Police file 9,000 criminal cases against draft dodgers as officials ramp up punishment
Ihor Klymenko (Screenshot)

About 9,000 criminal proceedings have been opened for draft dodging, and 2,600 relevant materials have been sent to court, the Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko stated on the national telethon.

Klymenko was asked how he feels about draft dodgers and what to do with them. In his opinion, every citizen has the right to free choice.

"I believe that if there is a war, every citizen must fulfill his duty. Either in the rear or at the front. And those cases when someone tries to cross the border illegally are perceived by society, to put it mildly, ambiguously," he said.

The official explained that initially the report on an administrative infraction is drawn up by an employee of a military recruitment center, and only later, if a person tries to change his place of residence and evades service in every possible way, then the center informs the National Police about it.

The National Police, in turn, conducts an investigation within the framework of criminal proceedings.

"At the moment, the National Police has opened about 9,000 criminal proceedings over evasion of mobilization, and 2,600 such materials have been sent to court. We are working within the scope of the legislation," Klymenko stated.

On December 25, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers registered a bill in the Rada, which provides for changes to the processes of mobilization, military registration and military service.

The draft law clarifies the grounds for voluntary resignation, clarifies and expands the list of persons who have the right to deferment, proposes to introduce a number of punishments for draft dodgers, and expands the powers of local authorities to carry out mobilization.

On December 26, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi held a briefing at which he answered the main questions regarding the planned changes.