Since the start of the Russian invasion, Kiev has arrested 13,600 men as they tried to leave the country. Deserters flee for psychological reasons and to secure the economic support of their families
There are those who say NO to war. Even among young Ukrainians, despite social pressure and the actions of the authorities deserters as the country attempts – with difficulty – to mount a difficult counteroffensive.
There are numerous reasons that lead people to avoid the draft. Ivan IshchenkoThe 30-year-old fled abroad a month after volunteering to fight against Russian invaders. He explains that he couldn’t handle it psychologically: “First I chose war because I am a patriot. “I wanted to fight for a free Ukraine,” he explains. “But when I saw the situation, the bloodshed, I realized I was afraid. I didn’t hold up mentally.”
But there are also those who defected so as not to give up Familyas Bodgan Marynenko, 19 years old, fled to Poland before coming of age. Be Father He is fighting at the front: “I decided to leave as a minor so that they would let me go,” he says. “If something were to happen to my father, I would be the only one who could support my mother and sisters. I mean financial support, but also moral support.”
Corruption and arrests
Kyiv claims so 6,100 men They were captured when they tried to leave the country with false documents to escape the front. Since the beginning of the war there have been arrests by the authorities 13,600 People trying to cross the border.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky denounced on Wednesday what he described as systematic corruption in exemptions medical for those who avoid military service, claiming that bribes enable mass migration abroad.
Ukraine fought against it corruption a priority as the counteroffensive continues 18 months after Russia invaded. Eliminating the phenomenon is also a key element for the country’s accession in the European Union.
A growing phenomenon
The National Security and Defense Council is reviewing data on exemptions, corruption and flight from abroad since the invasion began in February 2022. The investigation into dubious medical exemptions is still ongoing.
“There are examples of regions where the number of exemptions from military service due to decisions of the Medical Commission has increased tenfold since February last year,” the Ukrainian president said VolodymyrZelensky in a video speech. “It is absolutely clear that these are corrupt decisions.”
Zelensky said that, according to the investigation, bribes for fake exemption certificates were worth between $3,000 and $15,000and added that a parallel investigation was needed to determine how many people were able to flee abroad thanks to the Medical Commission’s exemptions: “We are talking about.” thousands from people”.
This month, Zelensky fired all heads of the Ukrainian army’s regional recruiting centers. He said more than 100 criminal cases had been opened as part of a comprehensive investigation launched after the theft scandal at a recruitment agency in the southern Odessa region last month.