Labor losses to both the military draft and emigration will cripple attempts at economic recovery, the German outlet has claimed
Frontline casualties and conflict-related emigration are set to decimate to the Ukrainian labor force, as they take away skilled workers and younger replacements, the German newspaper Die Welt reported on Monday.
Ukraine is having problems drafting new troops to fight Russia and intends to address the problem by widening the scope of conscription and cracking down on draft-dodgers. But the country’s long-term economic viability is being undermined by the “bloodletting” on a scope that is hard to estimate, the outlet stated.
The article cited analysis by Yuliya Kosyakova, a labor market researcher at the University of Bamberg in Germany, who assessed the economic impact of the mass migration from Ukraine triggered by hostilities with Russia. Many Ukrainian refugees are people with enough capital to resettle and have no plans to return, she said.
“Those people fled the war or the draft. They have now created a new home abroad, and over 30% want to stay there,” Kosyakova explained.
In particular, the loss of middle-aged men – many of whom are experienced workers – has left a gap in the workforce that “will make reconstruction in Ukraine considerably more difficult and delayed,” she added.
Kiev ordered mass mobilization right after hostilities with Russia began in February 2022 and barred men aged 18 to 60, who could potentially be called up, from leaving the country without a special waiver.
The initial focus was on volunteers and people with military experience, but that pool of manpower has long been exhausted, Ukrainian MP Sergey Rakhmanin, who sits on a parliamentary security committee, said in an interview last month. The Defense Ministry is pushing lawmakers to facilitate conscription of younger men, since the average age of Ukrainian frontline troops has reached well over 40, he said.
The approach to the draft by officials, who regularly use heavy-handed tactics to snatch recruits, as well as corruption that allows dodgers to buy their way out of service, prompted President Vladimir Zelensky to sack all regional conscription chiefs in August. But the move did not address core problems with the system, Rakhmanin claimed.
Ukrainian MPs are currently preparing a bill which would strip exemptions for many citizens, including those caring for disabled family members or receiving their second university degree, which are perceived by officials as vehicles for draft dodging.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Tuesday estimated Ukrainian military losses in November alone at over 13,700 people, adding to the more than 90,000 casualties between early June and the end of October. Kiev’s war machine is on the brink of complete collapse, the Shoigu claimed during a ministerial meeting.