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Ukraine to lose at least 10 mln citizens over mobilization law — political scientist

According to Andrey Zolotarev, domestically, the population’s confidence level in President Vladimir Zelensky and state authorities will plummet

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. With Ukrainians abroad expected to renounce their citizenship en masse over the mobilization law, the country stands to lose at least 10 mln people, Ukrainian political scientist Andrey Zolotarev said.

"Many Ukrainians abroad will simply cut ties with Ukraine. The turmoil that the embassies’ administrative service centers encountered is more than telling. Crowds of thousands of people, <...> fistfights breaking out in Warsaw. According to the most modest calculations, this is a loss of 10 million people, not only men, but women as well. This is a colossal show of no-confidence in the state," he said in an interview with journalist Alexander Shelest (recognized as a foreign agent in Russia).

That said, according to Zolotarev, domestically, the population’s confidence level in President Vladimir Zelensky and state authorities will plummet. "Growing social tensions as a result of the law being approved are inevitable. Another thing is <...> how this will manifest itself. We have already seen women rioting in the Ternopol and Ivano-Frankovsk regions. And this is just the beginning," the political scientist stressed.

Additionally, the lack of any mention about demobilization in the law will demoralize Ukrainian servicemen who have been at the frontline for a long time already, he pointed out.

About new law

Earlier, Zelensky signed the mobilization law passed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) in the second and final reading on April 11. The bill triggered a wave of criticism even in its beginning stages. Many Ukrainian analysts noted that the law will not resolve any issues with staffing the army but may trigger a rise in corruption because those eligible for military service will try to bribe their way out of serving. The law provides for stricter rules around the mobilization procedure, including penalties for evasion as well as clarification of the categories of individuals subject to mobilization.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are expected to be mobilized. After the law was approved, Ukrainian news outlets and social networks began reporting of lines at Ukrainian consulates abroad where men who left the country were trying to change their documents according to old rules. After the new law comes into effect, the Ukrainians eligible for military service will be able to receive consular services only after updating their information at a military commissariat and filing military registration documents.

According to Ukrainian media reports, many men try to avoid being mobilized in every way possible, literally shunning leaving their homes for months on end to avoid encounters with recruiters, using forged documents to travel abroad or attempting to cross the border illegally and frequently risking their lives. The mobilization drive has already resulted in numerous scandals and sharp divisions in society. While military recruiters frequently use coercion and force, and even those unfit for military service end up being called up, many lawmakers and public officials dodge conscription by secreting their draft age sons abroad to avoid being sent to fight.