NATO Troops Don’t Want to Die: Poland and Lithuania to Repatriate Ukrainian Draft Dodgers

Ukrainian soldiers cover their ears to protect from the Russian tank shelling in a shelter on the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Sunday, July 2, 2023

The two countries have signaled they will help the Kiev regime to bring potential draft dodgers home. Earlier, the countries appeared reluctant to extradite conscript-aged Ukrainian men.The defense ministers of Poland and Lithuania have stated that they will help the Kiev regime ensure that those obliged to fight for Ukraine are returned home instead of sitting in European cafés and fancy restaurants.”Ukrainian citizens have obligations towards the state,” Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz stated on April 24. “We have long suggested that we are also able to help the Ukrainian side in ensuring that those who are obliged to perform military service go to Ukraine.””Ukraine is very short of mobilization reserve… This is not fair to those citizens who are fighting for their country,” Laurynas Kasciunas, the Lithuanian defense minister, echoed his Polish counterpart on April 25.Last year, most EU states refused to extradite Ukrainian draft dodgers who came as refugees to the bloc, citing European conventions that do not envisage extradition for desertion or draft evasion. Even though Polish authorities had not rejected Kiev’s request altogether, they offered a complicated bureaucratic procedure, adding that at the end of the day, everything would depend on Poland’s court ruling. Why have they now changed their tune?WorldEurope Snubs Ukraine’s Demand to Extradite Draft Dodgers15 September 2023, 14:46 GMTIt’s no secret that Ukraine is losing NATO’s proxy war against Russia and suffers from an acute deficit in soldiers, noted Volodymyr Oleynyk, a Ukrainian politician and former MP of the Verkhovna Rada, adding that the North Atlantic alliance does not want to throw its own troops into the Ukrainian meatgrinder.”It was no coincidence that NATO members said that there are two options: the first is that NATO troops can enter into conflict. Poles don’t have a particular desire to fight with Russia; the same is fair for Germans. Then they came to the conclusion: it is necessary to force the Ukrainians who are in Poland and some Baltic countries to return to Ukraine,” Oleynyk told Sputnik.AnalysisZelensky Could End Ukraine’s Viability as Country With Mobilization Law13 April, 02:40 GMT

How Could Poland and Lithuania Send Ukrainians Back Home?

The question then arises as to how two EU member states could circumvent the aforementioned European conventions and associated laws to extradite Ukrainian draft dodgers. It appears, however, that they have already found a way.On April 23, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry “announced a temporary suspension of accepting new applications for consular services” for men between 18 and 60 residing abroad. In mid-May, a sweeping draft law will come into force obligating conscript-aged men to return to Ukraine to obtain a military ID to get a new Ukrainian passport. The crux of the matter is that under martial law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country, apparently meaning that the returnees would be stuck in Ukraine.According to the Guardian, the Polish parliament is going to consider new legislation next week that would require Ukrainian refugees to show a valid passport to get benefits from the state. Previously, Ukrainians could show any document proving their identity to the Polish authorities. It is also unclear whether Ukrainians without a valid passport will be able to work legally in Poland.Lithuanian Defense Minister Kasciunas also hinted at various options that could allow the state to expel draft dodgers evading the deportation mechanism. He clarified that this work will be conducted in coordination with Poland.”It is possible [to restrict] social benefits, work permits, documents, there are options that I’ve also heard from the Polish side. I think it is the correct way,” Kasciunas said as cited by The Financial Times.WorldNew Mobilization Law in Ukraine May Go Into Effect in Second Half of May – Lawmaker12 April, 11:49 GMT

Ukrainian Draft Dodgers Welcomed in Other EU States

Warsaw and Vilnius’s measures will force Ukrainians to seek asylum elsewhere, Oleynyk said, stressing that most Ukrainians don’t want to go to the front line. He quoted the Razumkov Institute’s March poll that indicated that just 10% of Ukrainian respondents are ready to fight, while 90% are not willing to join military service.Oleynyk also referred to a social media poll by Servant of the People party MP Maryana Bezuglaya that apparently showed that over half of Ukrainians residing abroad would opt to live without a Ukrainian passport in order to evade conscription.Despite Poland and Lithuania having adopted a tough stance towards Ukrainian draft dodgers, other EU states appear ready to welcome them.”Germany took an opposite stance, saying that if there is a problem with passports, it would be ready to accept them. Why? Because Germany needs workers,” Oleynyk said. “Therefore, (…) Ukrainians will either go to those countries where there are no such draconian laws, or they will ask for political asylum en masse. This will also be an interesting story when Ukrainian citizens renounce their citizenship.”Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineUkrainian Men Paying Human Smugglers $3-10K to Dodge NATO’s Proxy War22 April, 13:07 GMTEven if Warsaw and Vilnius deliver on their pledge and launch the initiative to repatriate Ukrainian draft dodgers, it would take a lot of time and effort, according to the former Ukrainian MP.”Imagine that such a decision was made in Poland. They would have to deport 15 to 20 people a day. Is this a solution to the problem? Could you even imagine the scale of mass raids to be carried out to that end? Well, I think Poland hasn’t seen anything like this since World War II,” he said. According to some estimates, there are around 200,000-300,000 draft-aged Ukrainians in Poland.Second, even if Poland and Lithuania try to deport Ukrainian citizens, the latter would have the right to appeal under EU laws and this would also create delays, Oleynyk highlighted.Given that Zelensky needs hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers as soon as possible to slow down the Russian offensive, the Polish and Lithuanian initiatives seem unlikely to save the day for the Kiev regime, according to Sputnik’s interlocutor.The Ukrainian regime is in agony and the only viable way out for it is capitulation, Oleynyk concluded.World‘Political Clown’ Zelensky May Be Ukraine’s Last President – Ukrainian Politician15 April, 19:02 GMT


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