Yuri Biryukov, an advisor to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, condemned the state of the Ukrainian military's recruitment system in a Facebook rant on Tuesday, saying that it is involved in the recruitment of the dredges of Ukrainian society.
"The current system of mobilization is based on the system and principles of the Soviet army, and does not work worth a damn in our country. Alcoholics and dodgers, drug addicts and morons: formally they are all subject to mobilization. [The principle is] we take all we can get; the quality is not important," Biryukov noted Tuesday.
Speaking in favor of "recruitment on a volunteer basis," Biryukov noted that he would soon present a plan to the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff for the formation of several experimental volunteer recruitment centers with branches across the country.
The advisor noted that the Ukrainian military had experimented with contract service between 2009 and 2011 with "staggeringly good results," adding that the so-called volunteer battalions presently engaged in eastern Ukraine have demonstrated a "quantitatively different level of motivation, discipline and support among soldiers for one another." Since the launching of Kiev's military operation in eastern Ukraine last year, the battalions Biryukov refers to have been accused of war crimes; members of battalions such as Azov, Aidar and Donbas have been accused of supporting extreme right wing ideologies, while the Dnepr battalions have been accused of being mercenary forces organized and financed by Dnepropetrovsk-based oligarch Igor Kolomoyski.
Biryukov hopes that financial incentives, including government benefits and the provision of housing, together with a system of bonuses and penalties on the basis of service, will allow for "the possibility of carrying out part of the fifth wave of mobilization not through force, but on a voluntary basis."
In January, Ukraine announced an ambitious plan to mobilize nearly 104,000 men aged 20-60 to continue Kiev's so-called 'anti-terrorist campaign' in the country's east. The campaign, meant to be carried out in three waves between January, April and June, has been bogged down by large-scale draft-dodging and protests against the "senseless war" in the east.