Ukraine Suspends Overseas Consular Services for Military-Age Men Amid Ongoing Conflict with Russia

Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men abroad, aiming to boost conscription amid conflict with Russia. The move reflects Ukraine's urgent need to bolster its armed forces against the larger Russian military.

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Rizwan Shah
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Ukraine Suspends Overseas Consular Services for Military-Age Men Amid Ongoing Conflict with Russia

Ukraine Suspends Overseas Consular Services for Military-Age Men Amid Ongoing Conflict with Russia

Ukraine has temporarily suspended consular services for military-age men who are located abroad, amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. The decision, announced by Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrii Sybiha and confirmed by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, comes a week after Ukraine approved a contentious mobilization statute to strengthen its military forces.

Kuleba stated that men of fighting age who have fled the country during the conflict are not relieved of their duties to the homeland, and that further information on the procedure for obtaining consular services within the legal framework for men of conscription age will be provided by the Foreign Ministry. According to reports, Ukrainian consulates in Prague and Barcelona have stopped providing services for military-age men.

The suspension of consular services is aimed at boosting conscription efforts, as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men of military age are living abroad. Kuleba emphasized that men of conscription age who have gone abroad are not fulfilling their duties to their homeland, which is at war. The suspension will require these men to return to Ukraine and update their military paperwork within 60 days to receive consular support, as part of a new law that aims to improve and speed up the military mobilization process.

Why this matters: The suspension of overseas consular services for military-age men reflects Ukraine's urgent need to bolster its armed forces as it faces a larger and better-equipped Russian military nearly 26 months into the full-scale invasion. The move highlights the significant manpower shortage that is seen as a critical weakness for Ukraine on the battlefield.

However, some analysts predict that this measure may not be very effective, as some men may try to delay or use corrupt means to avoid conscription. The Ukrainian government sees the temporary suspension of consular services as a way to pressure men to comply with the new mobilization law and provide their current personal data to the military authorities. As Foreign Minister Kuleba stated, "Men of conscription age who went abroad and showed they do not care about their country's survival will no longer receive consular services, as staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of their duties to the homeland."

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine suspends consular services for military-age men abroad to boost conscription.
  • Conscription-age men must return to Ukraine within 60 days to update military paperwork.
  • Suspension aims to pressure men to comply with new mobilization law and provide data.
  • Ukraine faces manpower shortage as it battles larger, better-equipped Russian forces.
  • Analysts predict the measure may not be effective as some men may avoid conscription.