Zelenskyy Signs Bill Allowing Ukraine To Use Criminals for War Effort

(NationRise.com) – On May 18, The Ukrainian government decided to start mobilizing prisoners to join the country’s armed forces so they could fight in the resistance war against Russia. The move became official after Ukraine’s legislative chamber approved new legislation that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy eventually signed.

The bill officially allows the voluntary mobilization of jail and prison convicts as the nation is making efforts to resist the pressure from Russian troops in the northeastern regions, where deliveries of ammunition and weapons are still delayed. Political analysts claim that while the Ukrainian military is currently facing a difficult moment in the war, the measure could change the opinion that many media outlets have about Ukraine, as it’s taking the same actions as Russia. Geopolitical expert Fernando Villanueva even said that the bill would make it more difficult for Ukraine’s Western allies to keep sending military aid, as many of these nations have condemned Russia’s similar measure of sending prisoners to war.

The Kremlin started to recruit prisoners a couple of months after the invasion began in February 2022. Some independent Russian journalists said on their Telegram channels that thousands of prisoners were recruited not only to the Russian Armed Forces but also to the state-aligned mercenary organization Wagner Group. Independent investigations have revealed that the prisoners sent to Ukraine have been experiencing inhumane conditions, adding that thousands of them have been killed in the war so far.

On social media, some Ukrainian journalists explained that not every prisoner will be incorporated into the Ukrainian Armed Forces so he or she could eventually be sent to the front lines. They added that prisoners who committed the worst types of crimes will remain behind bars and won’t be part of the draft. Also, those prisoners who end up being drafted will have a chance of parole if they end their service and commit no crimes during their period with the country’s armed forces.

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