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    A priest blesses newly mobilized recruits in front of a military registration office before they leave for military units, in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan.29, 2015

    Ukrainian Conscripts Going to Great Lengths to Dodge the Draft

    © AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
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    Ukrainian conscripts are going to great lengths to evade military service; recently one even bought the status of a clergyman.


    MOSCOW, January 30 (Sputnik) — Conscripts in Ukraine are desperately trying to evade military service, with one draftee reportedly paying 3,000 hryvnia, or about 188 US dollars, to obtain the status of a priest in Kiev, Russia's NTV news channel reported on Friday.

    Protests against the so-called fourth wave of mobilization are gathering strength in Ukraine, where the work of army recruiting offices has repeatedly been disrupted by draft dodgers.

    Employees of the army recruiting offices are often accompanied by police when they issue draft notices to conscripts, according to NTV.

    About 62,000 draftees have already received their call-up orders; at least 50,000 of these young men are due to be sent to the army in the next few months. According to the BBC, Kiev scrapped compulsory military service in late 2013 under ousted President Yanukovych, only to re-introduce conscription last spring.

    The fourth wave of mobilization in Ukraine, which started on January 20, will be followed by a fifth and sixth wave in April and June, respectively.

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    police, draft, mobilization, NTV, Kiev, Ukraine
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