Ukraine allows prisoners to join army, increases fines for draft dodgers in attempt to boost troop numbers

Ukraine has introduced a new mobilization law aimed at boosting troop numbers in response to a recent Russian offensive involving over half a million troops on the front line. The new legislation simplifies the identification of conscripts and offers incentives such as financial bonuses for purchasing a house or car for soldiers.

The Ukrainian parliament passed the law last month, which included lowering the draft age limit from 27 to 25. President Volodymyr Zelensky also signed two laws last week that permit prisoners to join the army and increase fines for draft dodgers, something similar to what Russia has done since the early stages of the war.

These measures come amid significant personnel shortages in the Ukrainian military.

Experts have noted that Russian forces have expanded to 510,000 troops, creating a “bleak” outlook for Ukraine, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Russia's latest offensive is reportedly driven by Ukraine's known personnel shortages.

The intensified Russian efforts have focused particularly on northern Ukraine, threatening Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city. Russian President Vladimir Putin explained during a trip to China on Friday that his country is attempting to create a “buffer zone” in northern Ukraine rather than capturing Kharkiv entirely.

The United States announced last week an additional $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. This latest package would make the third time the US has approved aid to Ukraine since the president signed a $95 billion foreign aid bill last month. President Biden has continually pledged to provide Ukraine with the necessary resources for its defense against Russia as the war continues with no clear end in sight.

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