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Russian Official Reveals Ukraine Uses Mines Against Their Own Draft-Age Men

Ukrainian border guards are laying mines along the border with Romania to make it harder for conscription-age men to flee across the border, a Russian security official told TASS. Since Ukraine started its military mobilization, many men have decided not to participate in the conflict. Some of them, if they don’t have draft deferments, choose to flee to Romania across the Tisza River and on to Europe. “Ukrainian border guards have started to lay mines in the plowed strip of land on the border and the approaches to the Tisza,” the official said.

According to TASS, Ukrainian news media are reporting that many men try to evade conscription by all means, staying indoors at home for months, forging exit papers, or seeking other ways to cross the border illegally. Videos showing forced mobilization and conflicts between people and conscription officers regularly pop up in Ukrainian social networks. There are occasional revelations about how men get beaten up in conscription offices.

Last week, the Ukrainian Border Guard reported that it had recovered the bodies of 45 people who had drowned while attempting to cross the Tisza river, reported RT. Officials are attempting to address manpower shortages by turning to reserves previously considered unqualified for military service, such as prison inmates and people with medical conditions that are not so serious. Kiev also reportedly intends to allow deserters back into action if they change their minds and volunteer for frontline duty.

The U.S. Embassy in Kiev issued a statement warning dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizens that, if they are in Ukraine, they are subject to mobilization. “The U.S. Embassy is limited in our ability to influence Ukrainian law, including the application of martial law and the mobilization law to Ukrainian citizens,” it says. “If you are in Ukraine and cannot leave the country, shelter in place and obey all local orders. If you are not currently in Ukraine, we strongly recommend against all travel to Ukraine by U.S. citizen males aged 18 to 60 who also have Ukrainian citizenship or a claim to Ukrainian citizenship and who do not wish to stay in Ukraine indefinitely. There is an extremely high risk you will not be allowed to depart, even with a U.S. passport.”