EU Will Not Deport Men Aged 18-60 Back to Ukraine

Published on:


According to the European Commissioner, the EU will not deport anyone against their will. That is, Ukrainian men currently living in Europe are not at risk of forced deportation. Also, the European Union does not plan to restrict the entry of men from Ukraine


We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) that is saying:

The EU will deport Ukrainians from 18 to 60 years old back to Ukraine. Literally, fighting Russia to the last man standing. Human sacrifice or genocide? Human rights and democracy in Europe’s garden.

Then to support the post, a Yahoo text is shared (which, by the way, is taken out of context) and which covers only the possible categories of persons that Ukraine could return from outside, without mentioning that such a thing would be implemented. But Yahoo’s text is saying that some obstacles exist and different interpretations are available on what the EU could do regarding the return of the Ukrainians displaced within the EU. More precisely, the article specifies that currently all men from 18 to 60 years old are considered conscripts and can be called up for military service and that they are prohibited from leaving Ukraine unless they are part of the exceptions allowed to travel abroad.

The spokesperson of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Andriy Demchenko, told national television on 8th May that those men who are trying to illegally cross the border during martial law will be returned to Ukraine. According to him, conscripts who cross the border in violation of the law have no grounds for receiving refugee status abroad, while EU countries are cooperating with Ukraine to return such men back.

Since the beginning of the invasion, we have been cooperating with our colleagues from the European Union and Moldova to counter any attempts of illegal border crossing. Some are trying to immediately apply for refugee status, but they have no grounds for obtaining such a status. The procedure for the organization and maintenance of military records of conscripts and reservists established by Government Resolution number 1487 provides that men aged 18 to 60 are supposed to register for military service in Ukrainian diplomatic institutions abroad, says Demchenko.

The diplomatic institutions collect, store, and transfer this data to Ukraine, and are also obliged to facilitate the return of the conscripts if a draft is proclaimed in Ukraine.

According to the military lawyer Yaroslav Zhukrovsky, the enemy is spreading rumors and disinformation that Ukrainian men are being put on buses and taken to Ukraine.

First of all, the diplomatic institutions inform citizens who have entered the consular register and have reached conscription age about the start of the next draft. Second, they facilitate the return of the conscripts to their homeland. The word “facilitate” is the most controversial here. Rumors that the Ukrainians abroad will be packed into buses and forcibly taken to Ukraine aren’t true. But Ukrainian legislation doesn’t explain what exactly “facilitating return” means, said Zhukrovsky for Yahoo.

He also noted that military registration at diplomatic institutions and undergoing mobilization are not the same, as this is the recording of a citizen in the military registration documents of the consulates, which are then transferred to territorial recruiting centеrs in Ukraine.

Zhukrovsky also pointed out that the military registration in diplomatic institutions and the competent military-medical commissions or mobilization are not the same, as this is the recording of a citizen in the military registration documents of the consulates, which are then transferred to the territorial recruiting centers in Ukraine.

Can military summons be issued abroad or men be deported?
Resolution No. 1478 does not provide for such an obligation as issuing summons to conscripts, therefore no one issues or will issue them, while rumors about similar cases or situations are just Russian disinformation.

According to Ukrainian legislation, foreign diplomatic institutions cannot serve summonses. After all, a subpoena is a document that invites a person to a territorial recruiting centre to clarify the military data or undergo examination by a military-medical commission, the lawyer said.

Zhukrovsky added that the deportation of conscripts has no legal basis, so Ukrainian diplomatic institutions cannot do it.

Military registration at foreign diplomatic institutions is, most likely, a declarative mechanism for clarifying the data of Ukrainian citizens. Ignoring this rule is not grounds for deportation. Diplomatic institutions have no legal grounds for this, he explained.

Criteria also exist for men to be allowed to leave Ukraine during martial law. Men who independently raise a child under the age of 18, who are guardians to more than 3 juvenile children, who are guardians of a child with a rare disease or with a disability, or those for whom a medical commission has decided that they cannot participate in war, as well as drivers, ship captains under certain conditions, athletes of the Ukrainian national team in Olympic and non-Olympic sports, disabled men or men who are Ukrainian subjects with permanent residence in another country and men with dual citizenship (both Ukrainian and of another country) who can cross the Ukrainian border with a foreign passport.

The majority of Ukrainian refugees remain in Europe and apply for temporary protection status.

According to the European Commissioner, the EU will not deport anyone against their will. That is, Ukrainian men currently living in Europe are not at risk of forced deportation. Also, the European Union does not plan to restrict the entry of men from Ukraine.

Back in 2022, the fact-checkers of Detector in 2022 wrote about this widespread disinformation that Ukrainian men who had left Ukraine would be deported by the EU. But that is not true. In 2022, disinformation was spreading that allegedly Ukrainian men will be deported from Poland, but that did not happen.

There must be legal grounds for deportation, as well as a court decision. The reason for deportation may be unpaid fines, overdue visa, criminal record, violation of public order or illegal stay in a foreign country, specifies Detector.

The post we fact-checked falsely claims that “Ukraine will fight Russia to the last man standing” and ironically comments that these are “the human rights and democracy in the European garden”.

Europe respects human rights to the maximum with various conventions, resolutions, and charters. Ukraine is not fighting against the far bigger and stronger Eastern neighbor by choice. It is defending itself from Russia which aggressively and unprovoked attacked the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Due to all of the facts noted above, we assessed the post as untrue.