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Ukraine considering military training in schools

A similar program has already been introduced for male students at universities

Ukrainian high school and vocational school students could soon be required to undergo basic military training, according to a new bill backed by the Parliamentary Committee on Youth and Sports.

Details of the new proposal were reported by the local Judicial Newspaper on Sunday. According to the report, the Committee supported the measure, arguing that it would “contribute to the improvement of initial military training and military-patriotic education of Ukrainian youth.”

Military training is expected to be added to the curriculum at general secondary schools, vocational and pre-university schools and institutions of higher education. The new subject would be called ‘Defense of Ukraine’ and would be developed by the Ministry of Education and Culture in cooperation with the Defense Ministry.

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Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a new bill tightening mobilization rules under which all Ukrainians – even those living abroad – are required to provide updated data about themselves to the military authorities within 60 days of the legislation taking effect. Also, all men between the ages of 18 to 60 are required to carry their military ID on them at all times.

Women will also be able to attend the new classes, but on a voluntary basis. However, earlier this month, Kiev’s chief military adviser for gender issues, Oksana Grigorieva, urged Ukrainian women to be ready for conscription.

Zelensky signed another controversial mobilization law this month that lowers the age of conscription for men from 27 to 25.

The flurry of legislative activity comes as Kiev is struggling to replenish its losses in the conflict with Russia. In late February, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Ukrainian forces had suffered more than 444,000 losses since the hostilities broke out in February 2022. Earlier this month, he said Kiev had lost more than 80,000 service members this year alone.

Ukrainian officials have suggested that they would need to call up an additional 500,000 soldiers to fill out the ranks, although it was later claimed that this figure had been reduced.

April 21, 2024 at 10:00PM

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