Nearly 5,000 Ukrainian convicts agree to serve on frontline

Ukrainian soldier
Ukrainian soldier

Nearly 5,000 Ukrainian convicts have agreed to military service contracts under a new parole law, April survey shows, Deputy Justice Minister Olena Vysotska said in an interview with the Glavkom news outlet published on May 17.

"4,500 convicts answered 'yes.' It should be understood that prison administrations did not question prisoners under articles of the Criminal Code that currently do not allow mobilization," she said.

"Their state of health was not taken into account. The most important criterion is motivation."

The ministry initially received over a thousand applications from convicts wanting to go to the front when the full-scale Russian invasion began, but at the time, neither the military nor parliament were prepared to take such a step.

Read also: 860 Russian soldiers killed or wounded, dozens of military equipment destroyed in last 24 hours – General Staff

The situation changed during public discussions on amendments to the mobilization law, ongoing since the end of last year.

The ministry excluded about 4,000 convicts diagnosed with socially dangerous diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis, from the potential pool of 20,000 prisoners previously announced by MP Oleksandr Bakumov.

However, it is the prisoners' unwillingness to serve in the military, rather than their health status, that may hinder their ability to do so.

On May 8, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill allowing certain categories of prisoners to be conscripted into the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Those convicted of grievous premeditated murder, rape, sexual violence, and crimes against national security will not be conscripted.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine