Ukraine Lowers Its Conscription Age to 25 to Replenish Depleted Ranks in War Against Russia

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a Q&A session at the Latvian National History Museum in Riga on January 11, 2024. Gints Ivuskans/AFP/Getty Images
Published April 3, 2024

KYIV — Ukraine on Wednesday lowered the military conscription age from 27 to 25 in an effort to replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war following Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The new mobilization law came into force a day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky signed it. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed it last year.

It was not immediately clear why Zelensky took so long to sign the measure into law. He didn’t make any public comment about it, and officials did not say how many new soldiers the country expected to gain or for which units.

Conscription has been a sensitive matter in Ukraine for many months amid a growing shortage of infantry on top of a severe ammunition shortfall that has handed Russia the battlefield initiative. Russia’s own problems with manpower and planning have so far prevented it from taking full advantage of its edge.

The law Zelensky signed to lower the conscription age, known as 9281, is distinct from a more controversial and expansive draft mobilization law which is still being considered in parliament. That bill, known as 10449, would not only lower the conscription age, but also spell out who has the right to exemptions, among many other issues. This legislation, expected to be deeply unpopular, has proven harder to pass in parliament, with over 1,000 amendments submitted by lawmakers.



RELATED: Ukraine lowers army draft age to 25 to generate more fighting power

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi via phone line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 20, 2024. Ukrainian… Purchase Licensing Rights
Published April 3, 2024

KYIV, April 2 (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a bill on Tuesday to lower the mobilisation age for combat duty from 27 to 25, a move that should help Ukraine generate more fighting power in its war with Russia.

The bill had been on Zelenskiy’s table since it was approved by lawmakers in May 2023, and it was not immediately clear what prompted him to sign it. Parliament has been discussing a separate bill to broadly tighten draft rules for months.

The move expands the number of civilians the army can mobilise into its ranks to fight under martial law, which has been in place since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Ukrainian troops are on the back foot on the battlefield, facing a shortage of ammunition supplies with vital funding from the U.S. blocked by Republicans in Congress for months and the European Union failing to deliver promised ammunition on time.



RELATED: Zelensky signs law expanding draft age as Ukraine struggles to beef up its military

TOPSHOT – Ukrainian cadets attend a ceremony for taking the military oath at The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, in Kyiv, on September 8, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. More than 300 cadets took the oath of enlistment. (Photo by Roman PILIPEY / AFP) (Photo by ROMAN PILIPEY/AFP via Getty Images)
Published April 3, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a law that will lower the country’s minimum conscription age from 27 to 25, potentially boosting the number of men available to fight Russia’s invasion.

The Ukrainian Parliament passed the measure in May 2023 but Zelensky had not signed it into law until Tuesday.

It is unclear how many men will be impacted by the move.

A statement published by the Parliament upon passing the law in 2023 said it was “inappropriate” that “a significant number of citizens” who were fit for military service could not be called up, despite the present need, under martial law.

Calling men up to fight under Ukraine’s martial law, which is currently in effect, is a two-stage process. Firstly, men are drafted into military service. Then, once serving in the military, they can later be mobilized – or called up to fight – by the government.




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