Zelenskyy responds to petition to allow men without combat experience to leave Ukraine

16 August, 05:09 PM
Zelenskyy said that the travel restrictions will be lifted only after the end of the martial law (Photo:ОPU)

Zelenskyy said that the travel restrictions will be lifted only after the end of the martial law (Photo:ОPU)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has responded on his official website to a petition calling for men aged 18-60 without combat experience to be allowed leave Ukraine.

In the response, posted on his website on Aug. 16, Zelenskyy stressed martial law had been introduced due to the full-scale Russian invasion, and while it was in force the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens may be limited under Article 33 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

"The lifting of the specified restrictions is expected to be carried out after the end of the legal status of martial law," the president said.

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He also separately responded to a call to allow men without combat experience to leave Ukraine.

"Regarding the initiative raised in the petition to involve only persons with military experience in the defense of Ukraine, I emphasize once again that in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state is the responsibility of the entire Ukrainian people,” Zelenskyy said.

“According to Article 65 of the Basic Law of Ukraine, the protection of the Motherland, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine is the duty of Ukrainian citizens.”

Zelenskyy added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations are also staffed by conscripts who do not have military experience, but have undergone training in educational military units (training centers, ranges, departments of training and advanced training, etc.).

Citizens who are in the reserve and are not called up for military service or are not involved in the performance of mobilization duties in the positions provided for by the wartime establishment, during mobilization may be involved in the performance of works of a defensive nature. 

The president also stressed that the rules for crossing the state border by citizens of Ukraine who can cross the border during martial law are set by the Cabinet of Ministers.

He asked Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to follow up on the questions raised in the electronic petition.

At the end of July, an electronic petition calling for the lifting of restrictions on leaving Ukraine for men aged 18 to 60 without military experience attracted the required 25,000 votes.

The initiator of the document, Yulia Bulavina, said "capable citizens should fight", and "IT, social, creative, technical and other specialists can fight on the information front" and, in her opinion, can be more useful abroad.

Similar petitions had already drawn the required number of votes in May and June. At the time, Zelenskyy said that he did not understand who they were really addressed to, when 50 to 100 people die in the east of Ukraine every day.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal believes that while the war continues, all men should be in Ukraine.

During martial law, conscripted men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country, with a number of exceptions.

From October 1, 2022, representatives of some professions and specialties must register.

After that, as conscripts, they will also be subject to travel restrictions.

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