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Ukraine to recruit deserters – media

The proposal reportedly comes as Kiev’s forces have suffered heavy losses, leading to a significant shortage of military personnel

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has allowed the country’s Armed Forces to recruit deserters as the military continues to experience personnel shortages after suffering heavy casualties, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday, citing a letter sent by SBI Director Alexey Sukhachov to Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Aleksandr Syrsky.

According to the document seen by the news agency, up until now, Ukrainian commanders have not had a clearly defined way to respond to cases where servicemen who abandoned their units without permission or outright deserted have decided to voluntarily return to service. 

In his letter, Sukhachov reportedly asked Syrsky to “orient commanders of military units on the need to ensure the acceptance of the above-mentioned military personnel, who voluntarily returned to military units and expressed a desire to undergo further military service, to appoint them to positions and continue military service.”

Furthermore, RIA writes, the SBI chief asked that the service members who decide to return to service also be provided the right to monetary compensation.

Sukhachov’s request comes as Kiev has continued to face a shortage of military personnel after suffering heavy casualties on the battlefield. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are estimated to have lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone, as Moscow has continued its offensive in Kharkov Region. 

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FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian Justice Minister Denis Maliuska.
Ukraine releases first convicts to fill military ranks

Despite the Ukrainian military’s efforts to ramp up mobilization, many people don’t want to serve in the army, prompting Kiev to further tighten mobilization rules and even reduce the conscription age limit from 27 to 25.

Last month, Ukraine’s General Staff also announced that it intends to “optimize” its operations by releasing as many as 60% of its personnel and using them “to replenish the command and control bodies at the operational and tactical levels, as well as combat units.”

Ukraine’s mobilization campaign, which was announced shortly after the start of the conflict with Russia, has also been marred by widespread draft dodging. Some have even tried to escape the country to avoid service, sometimes losing their lives in the process.

According to the Ukrainian State Border Service, at least 45 Ukrainian men have already died while trying to illegally cross into the EU. In May alone, ten people were confirmed to have drowned while trying to cross the Tisza River, which flows from Ukraine’s southwestern border through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia.

June 05, 2024 at 05:02PM

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