Ukrainian General Staff: many soldiers leave the battlefield | World Defense

Ukrainian General Staff: many soldiers leave the battlefield


Dec 21, 2022
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The problem of desertion has become very acute in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This is directly evidenced by the fact of the adoption of the Draft Law №8271 in Ukraine.

According to BBC, on December 13, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted Draft Law №8271 “On Amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine and the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, other legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the specifics of military service in wartime conditions or in the combat environment”. The last step for draft’s entry into force is the signature of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to the new law, courts will be prohibited from softening the punishment or giving conditional sentence to military men convicted of certain types of crimes: disobedience (Article 402), failure to comply with an order (Article 403), threats or violence against a superior (Article 405), voluntary abandonment of a military unit (Article 407), desertion (Article 408), voluntary abandonment of the battlefield (Article 429).

The terms of punishment for war crimes and administrative offenses are also increasing. In particular, for such things as the consumption of alcoholic beverages by the military.

The law was greeted with apprehension among military. The categories of crimes indicated in the document are the most "popular" among those for which the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are judged.

The General Staff justifies its position by the fact that “entire units abandon the battlefield, then they pay a fine of 40,000 UAH and return boasting, while someone pays for it with his life.”

For example, servicewoman Yarina Chernoguz is sure that the new norms give even incompetent commanders influence and blackmail to punish subordinates. “So, instead of gratitude, we get a prison for the slightest disagreement or remark to the commanders (many of them often give orders while staying behind),” she writes on Facebook. She thinks also, that it can even cause either mass desertion, or mass criminal conviction of the Ukrainian soldiers.

This amendments were “actively pushed” by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This fact proves the devastating situation with the discipline in the Armed Forces. The military leadership seeks “effective tools” to influence the military personnel. So, the only thing it managed to find is intimidation and punishment.


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