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Ukraine’s Cabinet Submits Updated Mobilization Law to Parliament

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s cabinet submitted an amended draft law to Parliament that lays out a new mobilization plan for the army amid rising mistrust between the country’s political and military leadership as the war with Russia is about to enter its third year.

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The legislation was initially filed last month and rejected by lawmakers who asked the cabinet to soften demands for potential recruits who have health problems and clarify rules for demobilization. Draftees are eligible to leave the service after 36 months.

The revised version also proposes lowering the draft age for men with no military experience to 25 from 27, while addressing some lawmaker concerns, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday on Telegram.

Ukraine’s army has been battling Russian forces for a second winter while facing a shortage of ammunition. More than $110 billion in financial aid remains ensnared by political infighting in both Washington and Brussels.

In December, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s military chief, criticized the pace of conscription as too slow. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has delayed signing a bill lowering the age of conscription, opposing a request to sign up as many 500,000 soldiers. Instead, he has asked the military to present a comprehensive package that includes a blueprint for troop rotations and leave.

Tensions between Zelenskiy and Zaluzhnyi were again on display Monday, when local media and social networks were awash with unverified reports that Zaluzhnyi faced ouster. Zelenskiy’s spokesman denied that Zaluzhnyi would be replaced, though the president himself did not address the question.

Parliament has not announced when it would debate the measure, which would clamp down on draft dodgers by freezing their assets.

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