It is not true that Ukraine is mobilizing minors

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Photo: Screenshot from the video

There were also attempts previously on social networks to accuse Ukraine of mobilizing children by using videos of young-looking boys. But, that is not true – according to Ukrainian laws, only adult persons can be conscripted by the Army, writes

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We are fact-checking a post published on the social network Facebook (Screenshot here) claiming that “Ukraine is mobilizing also minors”. The post shares video footage of a young boy in a Ukrainian uniform.

It is not true that Ukraine is mobilizing teenagers. Previous attempts were also made on social networks to accuse Ukraine of mobilizing children by using videos of young-looking boys. Namely, according to the laws of Ukraine, only adult persons can be conscripted by the Army.

According to the law, all physically able-bodies Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 years old are potentially subject to conscription, writes Kyiv Post.

In 2014, BBC reported about a 17-year-old boy who participated in the war, but only because he had lied about his age when he applied for the volunteer battalion. This is the only isolated case we found information about a teenager participating in the war in Ukraine, but not in 2023, but in 2014.

Martial law in place in Ukraine since February 2022 bars most men between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Under mobilization rules, any man in that range can theoretically be called to fight. Exceptions are made, including for students, parents with three or more children under 18; caretakers of disabled dependents; and those deemed medically unfit…. Almost a quarter-million Ukrainians will turn 18 this year – making them old enough to sign up to fight, or, of they’re male and still in the country, too old to leave”, Washington Post reported in April 2023.

Fact-checkers at Disinfo Detector debunked similar disinformation, according to which underage boys from Ukraine would, allegedly, not be able to leave the country because they would soon be mobilized.

This is not true. Children are not subject to mobilization. By spreading this fake, propagandists are once again promoting the message of total mobilization in Ukraine. Like, there is no one to fight, so even minors are mobilized, fact-checkers from DisInfo Detector write.

France 24’s fact-checkers have debunked similar claims, where video material of young-looking soldiers are presented in a way that claims they are children, i.e. minors. France 24, however, managed to discover the identities of the young soldiers and determine that they were over 20 years old, even though they looked young. Technically, by law, they were not children.

At the beginning of 2023, Ukraine announced that in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Russians may be mobilizing children and therefore they urged parents to take their children to safer locations.

Kyiv Independent reported on the same issue.

Due to all the facts noted above, we assess the fact-checked post as untrue.