NATO tells Ukraine to bolster troop numbers through accelerated conscription
03/26/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Military Committee, Lt. Adm. Rob Bauer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, has called for Ukraine to bolster its troop numbers through conscription to offset its massive losses on the battlefield.

Bauer made this statement during the opening session of the Kyiv Security Forum, a conference organized annually by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

In his appearance at the conference, Bauer stressed the need for not only replenishing Ukraine's stockpile of weaponry but also augmenting the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine due to the massive casualties incurred in combat with Russia.

He underscored that while the West can offer additional armaments and financial aid to support Ukraine's military, the Ukrainians themselves must supply the manpower. (Related: Warmonger Lindsey Graham urges Ukraine to expand its CONSCRIPTION efforts.)

Bauer acknowledged NATO's inadequate response in terms of weapon and ammunition production concerning the Ukraine conflict. He advocated for a collective effort akin to the approach taken by the world's nations to combat the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, asserting that societal sacrifices are imperative.

Notably, Bauer emphasized that such sacrifices primarily entail the involvement of others, distancing himself and fellow proponents of war from personal risk.

In a forward-looking statement, Bauer rejected pessimism, asserting that confidence in Ukraine's potential for success is well-founded based on factual assessment.

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Previously, discussions on changes to Ukraine's military mobilization law back in December highlighted the country's need to enlist an additional 500,000 conscripts to reinforce frontline units and establish new military formations.

However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky later revised this to a lower figure, suggesting a lesser need for mobilization. Despite this, the Ukrainian parliament has yet to vote on proposed amendments to the mobilization law, sparking intense debate within the country.

Many young Ukrainian men dodging the draft

At the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine back in February 2022, an early burst of patriotic fervor saw military recruitment centers swarming with volunteers, both young and old. But this nationalistic desire to serve the nation has waned as the conflict enters its third year and as casualties increase. Many soldiers returning from the frontline due to injuries and their terms of enlistment ending also dissuaded potential recruits.

Artem, a 28-year-old Ukrainian, is among the many young men in his country who are evading conscription and refraining from registering their details with mobilization centers as required. He moves cautiously, avoiding places like metro stations where police conduct document checks to catch draft dodgers.

"Some of my friends are even more cautious. They hardly leave their homes," Artem admits.

In an interview with Politico at a coffee house in downtown Kyiv, Artem reportedly exhibited "the air of a fugitive," with him wearing a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, even on cloudy days. He spoke with Politico reporter Jamie Dettmer in hushed tones to avoid attracting attention, and he also kept surveying his surroundings warily.

Artem and his friends fear being thrust into prolonged combat with uncertain outcomes. Their reluctance to enlist reflects broader concerns about the toll of prolonged warfare and the lack of clarity on when they could return to normalcy.

There is a growing sense of pessimism regarding the outcome of the conflict, with more people questioning Ukraine's ability to overcome Moscow's forces.

The urgency to replenish the ranks of soldiers has never been greater, given the relentless toll on human lives. However, Ukrainian authorities are grappling with conflicting approaches – whether to persuade or coerce citizens into military service – as well as fears over the political repercussions of the latter.

So far, Zelensky has resisted calls for a general mobilization. Efforts to pass legislation to address the challenges with manpower are mired in political discord, with lawmakers hesitant to take responsibility over the proposals for expanded conscription. Even members of Zelensky's government and political party are objecting to proposed measures, alleging they are unconstitutional.

The Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs has already opened around 9,000 cases of draft evasion since the conflict began. But this reportedly barely scratches the surface of the widespread evasion of conscription and draft registration.

The situation is compounded by reports of inadequate weaponry and artillery shells on the frontlines, further dampening enthusiasm for enlistment among Ukrainians like Artem.

Watch this video of Ukrainian recruitment officers beating up a young man who is resisting the draft.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

More related stories:

The average age of a Ukrainian soldier has increased to 43.

Ukrainian commander reveals most of Kyiv’s soldiers are "old men."

Former high-ranking official says Ukraine has 500K CASUALTIES, urges Zelensky to be transparent about losses.

Ukraine purchases 50,000 women's uniforms amid worries that females could be conscripted.

Young male Ukrainians hide in their homes after fears of forced conscription.

Sources include:

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