Recruitment centers will take great interest in those celebrating outdoors, a senior Ukrainian official has said
Ukrainians who violate an overnight curfew during New Year’s celebrations could be detained by police and taken to military recruitment offices, a senior security official has warned.
Speaking on national TV on Friday, Anatoly Seredinsky, a deputy head of the National Police’s Prevention Department, said that nationwide security restrictions would not be eased between December 31 and January 1, but rather tightened, noting that some 30,000 officers would be on duty that night.
He explained that public gatherings pose a security risk due to the conflict with Russia. Anyone found celebrating outside while restrictions are in place will be escorted to a local police station so that officers can “find out what happened in the life of the citizen who deliberately decided to violate the curfew,” Seredinsky said.
“Moreover, our recruitment centers are very interested in these people,” he added. He also reminded the audience that people are forbidden to use fireworks.
Early in the conflict, the Ukrainian government introduced a curfew in the vast majority of its regions. It typically starts at midnight and ends at 5am, although slight variations exist. Those who do not have special permits allowing them to be out at this time can be fined and arrested.
Kiev announced a general mobilization in February 2022, barring most men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. However, the campaign has been marred by corruption and draft dodging.
According to Ukrainian officials, the country’s border guard detained some 8,000 men attempting to leave the country illegally in 2023, with another 3,000 suspected of forging documents exempting them from military service.
Following Ukraine’s disappointing summer counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky recently announced a plan to raise 500,000 more soldiers to replace battlefield losses and allow rotation of frontline troops. In addition, in recent weeks several Ukrainian officials have stated that every citizen should fight Russia in some capacity.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said earlier this month that all Ukrainian men fit for service who left the country since the start of the conflict would receive invitations to report to recruitment centers. Those who fail to comply could face sanctions, he said, without providing specifics.
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