Armed Forces

Ukrainian Parliament: Foreigners Could Soon Legally Be Joining The Ukrainian Army

  • Falcon 9 na LC-39A, gotowy do wyniesienia satelity EchoStar 23. Fot. SpaceX via Facebook

Verkhovna Rada – the Supreme Council of Ukraine – adopted a bill, the aim of which is to authorize citizens of foreign countries to serve in the Ukrainian Army.

257 out of 438 members of the council voted in favour of the bill 2389. The document mentioned above is to modify the legal provisions in force, in order to make it easier for the persons who have no Ukrainian citizenship, or persons of foreign origin, to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The current regulations contained in the acts that cover the general defence obligation and the military service, the way in which the Ukrainian armed forces are operating and the status of internal service in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, do not allow the foreigners to serve in the Ukrainian Army. The new bill has been created by a reputable military analyst, Dmytro Tymchuk.

Tymchuk notes that once the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces or the units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that were to be operating in the zone of the counter-terrorist operation were to be formed, many foreigners with military background reported for duty on a voluntary basis. Many of them were involved in the fights, even thougfh no legal background for such state existed. Here the Ukrainians of Canadian or British origin are the main concern, however, citizens of other countries are also the case. At the moment, in the light of the current regulations, foreign contribution to the military operations is being penalized by Article 263 of the Ukrainian Criminal Act – defined as the “illegal use of weapons, ammunition or explosives”.

The new legal regulations are to make it possible to join the Ukrainian Army without a need to obtain the Ukrainian citizenship. Tymchuk’s opinion is that admission of the foreign soldiers may make it possible to limit the mobilization effort, and create more budgetary savings, in the light of the lack of need to pay the pensions for the injured. Secondly, there would be no need to provide financial help for the families of the soldiers who would potentially be killed. The Act is going to be implemented after its second reading and after it is signed by the Ukrainian president.