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MP Says Ukraine Could Block Bank Accounts Of Draft Dodgers

Ukraine should start blocking bank accounts and imposing penalties on the properties of those trying to avoid military service amid the conflict with Russia, according to a member of the country’s parliament.

MP Andrey Osadchyuk told journalists this week that the measure might be applied to draft dodgers in line with a law that introduces stricter penalties for breaching the country’s mobilization rules.

RT reports: Under the legislation that will go into force “sometime in late May,” the fines for violations of the military registration rules for individuals have been increased to between 17,000 (around $430) and 20,500 hryvnia (around $520), he said, as cited by UNIAN news agency.

“This is a big sum for anyone in Kiev and for me, but for some provincial towns and villages it is a gigantic sum,” the MP said. Because of the hefty penalties, “we will, most likely, have a situation when these fines will not be paid by citizens on a mass scale, as they simply may not have the money or will just not want to do it,” he warned.

In this case, an enforcement procedure is activated against non-payers, which makes it possible to “block accounts and impose a penalty on the property” owned by those individuals, Osadchyuk explained.

The MP noted that denying those unwilling to serve access to their money was among the proposals included in the initial proposed mobilization law, which was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament late last year. The Verkhovna Rada rejected the measure as unconstitutional; it was eventually removed from the bill that was passed, he added.
However, “now a scheme will be launched” that will allow the government to block the accounts of draft dodgers “through what are, in principle, absolutely legal means,” Osadchyuk stressed.

Last month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a new mobilization law amid troop shortages experienced by Kiev’s forces on the front lines. The legislation lowers the conscription age from 27 to 25, greatly expands the powers of enlistment officers and introduces assorted restrictions for draft dodgers. The country’s foreign ministry has suspended consular services for military-eligible Ukrainians abroad in preparation for the mobilization reform that is slated to come into effect later in May.

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