In the face of Russia’s invasion last year, Ukraine witnessed a surge in volunteer enlistments outside military recruitment centers. However, with many of those volunteers now dead or injured, the country is struggling to recruit replacements.
As a result, Ukrainian authorities are resorting to drafting individuals who lack the necessary skills and/or are unwilling to serve, leading to a growing number of men of fighting age trying to dodge military service.
One Ukrainian paid almost $10,000 to avoid the draft, while another has ignored five military summons, and a third is avoiding public spaces out of fear of being spotted by a military official who may call them up, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Despite these challenges, Ukraine has managed to maintain its troop levels thus far and hold back Russian forces in the east, while it awaits the arrival of tens of thousands of fresh troops, many of whom have received training in the West, for its planned spring offensive.
Although polls indicate that the defense effort is still well-supported, there is now a noticeable decline in the number of eager volunteers.
Ukraine’s population, which is less than a third of Russia’s population, has been further reduced due to the exodus of millions since the start of the war. Additionally, Kyiv claims that the kind of coercion employed in Russia’s authoritarian system is not a viable option.
Written by staff