The Ukrainian border guard has apprehended over 22,000 draft dodgers amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia, according to a spokesperson for the country’s Ground Forces. Vladimir Fityo made the statement during a televised broadcast marathon approved by the state. He emphasized that it is the constitutional duty of all Ukrainians liable for military service to report to their local enlistment offices for a document check.
Fityo explained that this visit to the enlistment office is necessary to efficiently allocate the limited resources of the recruitment system and to exempt individuals who are unfit for military service. He clarified that the call-up is not limited to only military-aged men but also encompasses female medics and women with military backgrounds. Fityo urged individuals who have valid grounds for deferment to present their documents so that resources can be allocated appropriately.
However, given the chaotic nature of the mobilization efforts in Kiev, it remains unclear to what extent Ukrainians will heed this call. The mobilization process has been marred by instances of violence by draft officers against conscripts, and there has been a significant number of draft dodgers detained while attempting to leave the country.
In a separate segment of the broadcast marathon on Sunday, Andrey Demchenko, the head of Ukrainian border guard, revealed that more than 22,000 draft dodgers have been apprehended at the country’s borders since the beginning of the hostilities. On average, at least 20 individuals attempting to evade military service are caught daily. The majority of these dodgers, around 16,000, have attempted to cross the border in unpopulated areas. Approximately 6,800 more have been apprehended at border crossings while trying to use fake documents.
Since launching its counteroffensive against Russian forces in early June, Ukraine has suffered heavy casualties. President Vladimir Putin cited the latest Russian estimates, stating that Kiev’s forces have lost “over 90,000 people,” 557 tanks, and 1,900 armored vehicles since the start of the operation. Despite these losses, the counteroffensive has yielded little to no tangible result. Putin went on to declare that the counteroffensive has failed completely.
The situation in Ukraine remains tense, with ongoing efforts to escalate and de-escalate the conflict. The call for draft dodgers to report to enlistment offices for document checks is part of Ukraine’s broader strategy to reinforce its military capabilities and address its manpower needs in the face of continued aggression from Russia. As the conflict persists, it remains crucial for Ukraine to ensure that its recruitment system is efficient and comprehensive, enabling it to mobilize the necessary resources to defend its sovereignty.