The scandal broke out in the Kozyatinskiy district of the Vinnytsia region after a local enlistment office sent a notice of enlistment to Anatoliy Lyubimov, a local man missing both his arms at the shoulder level.
Anatoliy's mother Tatyana described her bewilderment when she came home to find the draft notice. "I come home, and see that a draft notice has come. I said to Tolya, 'you're being summoned to the enlistment office'. I felt such a sense of anxiety for the country at that moment, thinking 'look who they're calling up now.'"
At first, Anatoliy himself thought that the call-up notice was a joke. He had lost his arms nine years ago, and was personally acquainted with the local commissioner, who he said knew about his disability.
Authorities at the draft office were forced to apologize for the ridiculous mistake. "We send out draft notices to people in connection with the sixth wave of mobilization," deputy commissar of the Kozyatinskiy enlistment office Leonid Shkur told reporters. Anatoliy demanded that the enlistment office get its affairs in order, and stop sending summons for service to people who are clearly unable to serve.
Ukraine's sixth wave of mobilization, launched on June 18 in connection with Kiev's continuing military operation against independence supporters in Donbass, is set to continue until mid-August. Ukrainian authorities had plans to call up between 100,000-150,000 men to the military in 2015, with President Poroshenko signing a decree in March extending the army's size to 250,000 personnel. Last week, the General Staff of the country's Armed Forces extended the period of service for the third wave of mobilization, conscripts who were called up last September, to October 31.
The necessity to draft young men to serve in an unpopular war has led to problems for the military itself. Last month, Ukrainian news hub Vesti reported that over 10,000 conscripts have deserted from the Ukrainian army since the beginning of the conflict in April 2014. Moreover, an analysis by French magazine Nations Presse suggested that some 50,000 conscripts are actually incapable of combat for medical reasons, with many of the rest effectively serving as "cannon fodder" due to lack of proper training. Earlier this week, an entire tank battalion hit the news after going AWOL, stating that they would refuse to take orders from their command, and urging the president to deal with widespread corruption and lawlessness in the army.