Ukrainians grow unwilling to serve in the army — media


© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan


KIEV, January 27 /TASS/. Ukraine’s male population has massively started leaving abroad in search of jobs to dodge the current mobilization campaign.

“Entire villages are booking buses to dispatch their men as far as possible. Military committees are handing over the lists of fugitives to law enforcers and try to restrict the movement of men subject to conscription outside their native districts and areas,” the Vesti publication wrote on Tuesday.

Natalya from Zaporizhia (south-eastern Ukraine) dispatched her son to Russia several months ago. The woman told Vesti on condition of anonymity that she had also sent her husband away (also to Russia) a week before. Men from western regions are leaving for Poland and Hungary. The city military committee in Ukraine’s capital Kiev is also complaining about draft dodgers.

Human resource experts are noting growing interest in vacancies abroad. “Over the past three months more than 281 job seekers interested in employment abroad, including 176 last month, have posted their CVs on our website,” Tatyana Pashkina from the portal said.

The authorities in the Kiev-controlled parts of the Lugansk region have recently forbidden men aged 18-60 to leave for militia-controlled territories and abroad without permission from local military committees.

Last Monday, the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky City Council /the Odessa region/ published a ban for reservists to leave the region’s territory.

The fourth round of mobilization in Ukraine kicked off on January 20. Another two are scheduled for April and June.

According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, about 104,000 people may be mobilized in 2015.

Ukrainian army’s Chief of Staff Vladimir Talalay said that draft dodgers would face from 2 to 5 years in prison adding that women aged 25-50 could also be drafted into the army if necessary.

Russia may help Ukrainians avoid army service

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Monday that Russia might extend the period of sojourn in Russian territory for Ukrainians of conscription age who could be drafted into the Ukraine army.

“Many people, by the way, do not want to be mobilized. They are trying to move to Russia and lie low for some time. And they are absolutely right because they are simply being sent under bullets like cannon fodder,” Putin said at a meeting with the students of the “Gornyi” University of Mineral Resources on January 26.

At the same time, the president said Ukrainian nationals could not stay in Russia longer than for a period established by the law.

“Under a new law, Ukrainian citizens cannot stay in Russia for more than 30 days. After that they have to return to Ukraine where they are being caught and sent under the bullets again. That is why I think that we are going to change something in that law,” Putin said adding the sojourn of some categories of people, especially those of conscription age, could be extended within legal framework.

In the meantime, Delegations of Donetsk and Luhansk republics leave Minsk after Ukraine talks fail. The Contact Group for Ukraine was supposed to have met in Minsk on Friday but Ukraine’s representative at the talks didn’t come.

Vladislav Deinego and Denis Pushilin talk to reporters

Vladislav Deinego and Denis Pushilin talk to reporters

© Viktor Drachyov/TASS

Denis Pushilin criticized Kiev’s “incoherent position” on the next round of the Minsk talks.

“The date was set for today but Kiev’s hesitation and uncertainty whether they are going to go [to Minsk] or not is making the situation maximum inconvenient for all the sides,” Pushilin stressed. “We have met our commitments. We have arrived in Minsk while Kiev is still hesitating,” Pushilin said.

Poroshenko and Merkel called for “the dialogue in the ‘Normandy format’ to be continued,” along with “withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops and in compliance with the disengagement line.”

Along with that, Poroshenko and Merkel agreed to hold a bilateral meeting in Munich on February 6-8 with the aim to coordinate further steps.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said a document including key provisions on a ceasefire and weaponry pullback is being worked out for the Contact Group meeting due to be held on Saturday, January 31.

Kiev does not put brake on anything, Alexey Makeyev said.

“Contents and concrete agreements are crucial,” he said. “It is also crucial that all those who put their signatures under the documents and all those who can shoulder the responsibility would attend the meetings.”

“Tomorrow’s talks are likely to be focusing on the final document prescribing how implementation of the Minsk accords could be put back on track,” he said. “Everyone is engaged in readying the document and I am very hopeful that this meeting may take place in Minsk on Saturday.”

