Column from Ukraine: Why men stay far away from the front


Christian Life

Oleksii Blyzniuk, CNE.news

A Ukrainian marine shares a tender moment with his family. Photo AFP, Dmitry Serebryakov

Many Ukrainian men do not want to join the army. The mobilisation of new soldiers proves to be challenging, says columnist Oleksii Blyzniuk.

A young Christian woman recently told me that she lost her own brother who disappeared in the war. He was mobilised by a Territorial Recruitment Centre (TRC) that sent him to a training ground for a week.

During his time of preparation, he caught a cold and contracted pneumonia, after which he was hospitalised. After a few days, he was discharged from the hospital and sent directly to Avdiivka (the very hell of the front, which the Russians at that moment had already almost completely surrounded), where he disappeared after a few days. Within three to four weeks after his mobilisation, he disappeared.


He should not have ended up where he ended up, but because of the blind system of the TRC, it happened, and the person most likely died.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated story. Mobilisation is one of the most discussed topics. Today, the state is guided by old and imperfect norms and laws in the process of mobilisation, which, on many points, contradict the constitution of Ukraine.

Also, during the two years of the war, mobilisation centres have been extremely demoralised due to their rude actions towards society. There have been stories about total corruption, improper use of force, excess of authority and even abduction of people in the middle of the streets.

Therefore, the state is currently developing a new law that (in theory) will be more perfect, more adapted to today's reality and will not violate the constitution of Ukraine.

A huge number of amendments to the new law

On February 7, 2024, the new bill on mobilisation (#10449) was adopted in the first reading of the first reading of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. But it immediately became scandalous. According to the regulation, there are also 14 days between the first and second readings when the various committees must make amendments to the draft law in order to correct and clarify it.

During this time, more than 4,000 amendments were made to this draft law. In general, this is a "Talmud" of more than 200 pages. According to some political scientists, never before have so many amendments been made to a draft law in the history of independent Ukraine.

It is difficult to talk about each amendment separately. The issue of the mobilisation of disabled persons, for instance, is controversial. And what about the postponement of mobilisation because you have a disabled wife? Another amendment regards the possible blocking of bank accounts of people who have not updated their military registration, but that one seems to be against the Constitution.

A double-edged sword

Thus, this situation actually has two sides. On the one hand, our army needs to be replenished with new recruits as quickly as possible in order to hold back the front. Therefore, it is necessary to mobilise a lot of people and to do so very quickly.

On the other hand, there is no adequate mechanism in the state to carry out a mobilisation quickly and extensively. The bandit methods of the TRC that mobilised the sick, the disabled, the fathers with many children, and the scientists led to the complete discrediting of this body in the eyes of society.

In this context, there are already quite common cases when men in villages and small towns gather to repel TRC workers. And that is understandable because often, the incompetent actions of the TRC lead to the fact that completely unprepared people find themselves on the front line.


The level of societal dissatisfaction with the actions of the TRC is now simply off the charts. And that is why it is so important that the new law clearly regulates the entire process of recruiting civilians, complies with the constitution, and gives Ukrainian men and women a clear understanding of where they are going and what guarantees they have.

Initially, it was planned that the law would be adopted by the end of February. But now it has already become clear that the process will last longer, and most likely, it can be accepted at the end of March at the earliest or maybe later.

One way or another, the state leadership understands that society simply will not accept and forgive their negligence and indifference in this matter. Therefore, God grant that the new law will really be a step forward that will motivate potential recruits and not the other way around.



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