Ukraine’s Zelenskyy signs law allowing some convicts to serve in the army – POLITICO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law Friday allowing convicts — except those who have committed the most serious crimes — to join the army, according to media reports.

The bill, which was passed earlier in May by the Ukrainian parliament, allows the voluntary mobilization of convicts for the country’s war with Russia with the exception of those who committed serious crimes including murder, rape, terrorism, drugs offenses and treason.

MPs and top government officials convicted of crimes will also be mostly ineligible to have their sentences commuted to serve in the military.

Ukrainian Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska predicted the new law will enable the recruitment of between 10,000 to 20,000 convicts into army, both aiding the war effort and easing overcrowding in Ukrainian jails.

The move comes as fierce battles rage in the country’s northeastern region of Kharkiv. Russian troops have reportedly seized several villages and settlements, with President Vladimir Putin threatening to turn the region into a buffer zone.

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