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Ukrainians grow unwilling to serve in the army — media

January 27, 2015, 19:46 UTC+3 KIEV
Men from western regions are leaving for Poland and Hungary while citizens from eastern regions go to Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

KIEV, January 27 /TASS/. Ukraine’s male population has massively started leaving abroad in search of jobs to dodge the current mobilization campaign.

"Entire villages are booking buses to dispatch their men as far as possible. Military committees are handing over the lists of fugitives to law enforcers and try to restrict the movement of men subject to conscription outside their native districts and areas," the Vesti publication wrote on Tuesday.

Natalya from Zaporizhia (south-eastern Ukraine) dispatched her son to Russia several months ago. The woman told Vesti on condition of anonymity that she had also sent her husband away (also to Russia) a week before. Men from western regions are leaving for Poland and Hungary. The city military committee in Ukraine’s capital Kiev is also complaining about draft dodgers.

Human resource experts are noting growing interest in vacancies abroad. "Over the past three months more than 281 job seekers interested in employment abroad, including 176 last month, have posted their CVs on our website," Tatyana Pashkina from the Rabota.ru portal said.

The authorities in the Kiev-controlled parts of the Lugansk region have recently forbidden men aged 18-60 to leave for militia-controlled territories and abroad without permission from local military committees.

Last Monday, the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky City Council /the Odessa region/ published a ban for reservists to leave the region’s territory.

The fourth round of mobilization in Ukraine kicked off on January 20. Another two are scheduled for April and June.

According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, about 104,000 people may be mobilized in 2015.

Ukrainian army’s Chief of Staff Vladimir Talalay said that draft dodgers would face from 2 to 5 years in prison adding that women aged 25-50 could also be drafted into the army if necessary.

Russia may help Ukrainians avoid army service

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Monday that Russia might extend the period of sojourn in Russian territory for Ukrainians of conscription age who could be drafted into the Ukraine army.

"Many people, by the way, do not want to be mobilized. They are trying to move to Russia and lie low for some time. And they are absolutely right because they are simply being sent under bullets like cannon fodder," Putin said at a meeting with the students of the "Gornyi" University of Mineral Resources on January 26.

At the same time, the president said Ukrainian nationals could not stay in Russia longer than for a period established by the law.

"Under a new law, Ukrainian citizens cannot stay in Russia for more than 30 days. After that they have to return to Ukraine where they are being caught and sent under the bullets again. That is why I think that we are going to change something in that law," Putin said adding the sojourn of some categories of people, especially those of conscription age, could be extended within legal framework.

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