MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Ukrainian women with medical or pharmaceutical degrees have to register for military service starting from October 1. Such women are obliged to register by December 31, 2026, while the rest can do so at their own will.
According to the law, all women between the ages of 18 and 60 who are doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses, and pharmacists must register. This also applies to female researchers and managers of the healthcare system. As lawyers explained to the Ukrainian Strana media outlet, even if a woman graduated from medical school 20 years ago and did not work, she is obliged to register.
According to the new regulations, women who graduated in chemistry and biology, telecommunications and radio engineering, computer science, veterinary medicine, marketing, psychology and social work, publishing and printing, management and others can voluntarily register. In total, there are 14 specialties on the list.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed the law in October 2022. But even then, the changes caused a public outcry, and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry postponed the implementation of the law for one year. This postponement will expire on October 1.
Ukrainian authorities' rhetoric
The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) deputies explained that women who register for military service will be subject to the same rules as men and will not be allowed to leave Ukraine. The statement caused a widespread public outcry and panic on social media, and Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, recommended that all politicians be more careful in their statements. Then the lawmakers rushed to make a new statement that only mobilized women would be banned from leaving the territory of Ukraine. After that, the Ukrainian armed forces, the State Border Service, and other agencies began regularly assuring that there would be no restrictions on women leaving the country as of October 1.
All branches of government are also actively explaining that the inclusion of women in the military registry does not mean their mobilization. The Ukrainian Health Ministry tried to explain the new requirements by the fact that "for more than 30 years, the registration of female doctors and pharmacists has not worked perfectly" and the measures are necessary only for "data generalization." However, against the background of information about heavy losses in the ranks of the Ukrainian military and increasing mobilization, the population hardly believes this.
Mass dismissal of pharmacists
On the eve of the entry into force of the requirements, Ukrainian pharmacists began to quit their jobs en masse. Experts also expect the exodus of doctors, nurses and pharmacists from Ukraine to intensify.
Despite the attempts of the Ukrainian authorities to smooth the effect of the entry into force of the requirements, the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said that military commissions are already establishing cooperation with local authorities, educational and health institutions, enterprises and organizations of all forms to "draw up schedules" for the arrival of women to clarify their data and register for military service.