Those seeking to reside in the country must sign up within a week of arriving, the consulate warns
Ukrainians living abroad must register for military service, according to a recently adopted government decree, the consulate in the UK has said.
In a statement released on Wednesday, it explained that the move is in response to numerous inquiries from Ukrainians residing in the country. According to the new rules, Ukrainian nationals must register for the military “in case of staying outside Ukraine for a period of more than three months,” the consulate stated. New arrivals must show up at Ukrainian diplomatic institutions within a week of entering Britain, it added.
Currently, there are no penalties for avoiding military registration, the diplomatic body said, adding that rumors of consular services being denied to people who do not sign up are not true. The situation, however, could change if these provisions are included in the new mobilization law, which is currently being considered by the Ukrainian parliament, it warned.
Previously, Batkivshchyna party MP Vadim Ivchenko, who sits on the parliamentary committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, warned that Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law. It remains unclear whether the provisions will be included in the new legislation, which is expected to be voted on in the first reading on Thursday.
The mobilization law was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament late last year. It proposes lowering the draft age from 27 to 25, eliminating exemptions for some categories of disabled people, and other measures to bolster the ranks of the military.
Shortly before the mobilization bill was put forward, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the military had asked him to round up another 450,000 to 500,000 soldiers. This claim has been disputed by Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, who insisted the military had not come up with exact figures, but wanted the government to ensure a steady flow of recruits to meet its combat needs and make up for losses.
Kiev has never officially disclosed the country’s casualties amid the conflict with Russia, yet the tally is widely believed to be in the hundreds of thousands. According to the latest estimates by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu provided on Tuesday, Ukraine lost more than 215,000 troops and 28,000 pieces of military hardware last year alone. Last month, the minister said that Kiev lost more than 383,000 service members, killed or wounded, since the beginning of the hostilities, with more than half of the casualties sustained during its summer counteroffensive, which was launched early last June.
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