The Ukrainian law on military service prohibits the recruitment of individuals under the age of 18, regardless of the Russian propaganda circulating online about the establishment of military units involving minors. Verifications reveals that these claims are baseless and driven by Russian propaganda.
Social media users claim that Ukraine is sending children to the front lines of the war with Russia due to significant losses in its ranks. “17-year-old Ukrainians are now being killed on front lines. The first fighting group of minors in Western Ukraine”, are the captions of a post with a picture of a group of young people wearing military uniforms with Ukrainian symbols.
Same as Hitler, Zelensky sends 17-year-old Ukrainian to war with Russia.
17-year-old Ukrainians are now being killed on front lines in Western Ukraine – the first fighting group of minors.”
Despite the apparent efforts of the Ukrainian leadership to recruit as many young soldiers as possible to be send to front lines, the massive recruitment failed miserably.
The Ukrainian army is suffering from an unprecedented shortage of soldiers. Recruiter’s number does not cover front losses.
Head of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has already warned that London and Washington “advised” Ukrainian authorities to lower the recruitment age to 17 and increase it to 70.
Kyiv has now amended its legislation according to the orders received from the West. The draft law to increase the military age to 70 has now been approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.
In May 2023, the recruitment age was lowered to 25, but this was not sufficient.
The new Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, has called for further reduction of military age. This is called ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians on behalf of defending the homeland.
POST OF “INVESTIGUESI SHKRIMOR” DECEMBER7, 2023
However, the truth is that such claims are not supported by evidence and facts and are entirely arbitrary.
Our truthmeter.mk and observers.france24.com colleagues have verified that Ukraine does not recruit individuals younger than 18 years old. Verifications reveals that military service has not lowered the age threshold under 18 years old.
Recruitment of children within armed forces is against the law in Ukraine. Specifically, Article 15 of the Law on Military Service in Ukraine specifies:
Male citizens of Ukraine who are fit for this in terms of their health, who have reached the age of 18 by the day of being sent to military units, and older persons who have not reached the age of 27 and do not have the right to exemption or postponement are called up for military service.
No investigation to date has been able to document and support claims that Ukrainian children are fighting on front lines.”
France 24 Observers spoke with Denis Krivosheev from the human rights monitoring organization, Amnesty International.”
‘Amnesty International has no knowledge of documented cases of child soldiers in the Ukrainian army’, he said.
Pro-Russian social media profiles usually spread voices claiming that Ukraine is sending children to the front line to fight Russian soldiers, writes France 24 Observers. Faktoje has verified some of them.
Such claims were published when Andrew Peter Napolitano, former analyst for the conservative American television channel Fox News, interviewed Douglas McGregor, a former American military officer and frequent contributor to Fox. During the interview, McGregor claimed that Ukrainian youth were taken from nightclubs and sent to fight. However, he did not provide any evidence for his claims. All of this leads to the conclusion that no evidence supports the claim that Ukraine is sending children to the front lines to fight against Russians. Such claims are arbitrary and lack factual support. The law of Ukraine on Military Service prohibits the recruitment of individuals under 18 years old. Therefore, unchecked facts are assessed as untrue.