Ukraine could mobilize up to 20,000 inmates

A Ukrainian military service member
A Ukrainian military service member

The recently passed law on voluntary mobilization of prison inmates would allow Ukraine to raise up to 20,000 fresh troops, David Arakhamia, the chairman of the ruling Servant of the People political party, said on May 8.

“There could be 15,000–20,000 [inmates] who meet the necessary criteria,” Arakhamia said at a press briefing in the Ukrainian parliament.

“We're uncertain how many will agree to sign contracts [with the military] since participation is voluntary. Our rough estimate is several thousand."

He noted that only convicts who are cleared for parole by the courts will be eligible to volunteer to fight.

Read also: Mobilization bill amended to exclude demobilization clause — report

Earlier on May 8, the Ukrainian parliament passed in second reading a bill that allows for voluntary mobilization of certain categories of convicts into the military. Those serving prison terms for severe crimes like murder, rape, sexual assault, and treason are barred from military service. Only inmates who have less than three years remaining on their prison sentences are eligible.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine