All news

Ukrainian parliamentary committee unable to decide on mobilization bill

The Ukrainian authorities have encountered numerous difficulties with army recruitment

MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. A relevant committee of Ukraine’s parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has failed to make a timely decision about a controversial bill on mobilization and tougher punishment for those who dodge military service, a lawmaker said.

"The mobilization bill will not go to Verkhovna Rada for consideration [on Wednesday]," Verkhovna Rada MP Alexey Goncharenko (blacklisted as a terrorist and extremist in Russia) said, adding that the document will be once again reviewed by the parliament’s national security committee later in the day.

Meanwhile, Irina Friz, a lawmaker from the European Solidarity opposition party, said some of the bill’s provisions run counter to the country’s constitution.

"We insist on the removal of all provisions that entail corruption risks, and on the removal of anti-constitutional norms - there have been too many of them for just one legislative act," she said on national TV.

Roman Kostenko, the secretary of the Verkhovna Rada National Security and Defense Committee, said earlier that the committee could make its final decision on the document on January 8 or 9. The draft bill may either be sent back to the government for corrections and improvements or put to a vote in the parliament, with the possibility of being amended between the first and second readings if necessary.

Meanwhile, committee member Solomiya Bobrovskaya said the document requires a serious overhaul as lawmakers "have objections to practically every other provision of it."

Problems with mobilization in Ukraine

The Ukrainian authorities have encountered numerous difficulties with army recruitment. On December 25, a bill on new mobilization rules was submitted to parliament. Among the main proposed measures are restrictions on rights for failure to appear at the military enlistment office, including a freeze on bank accounts, reduction of the age of those subject to mobilization from 27 to 25 years old and the possibility to send summonses electronically. Ukrainians who fail to appear at the military recruitment offices when summoned will be banned from traveling abroad and from carrying out transactions with movable and immovable property. In addition, they will be prohibited from driving their own vehicles and obtaining a driver's license and denied loans and the payment of benefits and allowances will be suspended.

Ukraine’s aggressive mobilization campaign has already sparked numerous scandals. The media regularly publish stories of military mobilization officers using force against citizens when handing out conscription orders, or conscripting people unfit for service for health reasons, as well as many instances of lawmakers and civil servants abusing their authority to surreptitiously secrete their conscription age sons to locations abroad, out of reach of Kiev’s mobilization squads.

Recently, in the context of aggravated problems with recruitment military enlistment offices have been actively catching men in public places, and many of them have to stay indoors for months.

On December 19, Zelensky said that the Ukrainian military command had requested that 500,000 more people be drafted into the armed forces.