UKRAINE: possibility of further waves of conscription met with resistance

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On 18th June, the Ukrainian military began it's sixth wave of conscription. This follows several other conscription 'waves' aimed at increasing the Ukrainian military by 50,000 people – a process that has only been 50% successful, with many desertions, and people travelling to work abroad to avoid conscription. Peter Mehed, the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister said that further waves of conscription could take place if the military did not reach it's target this time. However, the high court in Ukraine has affirmed that the right to conscientious objection must still be recognised "even in times of civil unrest and war" after a Jehovas Witness CO, Vitaliy Shalaiko, was accused of evading previous rounds of conscription.

Ukranian activists are developing internet tools to avoid conscription to the military. Recruiters are routinely raiding public spaces, block entrances to shopping centres and other public spaces before conducting checks on young men – those found to have been evaded the draft are taken away. To counter this, activists are collating information of regular sites used by recruiters on online maps, that are publicly accessible, and allow individuals worried about being forcibly recruited to avoid the spaces that recruiters are regularly found at. The first map was of the city of Dniepropetrovsk, with others quickly following.

For more information, see:

Counterpunch.org, 'Ukrainians are voting with their feet against war and economic disaster', August 2015: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/12/ukrainians-are-voting-with-their-feet-against-war-and-economic-disaster/

Ukraine Today, 'Ukrain faces possibility of further waves of conscription with only half of 25,000 target reached', August 2015, http://uatoday.tv/politics/ukraine-faces-possibility-of-further-waves-of-conscription-with-only-half-of-25-000-target-reached-477183.html

Sputnik News, 'Ukrainians Become Jehovah's Witnesses to Avoid Conscription', August 2015, http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150814/1025754560/ukrainian-sectants-avoid-army.html

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