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Turchinov signs decree reviving military conscription in Ukraine

Parliament-appointed acting President Alexander Turchinov on Thursday, May 1, signed a decree reviving army conscription in Ukraine over the crisis in the south-eastern regions of the country.

The decree will apply to young men aged 18-25 who are not entitled to exemption or deferment from military service.

In October 2013, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signed a decree that ordered the last conscription campaign in the country, after which the Armed Forces were supposed to move on to service on a contractual basis. Under that decree, 10,800 young men were drafted into the army, bringing the overall numeral strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to about 168,000 personnel. An army reform plan worked out by that time called for their dramatic reduction from 180,000 to 70,000 personnel within five years.

In February 2014, Yanukovich was removed from power as a result of a coup. The parliament appointed its speaker Turchinov acting president. On April 30 he ordered the Ukrainian Armed Forces to be put on high alert over the deteriorating situation in the South-East of the country.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 01May14]

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