Ukraine lowered the age ceiling for military conscription from 27 to 25 years, but does not conscript persons younger than 18. Conscripting children in the Armed Forces is against the law in Ukraine. As far as Ukrainian women are concerned, they have been enrolled in the military register since 1st October 2022, but that does not automatically imply that they will perform military service
The Ukrainians will recruit even those who are not entirely healthy and they are considering to include more women as well as lowering the age ceiling to 17 years. If those are not signs of direct victory, then I don’t know what is, specifies the post we are fact-checking.
Such a statement is not substantiated by any evidence and facts. It is arbitrary. Our fact-check proved that Ukraine does not recruit persons younger than 18 years, nor has it reduced the age ceiling for military service from 27 to 25 years. As far as Ukrainian women are concerned, they are enrolled in the military register since 1st October 2022, but that does not automatically imply that they will be conscripted.
Conscription of children in the Armed Forces is against the law in Ukraine.
Article 15 of the Law on Military Service of Ukraine states that the only people this applies to are:
Ukrainian citizens whose sex is male, who are healthy, who have reached the age of 18 years old the day they begin their service and people who are not yet 27 and who don’t have the right to an exemption or deferral. Citizens of military age can volunteer in military service by means of a contract with conditions specified in the first part of Article 20 of the law and in line with the regulations for military service of Ukrainian subjects.
There is no evidence documenting and supporting the claim that Ukrainian children are fighting on the frontlines.
Frequently, pro-Russian profiles on social networks are spreading rumors that Ukraine is sending children to the front line to fight against Russian soldiers, states France 24 Observers.
France 24 Observers talked to Denis Krivosheev, the Deputy Regional Director in charge of Research for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, who responded:
Amnesty International has no knowledge of documented cases of child soldiers in the Ukrainian Army.
Regarding the claim that Ukrainian women will be conscripted, that also is very random. On 19th June 2022, an interview with the military lawyer from the Korovogradska region and the Head of the Legal Group of the Regional Territorial Conscription Centre, Yuriy Hriva, explains military service for women in martial law times in Ukraine. First, women will be enrolled in the military register, but that does not imply that they will be conscripted – only enrolled in the military service. Enrolling in the military register is not the same as serving military time! The enrollment of women was announced to start from 1st October 2022 and women under 60 years without health condition contraindications whose vocation or specialty is listed in the Decision of the Defence Ministry will be eligible.
Women’s vocations are listed in the Order of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine that went into force on 17th December 2021 stating the vocations of women that must be in the military register. Generally speaking, several professions have been included in the register such as: catering, publishing, printing, programming, medical doctors, lawyers, journalists, musicians, social workers, accountants etc.
According to official data, since the beginning of May 2023, 42,000 women have been serving in the Ukrainian military formations, which is a significant percentage of the total number of military staff.
They are not written about or filmed. Meanwhile, they are working in the Army. They do their important work every day. They are engaged in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the Army, the Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar says about Ukrainian female soldiers.
Our fact-check showed that Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada lowered the age ceiling for military service from 27 to 25 years.
As stated in the explanatory note to the draft law, until now, citizens who are fit for military service and who have turned 18 by the day of deployment to military units and older persons who have not reached 27 years and are not entitled to exemption or deferment from conscription are called up for military service, specifies Visit Ukraine. At the same time, citizens who have reached the age of 27 years while being registered for military service are subject to military registration.
It also specifies that during the legal regime of martial law in Ukraine, there is no need for citizens under the age of 27 to be registered with the military for a long time.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister at the time, Oleksiy Reznikov, justified the reduction in the conscription age by the need to replenish the mobilization reserve. Previously, the maximum conscription age was 27 years. If a man turned 27 and had not served in the Army, he could not be mobilized.
After the law was amended, men aged 25 to 60, even without military service experience, could be forcibly mobilized in wartime. The draft law expanded the range of persons who could be mobilized to include conscripts aged 25 and 26, who were not previously subject to mobilization, points out the article in Visit Ukraine.
From all of the above-noted, we can conclude that Ukraine does not conscript persons younger than 18 years, but lowered the age ceiling for military service from 27 to 25 years. Conscription of children in the Armed Forces is against the law in Ukraine. As far as Ukrainian women are concerned, since 1st October 2022, women have enrolled in the military register, but that does not imply that they will be conscripted. Therefore, we assess the post fact-checked as untrue.