Mobilized prisoners to serve in assault infantry, Justice Minister says

Prisoners who volunteer to join the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will serve primarily in assault units, Justice Minister Denys Maliuska told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on May 27.

He added that as opposed to integrating these recruits in existing formations, new battalions will be established, comprised exclusively of former prisoners.

“These are monolithic units without mixing with other military personnel,” said Maliuska.

“I am not entirely sure this is the best option, but the military knows better. We have not yet reached the point of direct combat involvement. Preparations are underway, and the situation may change later, with the decision on mixing or not mixing possibly being reconsidered.”

Read also: Nearly 5,000 Ukrainian convicts agree to serve on frontline

According to the minister, 613 prisoners have already joined the military and are currently undergoing appropriate training.

On May 8, Ukrainian parliament passed a bill that allows convicts to get their sentence commuted by volunteering to serve in the Armed Forces, pending an approval from the courts. Individuals convicted of serious crimes such as premeditated murder, rape, sexual violence, or crimes against national security cannot be mobilized.

At the time, lawmakers estimated that the potential mobilization resource among prisoners in Ukraine is 15,000 to 20,000 individuals, though approximately only a few thousand are expected to sign service contracts.

On May 17, Deputy Justice Minister Olena Vysotska said that nearly 5,000 convicts have already agreed to enter military service.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine