Ukraine’s Government Faces Unresolved Debate over Clergy Draft Exemption


Weeks after accepting prison convicts into military ranks due to manpower shortages, Ukraine’s leadership is now facing a contentious debate regarding the potential draft exemption for clergy.

“We are discussing ways to provide the clergymen with a special exception from conscription,” stated Viktor Yelensky, head of Ukraine’s Ethno-Politics and Freedom of Conscience.

Many officials argue that exempting the clergy would create a negative societal signal and erode the country’s overall mobilization effort.

“If we’re making exemptions like this, especially for churches that claim to have moral highs, it’ll make a bad impression,” commented Oleksandr Merezhko, Chairman of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

For some, ensuring the well-being of religious denominations through maintaining a distinct exemption serves strategic importance considering the country’s past conflicts and relationships with Eastern European nations with a common history.

Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke is a foreign affairs reporter, with an emphasis on U.S. competition with China and Russia, Middle East policy following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and the crisis in Venezuela. Previously, he covered domestic politics for National Review Online.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app