66.3 F
New York
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ukraine war: Kyiv lawmakers back bill allowing prisoners to join army amid manpower shortage, fresh Russian advances

WorldUkraine war: Kyiv lawmakers back bill allowing prisoners to join army amid manpower shortage, fresh Russian advances


Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday passed a bill that would enable some prisoners to fight in the armed forces, as the nation faces a critical shortage of manpower on the front lines.

Long-opposed to the measure and having criticised Moscow’s mobilisation of prisoners to fill its ranks, Kyiv has recently U-turned amid fresh Russian advances on the battlefield.

The legislation would need to be signed by the chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada and President Volodymyr Zelensky before coming into force.

“The parliament has voted ‘yes,’” MP Olena Shuliak, head of Zelensky’s party, said in a Facebook post.

09:43

Ukraine war two years on: disease, displacement and demands for aid

Ukraine war two years on: disease, displacement and demands for aid

“The draft law opens the possibility for certain categories of prisoners who expressed a desire to defend their country to join the Defence Forces,” she said.

Mobilisation would be voluntary and only open to certain categories of prisoners.

Among those not eligible to serve include those found guilty of sexual violence, killing two or more people, serious corruption and former high-ranking officials, Shuliak said.

Only prisoners with under three years left on their sentence can apply, she added.

Russia has recruited prisoners to serve on the front lines since the first days of its invasion, initially offering presidential pardons for six months’ service.

The practice was spearheaded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was filmed touring Russian prisoners to recruit foot soldiers for his Wagner paramilitary group.

More than two years into the war, Kyiv is grappling with how to recruit enough soldiers to repel an intensification of Russian attacks on the front lines.

It recently toughened measures against draft dodgers and lowered the age at which men can be drafted from 27 to 25.



Source link

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles