New mobilization law signed in Ukraine to boost army’s strength

  • 16 April, 14:24

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a new bill to change the mobilization rules amid intensified Russian attacks and Ukraine’s growing shortage of weapons and ammunition.

The new law increases payments to those who volunteer, while imposing new punishment for draft dodging. The law also obliges men to update their draft data with the authorities. The law is a move to boost the Ukrainian army amid losses in the frontline.

In the first weeks after the invasion, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians volunteered to serve at the front in an explosion of patriotism that helped keep the country independent and fight off the initial attack.

More than two years later, however, many of those initial recruits are dead, wounded or simply exhausted, and the army needs new recruits to fill the ranks. By now, most of those who want to fight have already signed up, leaving the military to recruit among a much more reluctant pool of men.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in September 2022 for partial mobilizaiton of 300,000 reservists after a series of military defeats saw Russian forces routed from east Ukraine’s Kharkiv region and under increasing pressure in the southern Kherson region.

Since then, it has replenished its ranks by recruiting prisoners as well as luring tens of thousands of recruits from poorer Russian regions with the promise of high salaries.

At the end of 2023, Putin said that 486,000 new recruits had joined the army that year and that 1,500 a day were signing contracts.

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