Why Did Ukraine Just Legalise Mobilisation?

Translated by Ollie Richardson



On the fourth year of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbass, in the Cabinet of Ministers it was suggested to legalize mobilization — the relevant bill was registered in the Verkhovna Rada. Military registration and enlistment offices assure that there is no need to wait for the next wave of mobilisation in the near future, and experts directly connect the adoption of this law to the statements for reformatting the anti-terrorist operation — in their opinion, the authorities started considering a long-term outlook of military operations.

Cars and houses will be taken away

The bill suggest to stipulate opened (declared in the media) and covert (a directive sent to local governments) mobilization. And in general the document unites everything that earlier existed. For example, the bill stipulates valid reasons for absence at the military registration and enlistment offices, in particular, due to illness or in connection with the death of a close relative are specified in the law.

During mobilization heads of enterprises, People’s Deputies, adoptive parents and trustees of minors, disabled children or disabled people of the 1st and 2nd groups, and also fathers with many children – three and more – can use the conscription deferment.

Moreover, students have a right for it, graduate students, scientists under a working condition on 0.75 rates and close relatives of missing persons during anti-terrorist operation. Those who on religious beliefs can’t serve will pass through alternative mobilization. In addition, there will be a mobilization contract that earlier didn’t exist. And heads of enterprises will have to notify recruits that they were called to the military registration and enlistment office, and deliver equipment to military units. Those who didn’t receive a summons will be obliged to go to a military registration and enlistment office within 10 days. By the way, the duty if something happens to provide the Army with transport and equipment will be not only apply to enterprises, but also to ordinary citizens.

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“War can drag on”

As military registration and enlistment offices assured “Vesti”, so far there is no talk about future mobilization. “The decision on mobilization is made by the President. Currently, the law on mobilization is in effect, and this law specifies those problem points that the previous waves faced,” the deputy regional military commissioner of the Dnepropetrovsk area Sergey Polutsigan told “Vesti”.

As was told to “Vesti” by a source in the Ministry of Defence, the adoption of the law can be regarded as a preparatory step for a possible aggravation at the frontline. “While old laws are in effect that are applicable during classical war, we are in hybrid war, thus something needs to be changed. And everything heads towards the creation of a single HQ in the east, to which both military and administrations in these frontline territories will be subordinated to,” specified the source.

According to the military expert Igor Romanenko, a legal base for mobilization is the next step in reformatting the anti-terrorist operation, which the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Aleksandr Turchynov announced the other day. “We move from the anti-terrorist operation format to another format, which is provided by the implementation of many factors, including mobilization. For example, there were problems at military registration and enlistment offices with the search for persons liable for call-up. Because of this the plan wasn’t implemented and the mobilization terms were violated,”  he said to “Vesti”.

Also, for example, there was a problem with demobilization of the first wave — people couldn’t leave the army because in the contract it was specified that they will serve until the end of the special period. And it was delayed for some years, and it was necessary to make a separate decision in parliament about it.

The political scientist Ruslan Bortnik considers that the legitimation of mobilization testifies that the authorities already consider the situation in Donbass in the long term. “It is sad that mobilization, which acted in practice for a long time, is legalized just now, although the President already repeatedly promised to finish the anti-terrorist operation. Completion of the conflict in the next few years is hardly expected — quite the opposite, apparently, expect that war will drag on for a long time, at least until the next elections,” said Bortnik.

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