Ukraine’s Zelensky promotes idea of abolishing military draft from 2024
The compulsory military draft in Ukraine is to be abolished from 2024 under a presidential order published on Feb. 1.
In Presidential Order No. 36, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky directs Ukraine’s government to develop a number of bills on strengthening Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, including one abolishing the draft.
Currently, all Ukrainian males aged 20 to 27 are eligible for conscription to the armed forces for one year.
The presidential order foresees the introduction of an intensive military training system as a possible alternative to mandatory military service, with the draft ending from Jan. 1, 2024.
The cabinet is also instructed to make amendments to the Law “On the State Budget of Ukraine for the year 2022” in terms of increasing the monetary allowance for military personnel.
In addition, the government must develop and submit bills to Parliament on increasing the number of contract soldiers.
Zelensky signed the decree while speaking during a session of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on Feb. 1.
The document, among other things, provides for an increase in the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 100,000 people within three years, and the formation of additional 20 military brigades.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that he considers the abolition of military draft to be appropriate.
“I don’t want to express my opinion now, I have a feeling, but I want to check it by talking with experts,” he said.
“My dream is that, by and large, we will switch to a professional army.”
In November 2019, the then defense minister, Andriy Zahorodniuk, called for the abolition of the compulsory military draft.
Later, the Defense Ministry rejected such plans, but stressed that the issue would be considered as part of army reforms.
The question of abolishing the draft was again recently raised by Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky after a mass shooting in Dnipro, which was committed by National Guard conscript soldier.
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