In Ukraine, deputies adopt a text allowing the mobilization of prisoners in the army

In Ukraine, deputies adopt a text allowing the mobilization of prisoners in the army

La mesure concernerait uniquement les détenus volontaires. ILLUSTRATION UNSPLASH

Ukrainian deputies adopted this Wednesday, May 8, a bill allowing certain categories of prisoners to go fight on the front in exchange for conditional release, at a time when kyiv is seeking to mobilize more soldiers facing Russia.

On Facebook, MP Olena Chouliak, from President Volodymyr Zelensky's party, indicated that the text had been adopted by 279 votes "for" on second reading. It must now be submitted to the President of Parliament, then to Zelensky.

The elected official specified that this measure would only concern voluntary detainees and would require the agreement of the military authorities after examining the physical and mental health of the prisoner.

It will not be applicable to prisoners convicted of certain serious crimes, in particular for "intentional homicide of more than two people", sexual violence, attacks on national security or "serious" convictions for corruption, detailed Olena Chouliak.

People convicted while holding important political functions will also not be eligible for this measure, says Ms. Chouliak, who specifies that the detainees will serve in special units of the army .

Finally, still according to her, only prisoners with less than three years of imprisonment to serve will be able to make such a request. "We cannot survive in the conditions of ;rsquo;total war against an enemy with more resources than consolidating all our forces", wrote Olena Chouliak.

Recruit age lowered

After more than two years of resistance against a very deadly invasion, Ukraine lacks soldiers and weapons, facing a larger Russian army. kyiv also passed a controversial law on military mobilization in April, intended to facilitate recruitment into the armed forces and to further sanction those who resist. This text lowered the minimum age of recruits from 27 to 25 years.

The director of the Ukrainian NGO Protection for Prisoners in Ukraine, Oleg Tsvily, who supports the idea of ​​enlisting detainees, nevertheless judged with the AFP that the content of the bill adopted Wednesday was "discriminatory". According to him, it does not provide for< em> "leave" for the prisoners who are fighting and "it is not known if they will have to fight until the end of the war, which could mean longer than their sentence".

Oleg Tsvily also fears that the Ukrainian detainees forming these special units will become "meat" sent without consideration, "like in Russia", on the front line for very bloody missions.

In Russia, as of 2022, the Wagner military company had recruited tens of thousands of inmates in Russian prisons who were then decimated during extremely deadly attacks, notably during the battle of Bakhmut.

Since the abortive rebellion of Wagner and its leader, Evgeni Prigojine, in June 2023, the Russian army has regained control of these recruitments which are still offered massively in Russian prisons , even for perpetrators of serious crimes.

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