Ukrainian officials responsible for conscription are facing criminal charges and dismissal following allegations of bribery and people smuggling. Over 30 individuals are under investigation, and all regional military conscription officers have been removed from their positions, confirmed President Volodymyr Zelensky.
He emphasized that corruption during wartime is akin to “high treason” and poses a threat to national security and public trust. The country’s ongoing counter-offensive operation necessitates strong armed forces.
The allegations encompass accepting cash and cryptocurrency bribes, as well as assisting eligible individuals in evading conscription!
Zelensky announced that replacements for the removed officials will be drawn from candidates with battlefield experience and vetted by the intelligence service. The president expressed dissatisfaction with the conscription system, describing its handling as immoral and unfit for a nation at war.
The anti-corruption purge follows an inspection of local army offices, revealing widespread abuses across the country. Zelensky confirmed that 112 criminal proceedings have been initiated against 33 suspects.
Corruption has been an enduring issue in Ukraine, impacting public services and the country’s efforts to integrate into international organizations such as the European Union.
As the government addresses corruption, it simultaneously aims to bolster its armed forces amid ongoing conflict. While official casualty numbers remain undisclosed, both Ukraine and Russia are actively recruiting due to attritional fighting since the 2022 invasion.