted on the war front since the beginning of the conflict.

Military recruitment in Russia has been on the rise in recent times
In turn, Russia reported a significant increase in the number of applicants to join the armed forces after last month's attacks in Moscow.

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In a statement published this Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that in the last ten days alone, more than 16,000 people have joined the armed forces. Since the beginning of the year, 100 thousand signatures have been registered.

“During interviews held at examination centers in Russian cities last week, the majority of candidates pointed to the desire to avenge the victims of the March 22, 2024 tragedy in the Moscow region as the main reason for concluding the agreement,” it announced. Russian Ministry of Defense.
At least 144 people were killed in the shooting at the Crocus City Hall concert venue on the outskirts of the Russian capital. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but Russia is pushing to blame Ukraine.

In September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of 300,000 troops to reinforce forces stationed in Ukraine. Putin later said that the number of voluntary treaty signatories was so high that another forced mobilization was not necessary.

A classified US intelligence report released in December estimated that 315,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded since the start of the war – representing nearly 90% of Russian military personnel at the start of the invasion.

On the Ukrainian side, Zelensky announced in February that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the start of the war, but US officials put the number at at least 70,000.


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