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Ukraine Reliant on ‘Conscription Squads’ as Casualties Mount

State of the Union: Ukrainian conscription officers will pull men at gunpoint to recruitment centers.
Ukraine Recruitment Center
Credit: Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A BBC report has detailed how Ukraine increasingly uses “conscription squads” to find enough men to send to the frontline in the current war between Ukraine and Russia. 

Ukraine’s parliament recently passed a bill requiring all Ukrainian men between ages 25 and 60 to register on an online database in order to be called up to fight, and the conscription officers prowl the country searching for those who have not signed up to the database.


Conscription officers descend on public places like train stations or buses in order to “grab” men and to conscript them. In the BBC report, one man, “Vova,” detailed how he was forced off a bus and to a conscription center at gunpoint, only to leave under the excuse of fetching papers and not return. The BBC report also states that many Ukrainian women hide their boyfriends in their homes to avoid conscription. 

The BBC report is not the only source for these anecdotes. In a recent viral video, Ukrainian paramedics are called to a recruitment center, only to be locked in and end up in a fight with the staff of the center over the attempt to conscript them.  

The current conscription crisis in Ukraine highlights the fractures within Ukrainian society and the fragility of the Ukrainian position over two years into the current war.