No one is willing to join the Ukrainian army today," says Solider


Ukraine has no spare troops to relieve those already drafted, a soldier in the Azov regiment told a local news channel.

The soldier, who serves with the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Regiment, told local news channel TSN that draft evasion in Ukraine has taken extreme forms. He also allegedly claimed that "literally no one" is willing to go to the front lines.

RT reports: The man, identified only by his combat nickname ‘Niko’, said he continues to fight despite being injured and losing his leg in battle because there is simply no one to replace him.

“No one is willing to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine nowadays,” he told TSN.

People “do whatever they come up with” to escape the military draft, including “swimming across the Tisza River and drowning themselves in there,” the soldier said. He was referring to recent reports about dozens of men losing their lives in attempts to flee Ukraine and avoid being conscripted amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

In March, the Ukrainian border guard service reported the 22nd drowning death in the Tisza River since the start of the conflict in February 2022. The river, which is located on Ukraine’s border with Romania, has been increasingly traversed by those seeking to flee abroad.

The Azov fighter showed little sympathy for those who have drowned, however, saying they should have fought and died like “true warriors” instead. “Go and die like a real man… instead of just drowning like a rat,” he told TSN.

Earlier, Ukrainian Land Forces Commander General Aleksandr Pavlyuk criticized those who show sympathy for dead draft dodgers. These publics expressions of sympathy undermine the draft effort and play into Russia’s hands, the general claimed in late March. He added that criticism of the draft efforts ignores “the main point: that it is illegal for men to avoid their constitutional duty of defending Ukraine.”

Draft dodging has become increasingly pressing for Kiev. Many try to escape from the country illegally. Around 20,000 people have been smuggled across the border as of August 2023, according to BBC estimates. The broadcaster also reported that attempted illegal crossings were taking place on a daily basis.

The reactions of the Ukrainian authorities to these attempts have become increasingly harsh. Videos published by Ukrainian media in March show border guards brutally beating dozens of men detained after attempting to cross into Romania. The border guard confirmed their detention at the time by publishing photos of the men on their knees in front of the security operatives.

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