Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ukraine Mobilization Faces Widespread Draft Evasion - Russia Insider

This article originally appeared in Business New Europe

Ukraine's latest round of mobilisation of army reserves faces massive draft-dodging, as the conflict in East Ukraine with Russian-backed rebels becomes increasingly bloody and protracted.

Given escalating fighting in East Ukraine, the Ukrainian defence ministry on January 20 lauched its fourth wave of mobilisation of the country's reservists since its "anti-terrorist campaign" started in April 2014. The army reserves comprise men who have undergone one year of mandatory national military service.

On January 26, the defence ministry said a total of just under 62,000 reservists had already received their draft papers in the new wave, half of the overall target number. Draft-dodging in Ukraine can be punished by up to three years in jail.

But writing on Facebook on January 27, presidential advisor Yury Biryukov said that draft-dodging had become endemic, even in West Ukraine – the traditional heartland of Ukrainian patriotism. According to Biryukov, 57% of those called up in the western region of Ivano-Frankivsk, named after a national poet, had simply ignored their draft papers.

Biryukov said that an estimated 37% of those called up had crossed the border into Romania. “Unofficial sources tell us that hotels and motels on the other side of the border with Romania are packed with draft-dodgers,” he wrote.

Complete story at - Ukraine Mobilization Faces Widespread Draft Evasion - Russia Insider

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