Ukraine’s Recruiting Problem

As violence in the east of Ukraine flares, Kiev is struggling harder than ever to meet its recruiting goals, as Defense News reports:

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense managed to recruit only about half of the 25,000 conscripts it was hoping for, according to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Peter Mehed. The government is implementing its sixth military draft this year.

“Depending on how the situation develops, there could be a seventh, an eighth or ninth wave of mobilization. We’ve got 50 percent of the people we need,” Mehed told local broadcaster Ukraine Today.

In the western regions, far from the conflict, draft dodging and bribery to get out of the draft are widespread. Kiev had to almost immediately up the age range for recruiting from 50 to 60 once the conflict started, and it has struggled to find willing, able-bodied soldiers throughout the war. And with some 50,000 Russian troops massing on the border right now according to President Poroshenko, as well as the rebel forces and presumably their Russian peers and overseers inside sovereign Ukrainian territory, now is not a good time to be coming up at all short on manpower, much less by more than half of the target.

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