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Sending out a call for reinforcement: Are Ukrainians abroad now compelled to join the front line?

Ukraine, in its efforts to bolster its war-weary forces, may summon Ukrainian men living abroad to return and enlist in the army. As per the Defense Minister Rustem Umerow’s statements to “Bild”, men aged 25 to 60 could receive a summons to report to recruitment centers. Those who refuse could face unspecified sanctions.

Prior to this, Selenskyj indicated that the Ukrainian military had applied for the mobilization of 450,000 to 500,000 new soldiers. Since the start of the Russian invasion last year, approximately 650,000 Ukrainian men of draft age have left the country, with around 221,571 men aged 18 to 60 having arrived in Germany, according to BBC Ukraine.

Conscripts evading travel bans

Under Ukrainian martial law, men between 18 and 60 years old are only allowed to leave the country under special circumstances. However, conscription starts at the age of 25. There are reports of some individuals traveling abroad to avoid the possibility of conscription, with officials accepting bribes from draft evaders to grant them permission to leave the country.

Umerow stated that recruits would be informed in advance about their training and equipment, where they would serve, and when they would be discharged. They would also have the option to take on a role based on their skills.

Umerow continues to believe in US assistance

Subsequently, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense sought to clarify Umerow’s statements, claiming they had been taken out of context, as reported by “The Telegraph”. According to Illarion Pavliuk, a ministry spokesperson, the minister sought to emphasize the significance of Ukrainians abroad joining the army.

Umerow also expressed optimism that the USA would not cease their aid to Ukraine, stressing his confidence in the liberation of the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula by Moscow in 2014.

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