End of article ————

[In my opinion, Poroshenko is just buying time. He’s obsessed with killing his own people. He will break any ceasefire. He’s not all there.]

Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation Speaks


Ghanaian Kofi Annan is the former Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT) January 21, 2015

Editor’s Note: Kofi A. Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations and is the founder and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. In 2001, he and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his.

(CNN) – The horrific events in Paris and northern Nigeria have underlined again how troubled and fragmented our world is. Religious extremism and sectarianism is fueling terrorism and widespread conflict which has forced millions in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to flee. Aggressive nationalism and politics based on prejudice and a false view of identity is on the increase in many countries. Disease and hunger continue to take a terrible toll.

Yet we know what needs to be done, for example, to end the Ebola disaster, halt climate change, rid our world of hunger and begin the difficult process of healing deep divisions in our societies. Our failure is not because of a lack of knowledge or global resources but leadership and resolve — by politicians but also throughout society. How we put this right must be at the heart of all discussions at Davos this week.

Let’s start with Ebola. We have known about this disease for 40 years, how deadly it is, how it is transmitted and how to prevent infection. Yet we have lost thousands of lives already to the epidemic in West Africa and only now have the resources, from within countries and outside, been mobilized to halt it.

We need to learn the lessons and ensure we can move much more quickly and effectively before such deadly diseases take hold. The last few months have also underlined the need for big pharma to invest more into the research of diseases that occur in poorer countries. The extraordinary progress in tackling some of the world’s greatest killers through the development and distribution of vaccines shows what can be achieved through our collective efforts.

Second, Africa, with the world’s most uncultivated arable land, has the potential to help end the global food security and nutrition crisis. Yet it fails to grow enough food even to feed its own people.

Africa’s governments have recognised their responsibility to put in place the policies and investments which will enable the continent’s farmers, big and small, to provide the food needed. They must deliver the improved infrastructure which is vital to this ambition. Business must respond as well, particularly by giving small-holder farmers the access to new crop varieties, techniques and markets.

The third area where leadership is absolutely crucial is the climate crisis. How is it possible that climate change conferences continually fail to provide the breakthrough given that the science is so clear about the threat to future generations and our planet?

In December, a global agreement must be reached in Paris on the framework and policies needed to halt climate change. Political leaders need to look beyond the next electoral cycle. Civil society has largely already understood what needs to be done. I believe corporations will quickly respond to the challenge as many already have. There can be no clearer example of where our common values must be rediscovered. There are welcome signs that this is, at last, beginning to be understood.

Fourthly, we know that successful peace processes are our only chance of escaping the circle of violence. Without the resolve to address the past openly, and without leaders showing the courage to give peace commissions the independence they need, solutions will be haphazard. It takes courage to address the rights of victims genuinely, but it is fundamental to heal wounds permanently. In a world riddled with conflict, this courage will be more essential than ever. The international community needs to do more to support countries through this often difficult process.

Finally, there is also an urgent need to step up support for democracy and elections. While almost every country now votes, public faith in democracy is on the wane. In too many countries, political leaders manipulate the process to deny their citizens a proper voice. Even in mature democracies, there is an increasingly widespread belief that elections change little and that the political elite serve only their only narrow interests.

Leaders in 2015 will once more have the choice between using elections to give their regimes a veneer of democratic legitimacy or ensuring a level-playing field, respecting the secrecy of the ballot and, above all, accept the result peacefully. Last year’s successful Presidential elections and peaceful hand-over of power in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, even when the result was very close provided real hope for the future. Supporting the integrity of elections in Africa and elsewhere will be an area, like all these challenges, I and my Foundation sees as particular priorities this year.

In times of uncertainty, it is all too easy to surrender to fear and retreat, look inward and think short-term. But what is urgently needed is the ability in politics but also in business and society as a whole to look beyond national borders, the next election or set of quarterly results. This must underpin not just discussions at Davos but all our actions as voters, citizens and consumers in the coming months and years.

CNN: The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kofi Annan.