Nearly 19,000 men fled Ukraine by misusing "Shlyakh" information system

27 June, 04:17 PM
About 19,000 men left through the

About 19,000 men left through the "Shlyakh" system and never returned (Photo:State Security Service)

Nearly 19,000 men have fled Ukraine by misusing the "Shlyakh" information system and have failed to return, Ukrainian MP Serhiy Kozyr said on June 26.

The Shlyakh system was launched by Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers on March 17, 2022. It allows male drivers of military age to cross the border – if they are transporting humanitarian aid or medical supplies.

Under Ukrainian martial law, which was declared following Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country, men of military age are banned from leaving Ukraine without good reason, such as health or business.

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Kozyr said that a total of 192,455 trips abroad by male Ukrainian citizens were recorded by the system from Feb. 24, 2022 until April 25, 2023, with 18,910 men failing to return as of April 25, 2023.

Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service (SBGS) spokesperson Andriy Demchenko said his service recorded numerous cases of misuse of the "Shlyakh" system, when people couldn't name the reason for their trip abroad.

Subsequent analysis showed that individual entrepreneurs are overrepresented among those who misuse the system.

Demchenko said that the cost of a bribe to illegally receive clearance from the Shlyakh system ranges from $3,000-7,000. Those who misuse the system could face between three to nine years of imprisonment, he warned.

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