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Parliament passes mobilization bill in first reading

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Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, supported the updated bill on mobilization in the first reading, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak reported on Feb. 7.

Ukraine’s government hopes to update the legal framework around conscription in order to ramp up mobilization in 2024. To become law, bills must be passed by parliament in two readings and signed by the president.

The government submitted a new draft of the mobilization law to parliament on Jan. 30, more than two weeks after withdrawing its initial, contentious version.

The first version proposed, among other things, to restrict the rights of those who evade military registration and service. Such restrictions included a ban on traveling abroad and making transactions with movable and immovable property.

The updated bill sets out “transparent rules for the mobilization process, as well as necessary regulation of the rights of servicemen and conscripts.”

The bill also specifies clear terms of service for the period of martial law, service exemption for people with all levels of disability, as well as a two-month reprieve for volunteers before the start of service to “resolve personal issues and prepare for mobilization.”

Read also: Ukraine struggles to ramp up mobilization as Russia’s war enters 3rd year

Additionally, servicemen will be granted annual leave in installments for up to 15 days during martial law. Servicemen released from captivity will be given an additional 90 days’ leave before returning to the front if they are willing to do so.

Regarding military training, newly mobilized recruits will undergo mandatory military training for 2-3 months.

The bill also proposes to abolish mandatory conscription for all citizens aged 18-24 and instead introduce five-month military training. However, citizens can choose when to undergo this training.

Chief Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on Feb. 6 that the revised draft law on mobilization still contains provisions that violate Ukraine’s Constitution.

However, he then had an “urgent meeting” with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and said he concluded the draft law should be adopted.

Read also: Revised mobilization bill seeks to reinforce conscription in Ukraine in 2024

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