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Ukraine Running Out of Pro Soldiers as Draft-Eligible Men Flee

© AFP 2023 / ANATOLII STEPANOVA Ukrainian soldier walks at a front line position on April 22, 2023.
A Ukrainian soldier walks at a front line position on April 22, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2023
As the Kiev regime forges ahead with its lackluster counteroffensive, it is not only increasingly running out of ammo, but is also forced to acknowledge the gravity of Ukraine’s losses.
Ukraine is fast running out of professional military personnel, The Washington Post has reported. Growing numbers of fighting-age men are either dying in the "meat grinder" of Kiev’s botched counteroffensive, deserting active-duty service, or are dodging the draft. No one wants to die a pointless death on a suicide mission, it was stated.
Too many civilians seem content to leave the fighting to ‘professional’ soldiers,” the outlet cited members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces as complaining. Amid waning support among NATO allies for providing aid to Ukraine, it is not only losses of military hardware and ammunition shortages that are a problem for President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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On the ground, Kiev is using everything from additional patrols to reels of barbed wire to keep draft-eligible men from fleeing Ukraine. The sheer desperation for rounding up more fighters has resulted in men being practically snatched off the streets.
Even if you’re missing a leg, they’ll say you can still fly drones,” one man was quoted as saying. He added that as ordinary Ukrainians were dying, “members of parliament” and other top brass were driving around in luxury cars.

The Kiev regime has been filling its military ranks with volunteers and draftees. Since the intensification of the Ukraine conflict, Kiev has imposed martial law, resulting in a travel ban on all men aged 18 to 60, since they are deemed liable for military service. Draft cards are handed out not only in recruitment offices, but on the streets, at gas stations and in cafes. Draft dodgers have become a huge problem, with a wave of viral videos showing Ukrainian men desperately trying to avoid conscription.

'Lack of Training & Endemic Corruption'

Interviews with draft-age Ukrainians revealed what is an open secret: that both the Kiev government and its military are mired in “endemic corruption and incompetence,” the report said. Besides lack of training, Ukrainian soldiers admitted that the entire system was riddled with “loopholes” allowing people to buy their way out.
Those trying to dodge military service rely on a vast array of options. These range from college deferments, “white papers” claiming medical disabilities, bogus marriages, and other fake documents to riskier schemes, such as border crossings. Those opting for the latter have been forced to dress up as women or members of the clergy, and, on occasion, have been desperate enough to squeeze themselves into tiny secret compartments in vehicles, per the report, citing Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service. Many try to bribe border guards to get through checkpoints as stowaways. Professional traffickers who can prepare phony documents are reportedly in great demand. Social media sites abound with offers of professional "guide services" across the border, with fees starting at $1,200.
As of now, I’m not surprised at anything," one border official was cited as confessing.
At this point, the report cited Western analysis based on Eurostat data that claimed 650,000 conscription-age men had fled Ukraine. The routes frequented by conscription-dodgers are the said to be the Moldova, Romania, or Poland borders.
Destroyed military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.11.2023
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Avoiding conscription is a criminal offense in Ukraine, which could be punished with prison time from three to five years. In late August, President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered a full review of all mobilization exemptions granted by Military Medical Commissions (MMCs) starting from February 24, 2022. Zelensky also fired heads of regional recruitment commissions amid corruption allegations.
Total mobilization in Ukraine, supplies of Western weapons, and the introduction of reserves have not only failed to change the situation on the battlefield, but also increased the number of losses among Ukrainian troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier in December. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have lost more than 125,000 people and 16,000 units of weapons over the six-month counteroffensive, Shoigu said.
"Our military acts competently and decisively, occupies a more advantageous position, and expands control zones in all directions," he added.
At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry and regional authorities of Russia's new territories informed the press that Ukrainian troops have been increasingly surrendering to the Russian forces in the conflict zone.
Destroyed Canadian Roshel Senator armored vehicle of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is seen in Artemovsk (Bakhmut) as Russia's military operation in Ukraine continues, Donetsk People's Republic, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2023
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