Ukraine’s Conscription Plan Fuels Fear, Resentment

With War Going Poorly, Ukraine Looks to Draft More Troops

Ukraine’s civil war has not been going well since they gave up on the multi-month ceasefire and launched a new attack. Promises of giving rebels a “punch in the teeth” have given way to a flurry of defeats across Donetsk Oblast.

Ukraine’s military is hoping that expanding their conscription and throwing more ill-trained recruits at the frontier will change things, but the move is fueling resentment toward the government and fear among families for the safety of conscripts.

The military says it hopes to bring in some 50,000 new conscripts for the war, but the rebels are also pressing locals in the east into their service, hoping to get 100,000 fighters on their side.

That both sides are escalating so precipitously is going to be a tough sell for civilians, as there was an obvious path toward a settlement of the war with September’s Minsk deal, and neither side was particularly interested in following through on the ceasefire that pact reached.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.