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G.I. Yulia
Ukraine Considers Drafting Women for Combat

There are more troubling signs that Ukraine is getting increasingly desperate in the face of its draft troubles, Newsweek reports:

Ukraine’s armed forces could call up all female citizens of Ukraine aged between 20 and 50 to join the fight against pro-Russian separatists in the country’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Vladislav Seleznev, spokesperson for the armed forces’ high command told Ukrainian news agency Unian today.

Ukrainian finance minister Natalya Yaresko estimated the war is costing Ukraine $10 million dollars a day, earlier today. European finance ministers agreed to loan Ukraine €1.5 billion in addition to the €15 billion loan programme agreed by the EU and Ukraine last March, as the Ministry of Finance has estimated that the war has shrunk the country’s economy by 20%.

However, Kiev is unwilling to scale back its military in response to its economic problems as it is now prepared to extend the bracket for the nation-wide call to military service towards female citizens in a bid to reinforce its national security services and deliver on its plans to mobilise and enlist 200,000 Ukrainians in its arm forces by the end of 2015.

As we’ve said, with or without lethal aide from the West, Ukraine is going to have trouble getting enough troops to fight the insurgents in the east effectively.

Given some of the accounts about conditions at the front, it’s understandable that many Ukrainians are not jumping at the chance to join the fight—the many oligarch-funded private militias are mixed with the government forces, making for a disorganized and confused command structure, while the shoddy medical services reportedly have to make long drives to get the wounded to a hospital. And those are just the troubles on their own side; on the other, they face an increasingly large, aggressive, and heavily-armed enemy. We don’t mean to insult the capabilities of the average 47-year-old Ukrainian lady, but this latest announcement from Kiev is probably not a sign that the recruitment effort is going well.

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  • Fat_Man

    Women are drafted in Israel. Of course in Israel, almost everybody understands what the stakes are.

    • Andrew Allison

      As I’ve commented previously, it appears that the Ukrainian people (unlike the Israelis), don’t think the stakes are worth dying for. The tragedy of Ukraine is that it was viable as a more-or-less neutral buffer between Russian and the West, but is not as a West-leaning country. Personally speaking, I hold the EU, specifically Brussel’s insatiable desire to expand its reach, entirely responsible for this tragedy.

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