Ukraine urgently needs soldiers, but some men are desperate not to fight

Article here. Excerpt:

'Ukraine urgently needs new soldiers, but some — left uneasy by brutal fighting and intensifying conscription efforts — are desperately trying to avoid being called up.

“When you see people in uniform, you panic. You start thinking someone will mobilize you now against your will,” a lawyer based in Kyiv told NBC News. He did not want his identity known, fearful, like a growing number of men across the country, of being drafted into the army if his name is made public just as Russia launches a wave of attacks to try to decisively seize the battlefield initiative.

The 25-year-old has no military experience and just became eligible to be conscripted after Ukraine lowered the age men can be drafted from 27 to 25 last month.

Facing a third year of assaults from its vast neighbor, Ukraine is running out of men.

While volunteers lined up to fight at the beginning of the war, that fervor has waned and manpower shortages are now an issue that could seal Ukraine’s fate even if it can retain Western support.

So it has taken a series of steps that include passing a new mobilization law, increasing fines for draft dodging, and withholding consular services from Ukrainian men abroad who lack up-to-date military documents — measures that some soldiers on the front lines told NBC News they wholeheartedly support.

Ukraine has been conducting a rolling mobilization to boost its ranks since Russia invaded in February 2022. But the new mobilization law that came into effect earlier this month will mean that all men of military age have to report to draft offices to verify their credentials within 60 days. The apparent goal is to give the Ukrainian government a fuller picture of who can be called up. Men will also have to carry their military registration documents with them at all times. Women are currently not being mobilized, but some have volunteered to join the fight.'

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