'Harsher than desertion' - Draft dodgers to see dramatically stiffer penalties

Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada)
Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada)

Ukraine's parliament has massively increased fines for draft dodgers as it aims to strengthen accountability for military offenses.

Parliament passed Bill No. 10379 on its second reading on May 9.

256 deputies from all parties supported the bill on Criminal Code administrative offenses and strengthening responsibility for military offenses (No, 10379), MP Iryna Herashchenko reported on Telegram.

Stiff penalties await violators.

The minimum fines have been raised to 8,500 hryvnias, from 510 (to $215, from $13).

Maximum penalties have been raised to 204,000 hryvnias, from 8,500 (to $5,174, from $215).

Administrative detention of up to three years is also included in the penalties.

Now, sanctions for violations of military registration are harsher than for some military offenses, such as desertion.

The bill includes:

  • New articles regarding accountability for violations of military registration

  • Extended terms of administrative responsibility and administrative detention

  • Introduction of criminal liability for refusing medical examination during mobilization

Read also: Kyiv suspends consulate services for draft-eligible Ukrainians abroad — report

Offenders can be detained for up to three days.

Read also: Ukraine needs to lower draft age from 25 to 20 — Taras Chmut

Some articles, particularly regarding administrative penalties, were softened before the second reading.

For instance, fines for violations of military registration rules now range from 200 to 300 times the minimum wage, while breaches of defense and mobilization legislation, from 300 to 500 times the minimum wage.

The bill could freeze accounts and property since the fine amounts could be too large for citizens, Herashchenko said.

Read also: Ukrainian public opinion warms up to draft dodgers

Changes introduced by the mobilization law

The Ukrainian parliament passed Bill No. 10449 on mobilization in its second reading on April 11.

283 MPs supported the bill.

Parliamentarians removed from the bill the provision for the demobilization of military personnel after 36 months of service without an additional decision from the Commander-in-Chief.

The mobilization law will come into force on May 18.

People, who can be only be mobilized on a volunteer basis include:

  • Persons with disabilities (for military service under contract)

  • Persons released from captivity

  • Persons under 25 years old who have completed basic military training or basic military service.

Released conscripts enter the mobilization pool according to the general rules (from the age of 25). Basic military service will begin on September 1, 2025.

Citizens registered with the military can voluntarily create a personal electronic account for a conscript, military obligation, or reservist.

All Ukrainian citizens registered with the military have 60 days from the date the law comes into force to update:

  • Residential address

  • Contact numbers

  • Email addresses

  • Other personal data

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine