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Ukraine's Recruiting Efforts 'Sowing Panic' as Draft-Eligible Men Flee 'Certain Death'

© AFP 2023 / ANATOLII STEPANOVUkrainian soldiers walk along the road on December 13, 2023,
Ukrainian soldiers walk along the road on December 13, 2023, - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.03.2024
NATO's proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is not only drained of ammo, but is rapidly running out of military personnel. As growing numbers of fighting-age men are either dying in combat, deserting active-duty service, or dodging the draft, the Kiev regime is desperate to round up more draft-eligible men to throw into the "meat grinder."
Ukraine’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society,The Washington Post reported.
Despite mounting losses, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been downplaying to wheedle more money from the West, there is still “no political consensus” on how to remedy the severe shortage of troops on the battlefront.
There is a yawning split between Zelensky and his top military commanders on a plan to conscript the thousands of soldiers they need as Russia continues to advance after liberating the stronghold of Avdeyevka.
As a result, Ukraine’s military has been “relying on a hodgepodge of recruiting efforts and sown panic among fighting-age men,” the publication stated. It referenced the package of aid to Kiev still stalled in the US Congress, adding that many of Ukraine’s men “have gone into hiding, worried that they will be drafted into an ill-equipped army and sent to certain death.
Destroyed military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.11.2023
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Infighting over how many more troops Ukraine needs “factored” into Zelensky’s sacking of his top general in February, the outlet noted. The previous Ukrainian commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, was dismissed, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky taking over, amid an overall reshuffle of the military command by Zelensky. Zaluzhny's ouster came after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev's summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure.
But, apparently, new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky has so far failed to bring new clarity regarding Ukraine's mobilization efforts. Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the armed forces to scrape up more combat-eligible troops, added the publication. This comes after President Zelensky’s office recently announced that only some 300,000 have fought at the frontline of the one million people who have been mobilized.
With Ukraine’s rapidly dwindling troop strength described as a “strategic crisis,” Oleksiy Bezhevets, an adviser to the Defense Ministry on recruitment, was cited as saying that civilians of fighting age must recognize the fact that “there’s no time for you left to sit home.”

Martial law was introduced in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The next day, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on general mobilization. Under martial law, men aged from 18 to 60 are banned from leaving the country, and men 27 and older are eligible to be drafted, with some exceptions. Civilians between the ages of 18 and 27 can sign up of their own volition. Draft cards are handed out not only in recruitment offices, but on the streets, at gas stations, and in cafes, as draft dodgers have become a huge problem.

Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had stressed the need to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. Accordingly, the government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament on January 30. However, the result has been a drawn-out and heated debate. The bill, which would broaden the scope of the draft, lowering the eligibility age from 27 to 25 years, caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision. It also obligates people liable for military service to report to military commissariats to clarify their information within 60 days, Ukrainian media reported. These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so.
Amid the debate over such draconian measures in January, panicky account holders withdrew over $700 million in a single month, the WaPo added.
In February, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska proposed giving prisoners weapons and shovels when they are mobilized for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He underscored that in Ukraine, two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely "those who are behind bars and those who are not." Maliuska previously said that at least 50,000 men of military age with criminal records are hiding from Ukrainian draft boards and are not registered with the military.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that amid the disruption of mobilization plans and in order to conceal massive losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Kiev regime has intensified the recruitment of mercenaries. Fighters from the United States, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, told Russian media.
A Ukrainian serviceman prepares 155mm artillery shells near Artemovsk, Donetsk People's Republic, on March 17, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.02.2024
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