Zelensky signs law lowering enlistment age to 25 to advance military ranks

KYIV — Ukrainian men as young as 25 can now enlist in the military after President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a new law on Tuesday lowering the age for conscription, a move to supplement the military’s insurgency more than two years after Russia’s invasion Severely depleted Kiev army ranks.

Lowering the conscription age to 27 is the most important measure in the draft mobilization bill, which has gone through thousands of amendments in parliament since the beginning of the year.Although citizens can voluntarily join the army from the age of 18, and men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country under martial law, the draft has so far protected young men, many of them students, from forced mobilization.

In a society otherwise united by a common enemy, Russia, discussions over who and how many people to mobilize have been divisive. Although support for the military is extremely high among Ukrainians, few have not yet volunteered to fight. Meanwhile, Ukrainian commanders say they urgently need reinforcements, especially in the most advanced positions. Some soldiers have been fighting for more than two years with little rest.

Zelensky has expressed reservations about mobilizing as many as 500,000 troops – a figure suggested by his former military chief of staff, General Valery Zaluzhny. On top of that, Zelensky said, Ukraine lacks the funds to pay for so many new recruits.

Zaluzhny’s successor, General Alexander Silsky, said in a recent interview The number of people who need to be mobilized in Ukraine has been “significantly reduced” from 500,000. He said he also plans to establish more regular rotations away from the front lines for the most exhausted troops.

“It is necessary to take into account the fact that humans are not robots,” Silski says. “They are physically and mentally exhausted, especially under combat conditions. For example, the people who come to the recruitment center in February 2022 – these people need rest and treatment.”

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But some believe Ukraine’s minimum age for conscription should be lower. For example, the last time the US and UK drafted soldiers, the minimum age was 18. The average age of the Ukrainian military is over 40, and “it’s very unusual for your father to be fighting a war,” said General Richard Barrons. The former commander of the British Army Joint Forces Command said recently. He added that younger men tend to be in better physical condition.

When Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) visited Kyiv last month, Also calls on Ukrainian lawmakers Through measures to expand the scope of mobilization.

“I hope that those who are eligible to serve in the Ukrainian army will join. I can’t believe it’s 27 years old now,” he told reporters. “You’re fighting for your life, so you should serve – not at 25 or 27.”

“We need more people in line,” he said.

In addition to lowering the draft age, Zelensky signed a law on Tuesday that will create an electronic database of men of military age. Under the measure, the Ministry of Defense will receive data on citizens between the ages of 17 and 60 contained in various national registers, and individual consent will not be required for the processing of personal data.

Opposition lawmaker Volodymyr Ariev of the European Solidarity Party, who opposes such a system due to privacy and security concerns, said lawmakers were still discussing the specific rules that the electronic cabinet would impose, with the current amendments Indicates that registration should be optional.

Aliyev said the law that changed the conscription age from 27 to 25 was passed last summer, “but this [an] The move was unpopular, so Zelensky was afraid to sign it. ” Aliyev said that although citizens aged 18 and above can voluntarily join the army, further reducing conscription may be “very unpopular among Zelensky’s supporters.”

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Russia has recently regained the battlefield initiative due to lack of manpower and weapons in Ukraine. Zelensky implored congressional leaders to urgently pass a $60 billion package requested by the White House to support the war in Ukraine. On Sunday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) said the funding, which has been frozen for months, could come up for a vote next week after the Easter recess.

Johnson said on Fox News that the bill would contain “some important innovations” – perhaps a loan to Ukraine. “If we could use the assets we seized from the Russian oligarchs to allow the Ukrainians to fight them, that would be poetry,” Johnson said.

If the aid does come through, boosting Kiev’s air defense capabilities is considered a top priority amid Russia’s stepped-up bombing campaign.A missile attack hit the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Tuesday, injuring at least one person 18 Eight people were hospitalized, Serhiy Lysak, head of the Dnepropetrovsk Regional Military Administration, wrote on the Telegram app.

Lesak said the attack damaged an “educational institution.” “Fortunately, all the children were in the shelter at the time of the impact. This saved the boy and girl’s health, and perhaps their lives.”

Also on Tuesday, Ukrainian drones struck two businesses, including an oil refinery, in Tatarstan, central Russia – about 750 miles from Russia’s border with Ukraine, Russian news agency TASS said, citing local officials.

Officials said the drone struck the dormitory but did not cause serious damage to the refinery. At least 13 people were injured. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine “is continuing its terrorist activities.”

Siobhán O’Grady and Serhii Korolchuk in Kyiv, David Stern in Mukachevo, Ukraine, and Catherine Belton in London contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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