Conscription letters served outside Ukrainian churches

Conscription letters Ukrainian churches
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Conscription letters served outside Ukrainian churches

Worshippers were told to go to military enlistment offices while at church on Sunday, a Ukrainian politician claims

Officials were handing out conscription letters outside of churches in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Sunday, a member of the country’s parliament said.

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Ukraine declared a general mobilization of men aged 18 to 60 shortly after Russia launched its military campaign against the country in late February. The law does not specify where notices must be handed out, but they all must be served in person.

Nikolay Knyazhnitsky, a member of the European Solidarity party, criticized the practice of serving notices at places of worship in a Facebook post.

“It’s Sunday in Lviv. People are traditionally going to church. And someone had an idea to serve notices from military enlistment offices outside of church,” Knyazhitsky wrote.

“Outraged priests are making phone calls. They have a reason to be outraged.”

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“There are many ways to invite people to an enlistment office. [Like serving a notice] at home, or a workplace. You certainly shouldn’t do it at church,” he added. “People go there for spiritual protection and support. It’s not a place where one has to walk around and serve notices in the middle of a prayer.”

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At the same time, the lawmaker mentioned that “many people” want to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces but are “getting turned down.”

Last week, police and military officials inspected more than 400 establishments in Kiev, including night clubs, and served notices to 219 military-aged patrons.

Most military-aged men are barred from leaving Ukraine under a presidential decree issued in February. A group of MPs introduced a bill last month that would make it illegal for men aged 18 to 60 to leave Ukraine during martial law.

On Sunday, MP Georgy Mazurashu proposed granting more exemptions to military-aged men seeking to travel outside of the country, including those with small children or certain work contracts abroad.

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The authorities have not released the precise numbers on mobilization, but Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said last month that “hundreds of thousands” had been mobilized.

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