Ukraine can conscript up to 20,000 prisoners and people with criminal records, says Justice Minister
Denys Malyuska (Photo: press service of the "Ukraine 30" forum)

Ukraine is able to conscript 10-20,000 prisoners and people with criminal records to the Armed Forces, but it depends on the specific scenario, said Minister of Justice Denys Malyuska in an interview with BBC-Ukraine.

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"Yes, 10,000-20,000 [can be recruited into the army]. Definitely not more. But again, the question is in approaches. I say that the numbers are absolutely not calculated, because depending on each scenario, the number varies," he noted.

A lot depends on the military medical commissions, however, in his opinion, the approach has changed now – and the Ukrainian Armed Forces are more determined to "create fewer obstacles for mobilization."

Malyuska expects that "there will be less subjectivism" in this matter.

On May 8, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the voluntary mobilization of certain categories of prisoners under minor charges. It was initiated by the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, and also supported by the Ministry of Justice.

Prisoners who want to be mobilized will be able to join the army by a court decision in accordance with the parole mechanism. A mandatory condition is that no more than three years should remain before the end of their sentence.

Such mobilized persons will serve in special units, they will be administratively supervised by the commander of the military unit to which they will be assigned.