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Former Ukrainian PM points to motive behind mobilization exception for law enforcement

Nikolay Azarov noted that currently, law enforcement’s main job in Ukraine was to tighten the screws on the country’s population

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian government has pushed through a provision in the new mobilization law exempting the country’s top law enforcement agencies from military service so that they can stay back and act as an insurance policy should things go south after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky term in office expires, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov said on Wednesday.

"The Kiev regime has reserved from mobilization employees of all security agencies - the National Police, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the Bureau of Economic Security (BES), the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), the Prosecutor's Office, etc. - to have them on hand to deal with Zelensky's legitimacy crisis," Azarov, who served as the country’s prime minister between 2010 and 2014, stated on his Facebook account (banned in Russia due to its ownership by Meta designated as extremist).

Azarov added that currently, law enforcement’s main job in Ukraine was to tighten the screws on the country’s population.

Zelensky signed a controversial bill into law to tighten mobilization rules on April 16. The document was submitted to the country’s president on Tuesday after Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk signed off on it. Zelensky inked the bill the same day he received it.

On April 11, the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) passed the second and final reading of the bill, which has been quite controversial, causing an uproar on social media in recent months.

The document tightens the mobilization procedure and penalties for draft evaders, and also refines the categories of those subject to mobilization. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are expected to be drafted.

After news came of the law’s adoption, Ukrainian news outlets and social media started spreading reports about long lines at Ukrainian overseas consulates where men liable for military service are seeking to reissue their documents according to the old rules. Once the law takes effect, they will be able to receive consular services only after their data is updated by draft offices.

On December 25, 2023, the Ukrainian government submitted a bill to the Rada to tighten penalties for draft evaders. However, the document sparked controversy among lawmakers and was sent back for revision. Over 4,000 amendments were prepared for the second reading.

On April 2, Zelensky signed a law lowering the conscription age from 27 years to 25, creating an electronic registry of possible recruits and abolishing the concept of partially fit for military service.