Kyiv wants to force men of fighting age to return home

Ukrainian diplomatic missions abroad may no longer issue passports to men between the ages of 18 and 60. The aim is to force hundreds of thousands to return to their home country - where they will be subject to conscription. Ukrainian commentators debate the measure's pros and cons.

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NV (UA) /

Petty revenge

Writing in NV, blogger Sergey Fursa describes the decision as a populist move:

“These measures will not force any man who decided to leave the country during the war to return. ... Moreover, not all of them swam across the Tisza; many migrated legally. So this measure will have zero impact. But the state is implementing it anyway, and with relish. Instead of resorting to unpopular measures that would bring results, it is focusing on this. ... This is petty revenge. And populism. Because with this measure the state is showing that it is taking revenge on those who have left, which is supposed to make those who have stayed happy. It is playing with the dark side of human nature.”

Viktor Shlinchak (UA) /

A divisive policy

Political scientist Viktor Shlinchak offers the Ukrainian government some advice on Facebook:

“It's time to finally get to work on keeping the country together instead of dividing it. Because that won't exactly help us win the war. ... Today, no order for conscientious objectors to return from Monaco, Vienna or Barcelona will bring them back. You have to understand that. So to hell with them! Why waste more time on them? We need to focus on how to unite those who remain here - different groups, different classes - to achieve the common goal.”

Unian (UA) /

Fulfil civic duties

All the outrage over this decision is misplaced, writes political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko in Unian:

“In our country, many people demand that the state does this or that, but they themselves are unwilling to fulfil their duties - such as paying taxes or defending the country. If you remain or want to remain a citizen of Ukraine, you have to abide by the law. ... We don't need official citizens, an official statistical number of people who consider themselves citizens of Ukraine. We need citizens who confirm this status through concrete action.”