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Kiev wants to encourage exiled Ukrainians to return home

Many Ukrainians of military age live abroad – now Kiev wants them to return. Foreign Minister Kuleba announced measures. According to one report, this could mean consulates refusing new papers.

Ukraine wants to ensure that Ukrainian men of military age living abroad return. “Living abroad does not exempt a citizen from obligations to his homeland,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on the online service X. That is why he ordered measures aimed at “restoring the balance between men of military age in Ukraine and those abroad “served. His ministry will soon provide more details.

According to Kuleba, this will concern the rules according to which men of military age can provide consular services in missions abroad. “If these people think that there is someone far away fighting at the front and sacrificing their life for this state and someone else is sitting abroad receiving services from this state, that doesn't work,” the minister wrote.

Report: Consular services are restricted

The Ukrainian news site ZN.UA published a report citing an official document from the Foreign Ministry. Accordingly, the ministry instructed Ukrainian consulates to only issue male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 with papers that are necessary for a return to Ukraine from today. The men would have to return to their home country to do other official work.

The Foreign Ministry did not confirm the information. The Ukrainian passport authority said that for technical reasons, certain processes in the diplomatic missions abroad are currently not being processed. After the alleged regulation became known, long queues of men formed in front of Ukrainian consulates in the main refugee countries in the European Union. They wanted to apply for new passports before it came into force.

Rules for mobilization tightened

The government in Kiev tightened the rules for the mobilization of soldiers a good two weeks ago. Among other things, conscientious objectors are punished more harshly and those who do military service are released later. After more than two years of war, Ukraine has recently fallen behind against the Russian aggressors. The army is currently having great difficulty recruiting new soldiers

With the introduction of martial law, conscripts in Ukraine were banned from leaving the country – with a few exceptions. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men have fled abroad across the green border with forged documents to avoid military service. According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, his office is already looking for hundreds of thousands of people who are said to have ignored draft notices and summonses.

Marc Dugge, ARD Kiev, tagesschau, April 23, 2024 5:11 p.m

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