Umerov wants to mobilize Ukrainian men living abroad
Ukraine would like all Ukrainian men of conscription age, who currently live abroad, to visit the recruitment centers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said this in an interview with German media outlets Bild, Welt and Politico, Ukrinform reports.
"All Ukrainian men of military age from 25 to 60 years of age are to receive an invitation to report to the recruitment centers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We want justice for all, because it's about our own country. We'll send them an invitation," Umerov said.
Bild Vice President Paul Ronzheimer says this announcement is "politically explosive and could have serious consequences for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men living abroad." He recalled that in the first interview given by the minister to a European media outlet outside Ukraine, he also threatened sanctions for those who do not comply with the request to join the army.
However, it has not yet been determined what these sanctions will be. "We are still discussing what should happen if they do not come voluntarily," Umerov said.
He said that in the future, it should be clear to those affected in advance how they will be trained and equipped, where and when they will serve and when they will be discharged. There will also be "choices" for recruits according to their abilities.
Bild also spoke with the defense minister about Ukraine's war aims and international support. Umerov said he is full of optimism and even convinced that the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, can be liberated next year.
"I am one hundred percent sure. That is our strategic goal," the politician said. His optimism is based, among other things, on communication with partners, including the United States, which will continue to support Ukraine.
Umerov stressed the need to increase the number of electronic warfare assets, drones, artillery and ammunition. He said the German-made Taurus missiles were also on Ukraine's wish list.
"We definitely need all long-range missiles from our partners," he said.
As many as 221,571 Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 have come to Germany since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. Of these, 189,484 men are now in the country.