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Kyiv issues restrictions on passports for military-age men

The Ukrainian government, further tightening regulations to address a shortage of troops, approved rules temporarily barring military-age men from applying for passports abroad.

The provisions, and a subsequent clarification from Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, were announced on Wednesday, a day after Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suspended consular services for males aged 18 to 60 until May 18. He criticized those abroad for failing to serve in the 26-month-old war against Russia.

The Foreign Ministry said applicants seeking a special certificate declaring they wished to return to Ukraine could get help at embassies and consulates.

Regular services, it said, would resume on May 18, and applications received after April 23 would be handled then.

That is when a new law on mobilization comes into effect that aims to increase troop numbers through incentives to volunteers and punishments for draft dodgers.

Also Read: The US Secretly Delivered Long-Range ATACMS Missiles to Ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of military-age Ukrainian men are living abroad, including an estimated 860,000 in the European Union, and the country faces a shortage of troops in the campaign against Russia’s better-equipped and more extensive military.

The Foreign Ministry said private agencies would no longer be able to handle passport applications, only government missions.

It said the new restrictions did not apply to nationals who are now permitted to cross state borders while martial law is in force, including those with disabilities.

In his comments on the suspension of consular services on Tuesday, Kuleba said it was incongruous that men subject to conscription were living abroad yet still wanted to receive state services.

“Staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of his or her duties to the homeland,” he wrote on X.

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