How a month contract can turn out to be years of serving in ATO

10 soldiers of ATO appealed to Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union for help. Last year on July Military registration and enlistment office signed a contract for military service in Armed Forces of Ukraine for one month. But they still aren’t dismissed from ATO area.

Last year the part of the soldiers were not registered within the mobilization, because of the bureaucratic procedure. As far as the third mobilization wave hasn’t yet got started, the Rivnenskyi Military Registration and Enlistment Office thought of nothing better than insure guys, that the only one way to proceed to service is to sign contract for military service. To make them not complain much, they said that they would serve only 1 month as mentioned in their contract. But the soldiers have been serving in the area of military opposition for about a year.

As the soldiers, who are in incomprehensible situation, say, “We are ready to defend our country further. But we are exhausted and need some rest. That’s why we insist on dismissing us in accordance with demobilization on basic reasons.”

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union lawyer decided to help them to find the solution of the problem.

Maria Tsypiaschuk, the lawyer of the Rivnensky Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union reception comment on the situation, “The problem appeared, because of the changes introduced to Article 23 of the Law of Ukraine “On Military Service and Duty”. In particular, the 9th sub-section constitutes, that in case of coming of special period for the servicemen, who pass military service by the contract, contract period continues on determined period until the demobilization is announced. In other words, the soldiers aren’t dismissed because of that provision. In fact, young men were deceived when signing this contract. Such means of mobilization by military registration and enlistment office can be hardly justified.” 

The lawyers of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union public reception together with the lawyers of Volynskyi Center of Law Information and Consultation in the Town of Kovel have submitted a request to military registration and enlistment office, which is aimed at getting actual information about military status of each of the young men. An answer is expected so far.

New breaches of law were revealed in the process of deeper analysis. For instance, a lot of young men were not given a copy of the contract they signed, that is a serious violation. In May this year one of the soldiers addressed his army unit headquarters with the demand to give him a copy of his contract, he noticed forged signature near his name.

“Of course, the fact of forgery of signature by an official has to be proven through the due process of law,” Maria Tsypiaschuk says, “and because of that we have prepared necessary requests to militia and military prosecuting authority. We are expecting corresponding response in the nearest time. Still, notwithstanding the possible result of the requests consideration, the violation of rules, which Military Registration and Enlistment Office commits during mobilization, the chaos in keeping documents look obvious. This leads to huge number of problems for soldiers as well as for the responsible people of the subsections of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Ukraine in particular. That’s why it is necessary to set up a dialogue and productive cooperation between military regular officers and the lawyers.”

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