Over 3,000 convicts apply for military service in Ukraine - Justice Ministry

Over 3,000 convicts apply for military service in Ukraine - Justice Ministry

More than 3,000 convicts have already applied for parole in order to join the Army ranks in Ukraine.

That’s according to Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska, who spoke on the air of the national telethon, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"This is more than 3,000 people. This is what we foresaw before the law passed parliament. It cannot be said that all 20,000 people we had in our outlook as the entire potential will ultimately join. During the previous polls, about 4,500 expressed such will. Now these numbers will fluctuate..." Vysotska said, answering the question of how many applications for mobilization have already been received from convicts.

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She explained that the Ministry of Justice understood "that there will be those who wish to do so but the law limits certain categories so it cannot be stated that all applicants will be granted parole and sign a contract."

"Military medical examinations are underway and, of course, convicts may be carriers of publicly  hazardous diseases - HIV, TB, or HPV, so those can neither take part in the project. And that's why when we talk about big numbers – some 20,000 – this is a very theoretical potential. In reality, it is 4,000 to 5,000-. But we realized that this number of motivated people who have the desire to be released on parole under the condition of concluding a contract will help the Armed Forces. That's why we took this step and are now implementing the relevant law," the deputy minister explained.

Vysotska emphasized that the determining factor in the law is the convict's will and motivation to enter into a contract with the Armed Forces and thus be granted parole.

"Therefore, when we talk about numbers, about the number of convicts who would like to join, these are only preliminary data. Practice will show... We have already started work on ensuring that those who expressed their will to file applications are going through medicals and getting to know their commanders. Accordingly, commanders of military units give their consent for a specific applicant and we transfer their case to court," said the Deputy Minister of Justice.

At the same time, she noted that the law contains caveats in case someone suddenly considers signing a contract with the Armed Forces as an opportunity to escape prison rather than to actually contribute to the defense effort.

"It is necessary to understand that there are certain precautions in the law for such a case. And the liability is very serious for dodging contract. This is from 5 to 10 years of imprisonment. That's why everyone who intends to speculate on this topic can be charged additionally and face up to 10 more years of imprisonment," Vysotska said.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on May 17, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed into law a bill allowing for parole for convicts willing to defend the country in Army ranks.

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