NewsUkraine's new mobilization law compels citizens to return to the country

Ukraine's new mobilization law compels citizens to return to the country

Queue of people waiting in front of the Ukrainian passport point in the Blue City shopping center in Warsaw
Queue of people waiting in front of the Ukrainian passport point in the Blue City shopping center in Warsaw
Images source: © PAP | Albert Zawada

7:38 AM EDT, April 25, 2024

Ukrainians living abroad have strongly opposed the new mobilization law, criticizing the move to compel them to return to their homeland. In contrast, those who remained to fight the Russian invasion hold a markedly different perspective.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian government approved regulations stipulating that men aged between 18 and 60 who wish to leave Ukraine or are currently abroad can only obtain a Ukrainian citizen's passport within Ukraine itself.

Ukrainians who escaped the draft by going abroad argue that it's unfair for politicians to attempt to force their return. They vehemently oppose the idea, citing a reluctance to become "cannon fodder."

Those steadfast in defending their nation view the mobilization efforts from a contrary angle. "They escape abroad, seeking assistance from Poland and other EU countries as Ukrainian citizens yet shirking their civic responsibilities. They refuse to defend their homeland, which is unjust," asserts Volodymyr Fesenko, a Ukrainian political analyst.

Fesenko also highlights the importance of monitoring Ukrainian diplomatic missions closely for potential corruption.

"Without mobilization, we'll lose this war"

Currently, no regulations compel Ukrainians to return home. Nonetheless, they are required to create an electronic conscription account and register with the appropriate military authority.

Fesenko indicates that the laws may be further tightened. "The country needs to be aware of the number of conscription-aged individuals capable of military service it has," he points out.

"The push for enhanced mobilization efforts began late last year, with discussions around enlisting up to 500,000 individuals. However, Zelensky had reservations, citing budgetary constraints and the inability to afford to mobilize such a large number simultaneously. With Russia having a numerical advantage on the frontline, Ukraine faces a shortage of personnel for rotations, necessitating the buildup of reserves," explains Fesenko. "Without mobilization, we risk losing this war," he concludes.

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