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Reserve officers would be called up for military service: What does that mean for Ukraine?

Author : Anna Peshkova

Source : 112 Ukraine

People under 43 who did not serve but have graduated from the military departments would be subjected to conscription
14:00, 4 March 2020

Open source

After the minimal conscript age was lowered from 20 to 18, Ukrainians panicked that their children would be taken to the service directly from the schools. Now, the second issue appeared: spring conscript would affect the reserve officers. ArmyInform states about it, referring to the words of Serhiy Volkov, the colonel from the staffing department of Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

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People under 43 who did not serve but have graduated from the military departments would be subjected to conscription. So far there is no specific order from the authorities, but the military enlistment offices are already preparing for the call.

"We need to wait for an order. So far we do not have a decree from the Cabinet regarding the indicators of the future call, we only have a letter from the Minister of Defense. Now we are reviewing the base of officers, who can be called to the most popular positions, namely – to the position of platoon commander. As soon as we receive the documents, we will arrange a briefing for the media and the public," says an employee of the press service of the military enlistment office of the Ivano-Frankivsk region.

The chief enlistment officer refuses to call his name as official comments are forbidden until there is full clarity on this issue.

His words are also confirmed by a representative of the Kozelets Military Commissariat. He confirms that while preparatory work is being done, officers are being recounted, they are undergoing medical commissions.  According to him, this information is not new. Military expert Vladyslav Seleznev also tells us about this.

Related: Autumn military draft 2019: Over 15 000 conscripts enlisted

"Recruitment officers have been called up for four consecutive years. Certain quotas are set annually. Ukrainians with a profile education who fall into the call categories are conscripted," he says.

This service is officially called the "military service on the call of officers" and is an alternative to the emergency service since 2017. After such changes were implemented, the popularity of military departments dropped: annually, news of their closure appeared.

In any case, there is no reason for panic either because the reserve officers are not involved in the Joint Force operation. Unless, of course, they sign a contract.

Even as the presidential candidate, the current commander-in-chief said Ukraine would have its "professional, voluntary and motivated army." In other words, Zelensky promised to give up his term of service. As we remember, he positioned himself as a libertarian, an ideology of human-centrism and freedom of choice. And after Zelensky’s victory, Minister of Defense Andriy Zagorodniuk declared that the compulsory military service should be canceled.

Related: 29 Ukrainians from Crimea sent to prison amid refusal to serve in Russian army, - Ukraine's Ombudsman

But very soon the course was changed. The President's Office stated that they did not plan to cancel the compulsory military service. Of the 4,000 conscripts living in one area, commissioners often fail to summon 40 people, so Zelensky extends the conscription. Despite the fact that the intensity of the hostilities in Donbas has decreased significantly, the Ukrainians have to check any changes in the rules and write petitions to the president, which are successfully ignored.

Some experts believe that Zelensky’s promise was initially unrealistic.

The call of a trained person, a reserve officer, is a normal practice. We cannot now afford to have a contract army. The only thing I really want to do is give the army the proper training,” says Vladyslav Selezniov.

If the compulsory military service is canceled, the country's military budget will need to be blown about twice. And that means that less money will go to social payments. Alternatively, contributions from conscripts who do not want to serve in the military could be introduced. In addition, it would be possible to attract specialists to the APU, who would give the recruits proper training. But such options are not even considered.

Related: Ukraine's counterintelligence busts army man who worked for Russian mercenaries in Donbas

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