Ukrainian Parliament Adopts Law on Recruitment of Prisoners into its Armed Forces

Prisoners convicted of crimes against Ukraine's national security, intentional murder of two or more persons, and sexual violence, are explicitly exempt from mobilization.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:05 AM, May 9, 2024
  • 1103
Ukrainian Parliament Adopts Law on Recruitment of Prisoners into its Armed Forces
Representative image @Ukraine MoD

Faced with a severe shortage of soldiers, Ukrainian parliament has adopted a law on the recruitment of prisoners into the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Ukrainian parliament has passed a law enabling the recruitment of certain categories of prisoners into the military. The legislation, adopted during a plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada, allows for the voluntary mobilization of eligible inmates to bolster the country's military capabilities.

This development comes days after Russia claimed that 111,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in 2024.

The law, known as draft law No. 11079-1, was supported by 279 members of parliament in its second reading and overall. Initiated by the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, with backing from the Ministry of Justice, the measure aims to enlist prisoners willing to serve under specific conditions.

Under this new law, prisoners seeking mobilization must be approved by a court decision through the parole mechanism, with the stipulation that no more than three years remain on their sentence. Those with longer sentences or life imprisonment will not be considered for parole.

Mobilized prisoners will be assigned to special units within the armed forces, with their administrative oversight managed by the commanding officer of their designated military unit.

The legislation underwent significant scrutiny, with approximately 500 amendments submitted to draft law No. 11079-1, which was initially passed in the first reading on April 10. Around 80 of these amendments were incorporated, including provisions that prohibit parole for those convicted of serious corruption offenses or who held positions of significant responsibility.

Certain categories of prisoners are explicitly exempt from mobilization. This includes individuals convicted of crimes against Ukraine's national security, intentional murder of two or more persons, sexual violence, terrorism, those who held a particularly responsible position (such as ministers, deputies, their deputies, assistants, etc.), those who have encroached on the lives of law enforcement officers, those who have committed particularly serious corruption violations, and other serious offenses listed in the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Olena Shulyak, the draft law's author, emphasized the necessity of consolidating all available resources to safeguard Ukrainian statehood in the face of formidable challenges.

"It is possible to survive in conditions of total war against an enemy with more resources only by consolidating all forces. This draft law is about our struggle and preservation of Ukrainian statehood," stated Shulyak.

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