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Zelensky mum on how many Ukrainians he plans to mobilize

In December 2023, the Ukrainian leader revealed that the military command had requested that another 500,000 people be called up to the country’s armed forces

MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is staying quiet about how many of the country’s citizens he plans to mobilize.

The day before, he signed a package of military laws, that de-facto approves all disputable norms on the tightening the mobilization rules, that the government had been unsuccessfully trying to apply in a draft law on new rules that has been discussed in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) in the past several months.

"Talking about the number of mobilized, I cannot reveal it yet," Zelensky said at a press conference with his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb broadcast by Ukrainian TV channels.

In December 2023, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky revealed that the military command had requested that another 500,000 people be called up to the country’s armed forces. At the end of March, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Alexander Syrsky, stated that this figure had subsequently been significantly reduced.

On February 7, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a bill on stricter mobilization rules in its first reading. The document envisages introducing electronic summons, canceling deferment for certain categories of men of conscription age, and the possibility of restricting the rights of draft dodgers, up to banning them from driving vehicles and blocking bank accounts. Some of the strict provisions have sparked sharp criticism in society. On March 12, the Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence began considering amendments. According to Ukrainian media reports, it was decided to abandon some of the document’s provisions.

On April 2, Zelensky signed the laws adopted earlier by the parliament on declining the mobilization age from 27 to 25, creating an online list of reservists, and abolishing the status of those with limited fitness for service. Verkhovna Rada MP Irina Gerashchenko explained that with these three laws, the authorities had actually resolved the issues that they had tried to drag out in the unpopular bill that had been laying in parliament.