Ukraine has not lowered the age of military service to recruit minors

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Ukrainian law on military service prohibits the recruitment of people under the age of 18, despite Russian propaganda circulating online about the creation of military units with minors. Verifications show that these claims are baseless and fueled by Russian propaganda. 

Users on social networks claim that Ukraine is also sending children to the front of the war with Russia due to numerous losses in its ranks.  “Already 17-year-old Ukrainians are being killed at the front. In western Ukraine, the first fighting group of minors” , accompanies a post with a photo of a group of young people in military uniforms with Ukrainian symbols. 

This is one of dozens of posts that are circulating again on social networks, fueling the claim that Ukraine has lowered the age threshold for military service. 


But the truth is that such claims are not supported by evidence and facts and are completely arbitrary. 

Our colleagues from and have verified that Ukraine does not recruit people younger than 18 years old. Verifications show that military service has not lowered the age threshold below 18 years. 

Recruiting children into the armed forces is against the law in Ukraine. More specifically, Article 15 of the Law on Military Service in Ukraine specifies:

‘Ukrainian citizens, whose sex is male, who are healthy, who have reached the age of 18 on the day of commencement of service and persons who have not yet reached the age of 27 and who are not eligible for exemption or deferment.’ 

No investigation to date has been able to document and support claims that Ukrainian children are fighting on the front lines. 

France 24 Observers spoke with Denis Krivosheev, from the human rights watchdog Amnesty International. 

“Amnesty International has no knowledge of documented cases of child soldiers in the Ukrainian army , ” he  said .

Very often, pro-Russian social network profiles spread rumors that Ukraine is sending children to the front line to fight Russian soldiers, writes France 24 Observers. Faktoje has verified some of them. 

Such claims were made public when Andrew Peter Napolitano, a former analyst for the conservative US television channel Fox News, interviewed Douglas McGregor, a former US soldier and frequent Fox contributor. During the interview, McGregor claimed that Ukrainian youths were taken from nightclubs and sent to fight. However, he offered no evidence for his claims. All this leads to the conclusion that no evidence supports the claim that Ukraine sends children to the war front to fight against the Russians. Such claims are arbitrary and not supported by facts. The Law of Ukraine on Military Service prohibits the recruitment of persons under the age of 18. Therefore, verified facts are evaluated as untrue.