Ukraine’s top commander urges parliament to postpone military bonus bill

2 May, 09:00 PM
Ukrainian soldier near Bakhmut, April 13, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Ukrainian soldier near Bakhmut, April 13, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Ukraine’s military leadership have called on the Ukrainian parliament to postpone bringing back UAH 30,000 ($820) in additional military wages, Davyd Arakhamia, Ukrainian MP and Chairman of the ruling Servant of the People party, said in a Telegram post on May 2.

In a letter to the parliament’s speaker, president, and prime minister, the Ukrainian military have called for dropping the proposed amendment and pivoting away from “populism.”

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, as well as the heads of the Interior Ministry, the General Staff, the State Border Guard Service, the SBU security service, and the National Guard have all signed the letter.

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The signatories offered instead to develop a regulatory framework for the remuneration of service members in a “more differentiated (way), and most importantly, with the involvement of the command and representatives of the national security and defense sector.”

They want to create a working group consisting of MPs, government representatives, and General Staff officers, to jointly develop a bill by late May that would settle the issue.

In particular, the Ukrainian military expressed the following opinions:

• the proposed amendment does not resolve issues related to pay for conscripts and cadets;

• its text does not take into account the peculiarities of serving in different regions and performing tasks of varying degrees of complexity;

• military pay must be fair and backed with budget funding – as opposed to being just an unfunded mandate;

• populism in this issue can have extremely negative consequences and cause frustration.

“We support this approach and believe that military issues cannot be resolved without the participation of the military itself,” Arakhamia said.

“Therefore, we’ll offer to postpone consideration of resolution No. 8312-P.”

Ukraine’s military had been receiving UAH 30,000 in supplementary payments after general mobilization of 2022, established by a Presidential decree. The decision to cancel the supplementary payments was made in February 2023.

Once the UAH 30,000 bonuses were scrapped, several petitions were submitted on behalf of the military, garnering enough support for the bill to be introduced and passed, allowing the payments to be reinstated.

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