In a press conference on Friday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced coming reforms to its mobilization efforts. Ukraine’s military is in the midst of a recruiting crisis as the war against Russia rages on.
Zelenskyy did not specify the structure of the reforms. However, Zelenskyy said that in a “challenging” meeting with his staff, “special attention was given to the situation with the work of the medical military commissions and military enlistment offices.” This statement appears to be a reference to a series of corruption scandals at recruitment offices. Some offices accepted bribes from Ukrainians hoping to dodge the national draft of men aged 18 to 60. Other Ukrainians fled the country despite a ban on international travel.
The Ukraine military has made some progress in their counteroffensive. Recently, the military established an important foothold across the Dnipro River. The position is critical for repelling Russian artillery in the area. It is also crucial for a fighting force that has lost — by some estimates — around 75,000 soldiers since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Recruitment reform may become a lifeline for maintaining trust from donor nations like the US and effectively replenishing its ranks in the field.
Alongside the efforts on the Dnipro, fierce fighting continues in Kherson and Avdiivka, with the latter town seeing as many as “16 to 18 attacks per day.” While the Ukrainian line of defense has maintained its position in Avdiivka, only 1,400 out of 32,000 civilians who call Avdiivka home have been able to remain in the area. In his statement on Friday, Zelenskyy said that “soldiers and the entire society expect fair answers” on the recruitment issues.