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War Effort Prompts Mobilization Measures

The Ukrainian government has approved stringent new regulations barring military-age men from applying for passports abroad. The move, announced Wednesday, aims to address troop shortages as the country enters its 27th month of war against Russia’s invading forces.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, had previously suspended consular services for males aged 18 to 60 until May 18th, criticizing those living overseas for failing to serve in the conflict. “Staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of his or her duties to the homeland,” he stated on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Restrictions on Passport Services

Under the new rules, private agencies will no longer process passport applications – only government missions abroad can handle such requests. Regular services will resume on May 18th when a mobilization law comes into effect, incentivizing volunteers while punishing draft dodgers.

The Foreign Ministry clarified that applicants seeking certificates declaring intent to return to Ukraine could still receive assistance at embassies and consulates. However, applications received after April 23rd would only be processed from mid-May onwards.

Manpower Shortage amidManpower Shortage amidst Protracted Conflict

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men of military age currently reside abroad, including an estimated 860,000 in the European Union. This demographic imbalance has exacerbated troop shortages as Ukraine’s forces battle Russia’s numerically and technologically superior military.

The new passport restrictions exempt certain groups permitted to cross borders under martial law, such as those with disabilities.

“While well-intentioned, these measures risk worsening the brain drain already afflicting Ukraine,” remarked Oleksiy Rudenko, a security analyst with the Kyiv Independent. “A more nuanced approach balancing military needs and economic realities is advisable.”

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