#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Kiev short of men. Umerov wants electronic military ID and mobilises women. Moscow enlists prisoners


Republican Minority Leader in the US House of Representatives, Mitch McConnell said: ‘Helping Ukraine take back its territory means, without firing a shot, weakening one of America’s greatest strategic adversaries… and our colleagues will have an opportunity to do just that when we approve additional funding by the end of this month,’ McConnell said.

Meanwhile, Hungary, Serbia and Russia are concerned about the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream, Russian leader Vladimir Putin pointed out that there have already been attempts to attack the two pipelines with drones from Ukrainian ports. Also Putin at a speech for the opening of schools in Russia said: ‘Ukraine’s counteroffensive is not a mistake, it is a failure’.

On the same wavelength was Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu who confirmed the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Shoigu recalled that over the past 10 days the Ukrainian side has carried out violent attacks. The Russian minister stated that the Ukrainian armed forces did not achieve their objectives during the counteroffensive in any of the directions. On the contrary, since the beginning of the offensive, Kiev’s losses have exceeded 66,000 people and 7.6 thousand weapons. Trying to hide their failures, the Ukrainians attack civilian targets by passing them off as military victories.

Denying rumours of an imminent Russian mobilisation, the chairman of the State Duma’s defence committee, Andrey Kartapolov, ruled out the need for mobilisation. He emphasised that all tasks are carried out within the framework of the recruitment of military personnel in accordance with the planned contract.

But on the subject of conscription, there is news in both Russia and Ukraine.

The Russian Ministry of Defence on six September proposed to amend the Military Registration Regulations, according to which those serving a prison sentence will have to be registered in correctional institutions. For conscripts and military service officers who are serving custodial sentences, it is proposed to introduce the concept of ‘special military registration’: ‘Special military registration shall be carried out by correctional institutions, correctional centres of the penitentiary system […] and military commissariats at the location of institutions of the penitentiary system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation,’ reads the amendments to the law.

The declaration and de-registration from the special military registration is carried out without reporting to the military commissariats, the corresponding lists of citizens are provided to them by the correctional institutions as they are received, transferred or released. It is proposed that the special military registration lists be checked at least once a year with the military registration documents of military registration and enlistment offices.

On seven September, Ukraine introduced plans for an electronic military identity document, will launch a unified register of conscripts and digitise the VVK, newly elected Defence Minister Rustem Umerov announced.

“The task is to digitise all processes, launch a unified conscript register that will make any risk of corruption impossible. Digital. Everything that can be digitised should be digitised. All information about a soldier should be digital,’ announced the new Defence Ministry chief Umerov.

Also on seven September was the confirmation that travel from Ukraine for women required to register for military service will be restricted. As of 1 October 2023, all Ukrainian women with medical or pharmaceutical training are recognised as responsible for military service and must register. Ukrainian law makes no distinction between the gender of those liable for military service, so women eligible for service will be prohibited from leaving the country in the same way as men.

Eligible for military service are doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives and pharmacists aged between 18 and 60. Therefore, anyone who does not register in time will first incur a fine and then criminal liability. Women with army-related professions – drivers, electricians, cooks – can now register voluntarily with the army. However, it is possible that the list of specialities subject to forced registration will be extended in the future.

Finally, on 8 September, the Verkhovna Rada registered a bill according to which Ukraine will pay students for education in exchange for military service. The document invites students ‘of their own free will’ to agree to conscription for military service during mobilisation. In this case, the state will provide students with free education.

Graziella Giangiulio

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