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    Ukrainian soldiers ride on a armored personnel vehicle outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve

    Ukraine Passes Law Toughening Penalties for Soldier Disobedience

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    The new law is aimed at increasing discipline in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as soldiers leave military posts without permission, drink alcohol in the army units, and fail to comply with orders. It permits commanders to use force, including weapons.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Thursday toughening penalties for soldiers who refuse to follow orders.

    With 226 votes required to pass, 260 parliamentarians supported the new law.

    The document says that many cases of gross violation of discipline are reported in the Ukrainian army. In particular, soldiers leave military posts without permission, drink alcohol in the army units, and fail to comply with orders.

    The law allows military commanders to take drastic measures against subordinates in case of disobedience.

    “The commander, in special conditions, including in the martial law condition, or in combat, in order to hold back a soldier who shows disobedience, resistance, or poses threat to the commander, uses violence, attempts to leave the position or the permanent military post without permission, has a right to personally use force without threatening the soldiers’ health,” the statement continued.

    Ukrainian servicemen get inside armoured personnel carriers (APC) during a ceremony to hand over weapons, military equipment and aircraft to the army at a firing range outside Zhytomyr January 5, 2015
    © REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko
    The document states that in combat a commander may use weapons, if “there is no other option to stop the offense without killing the soldiers”.

    In February 2014, a coup took place in Ukraine, after which the new Kiev authority launched a military operation in Ukraine's southeast in an attempt to suppress pro-independence fighters that refused to recognize the government's legitimacy. The military confrontation has recently intensified despite a September 2014 ceasefire agreement.

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)

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