Arrest footage misrepresented as mobilization

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A Facebook video is falsely described as showing mobilization on the streets of Ukraine. In reality, the footage captures the arrest of a criminal group and their clients who paid for transportation to the Moldovan border, along with assistance in illegal border crossings to avoid mobilization. That is how the event is described not only by the Ukrainian media but also by Russian media, such as TASS and RIA Novosti. Like any other nation under attack, Ukraine has mobilization laws that prevent men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. However, there will always be individuals attempting to evade mobilization and criminals profiting from assisting them, a situation that any country would work to prevent 


post on the social network Facebook presents a video with the following description: 

Ukraine mobilization on the streets 

The author of the post does not provide any sources or evidence for his claim and fails to notice that the footage does not feature the TCK Recruiting Service — the insignia on the back of the uniformed person standing on the left at the beginning of the footage indicates otherwise: 

Державна прикордонна служба 

ПОРВ (Прикордонне оперативно-розшукове відділення) Кодима 

Translation from Ukrainian: 

State Border Service 

BOIU (Border Operative-Investigative Unit) Kodyma 

We can also the sign “SBS”, which is an abbreviation for the already mentioned “State Border Service of Ukraine”. In all fairness, the signs in the footage are slightly ineligible due to the poor video quality, but there are some better versions such as the one on the following link. 

The content of the footage is not about mobilization, but about catching a criminal group and its clients who have paid 5 to 10 thousand dollars for transportation to the Moldovan border and for assistance with the illegal border crossing to avoid mobilization. The event took place on the 21st of June 2024, at around 2 pm between the villages Obzhyle in the Odesa Oblast of Ukraine and Plopi in the Ribnita Region in Moldova, in the vicinity of the already mentioned city of Kodyma. Transportation was performed by 4 mini-buses, tailed by a car, but the criminals and their clients were stopped and hence did not accomplish their goal. The number of detained persons in this action is record-breaking for such cases: 7 criminals and 47 of their clients. 

The facts of the event were published by the Ukrainian journalist and local politician Vitaliy Glagola and were subsequently covered by the following Ukrainian media: UNIANTSNKorotko pro24 Kanal5 Kanal etc., but also by the Russian media: TASSRIA NovostiRosiskaya gazeta and Argumenti i Fakti. 

Not even Russian media – known for spreading fake news – went that far as to present it as “mobilization on the streets of Ukraine”. 

Therefore, this case is not about forcible mobilization, as that was not the aim of the operation. Additionally, the TCK was not involved, and not all of the detained individuals were eligible for mobilization. In compliance with the law, the TCK will receive only those who are wanted for disrupting military records, for example, if they ignored the summons from the TKC, although some of them might not have received them at all. What is the story of each detained person, we cannot tell. 

Picking up people from the streets and taking them to the Army is not permissible, though Ukraine is not an orderly country (having been at war for 10 years, Ukraine can hardly be orderly), so, unfortunately, such incidents do happen. The President of Ukraine condemned that and even made it subject to investigations and detentions (examples: here and here). According to the law, forcible recruitment to the TKC can only be performed by the Police (with the assistance of the TKC) and only if the citizen is wanted for disrupting the military records. However, this specific case is not about catching people in the streets, but about something different which was already explained. Otherwise, distributing summons on the streets is allowed. 

Another detail overlooked by the media is that the incident occurred near the border with the breakaway Pridnestrovie Republic, also known as the Transnistria region — internationally recognized as part of Moldova but controlled by pro-Russian separatists. If those avoiding mobilization chose this destination knowingly, the situation becomes more complex, verging on treason. However, we don’t have the full story; it might have been chosen simply because the border is easier to cross there. What we do know for certain is that the mobilization action did not take place there.

The manner of crossing the border has not been detailed, but the media have mentioned previous cases involving movement through woods and mountains, crossing rivers with rubber boots, and even hiding in wheat-filled trucks. 

Considering all the above-noted, the fact-checked post is assessed as incorrect or untrue.