60,000 men: Zelenskyy's representative initiates cancellation of conscription deferment for some students

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Fedir Venislavskyi, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and presidential representative in the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] has registered a draft law that cancels the postponement of mobilisation for students over 30 who are pursuing non-sequential higher education, or who have enrolled on secondary or more courses.

Source: Venislavskyi during the national joint 24/7 newscast on the evening of 3 September

Quote: "I have received information from the Ministry of Education and Science: as of 2019-2021, there were about 40,000 students aged 25+. In 2022, when the full-scale war began, there were 106,000 students aged 25+. This year, the numbers are also approaching 100,000. This means that 60,000 men have decided to take advantage of this opportunity to avoid mobilisation.

That's why I have registered a draft law and proposed that a person pursuing education that is not sequential... those who have enrolled for a second, third or fourth course of education over the age of 30 cannot use this right to deferment."

Details: Explaining the concept of sequential education, Venislavskyi explained that sometimes men of military age are enrolling in courses to follow a lower level of education than they had before (for example, people with degrees are enrolling on vocational education courses) and in a different field of study.

The MP admits that if the draft law is passed, this rule will apply not only to those who will be starting their studies in the next academic year, but also to those who started in 2022-23.

"Under martial law, both the Constitution and international documents allow for restrictions on human and civil rights and freedoms. I think that this loophole, when it comes to obtaining a second or third degree by men of conscription age who are 30 or older... will also apply to those who started using it in 2022-23," Venislavskyi said.

Commenting on a statement by David Arakhamia, the head of the Sluha Narodu (Servant of the People) parliamentary faction, about the possibility of extraditing Ukrainians liable for military service who left Ukraine with fake unfit-for-service certificates, the President's representative in the Verkhovna Rada noted that such a mechanism is possible provided that such persons are suspects in criminal proceedings in Ukraine.

"Such a mechanism is possible. When a person buys a certificate, they have already committed a crime. When they crossed the state border on the basis of knowingly false documents, this is another crime. This is a question for law enforcement agencies, how they will quickly register proceedings and issue notices of suspicion," he said.

Background:

  • On 1 September, Fedir Venislavskyi, Member of Parliament and presidential representative in the Verkhovna Rada, said that since the first days of the war, the number of applicants aged 30-35 who suddenly started to study full-time had increased dramatically. As a result, they receive a deferral from mobilisation, and there may be some abuse of this mechanism.

  • Therefore, in his opinion, such a deferment should be granted to people who are obtaining higher education for the first time, and not to those who are pursuing their second or third course of higher education.

  • Oleksii Danilov, National Security and Defence Council Secretary, has said that the expediency of pursuing secondary higher education for men of military age during the war would be determined by the Ministry of Education.

  • Davyd Arakhamiia, the leader of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ruling party, Sluha Narodu (Servant of the People), has said that Ukrainians liable for military service who left Ukraine on the basis of forged unfit-for-service certificates for service may be extradited home.

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