Ukraine’s top military leadership has cancelled exemptions in the martial law regime that had previously allowed male Ukrainians registered at universities abroad to leave the country, State Border Service spokesman Andriy Demchenko told Ukrainian media outlet Liga on Sept. 22.
Demchenko says this decision was taken after the discovery that a large number of documents attesting to a Ukrainian’s status as attending a university outside the country had been forged.
“Previously, according to the decision of the top military leadership, male students who studied abroad until Feb. 24 were allowed to leave Ukraine to continue their studies,” Demchenko said.
“The border guards complied with this norm by ensuring passage. How-ever, mass forgery of documents allegedly confirming men’s studies abroad has begun in recent months.”
In July-August, border guards identified about 600 people who used forged documents about studying in non-Ukrainian educational institutions to illegally leave Ukraine, he said.
However, this situation could be resolved by the legislature, he added.
“This issue can be resolved if government resolution No. 57 is amended,” Demchenko said.
According to this resolution, male students attending foreign educational institutions are not by default included in the list of exceptions of conscription aged men who are allowed to cross the border – which is why this ex-emption was initially granted by the military, instead.
Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valery Zaluzhny, recently asked the Defense Ministry to allow students to travel abroad. Later the Interior Ministry clarified which documents were needed for male students to travel abroad.