The conscription of those with limited fitness for military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. How will the mobilization of limited-fit soldiers affect the effectiveness of combat units?

The Ministry of Defense has canceled nine “controversial” articles that exempted individuals from military service. According to various estimates, there are tens of thousands of men with limited fitness for service in Ukraine. The Parliament is considering completely removing this category.

In Ukraine, it has been decided to conscript individuals with limited fitness for service into the army. The ranks of the Armed Forces may now include individuals with clinically treated tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, and asymptomatic HIV.

The Ministry of Defense provides an explanation: if a serviceman is found unfit for service in one speciality, the unit commander can refer them to a Medical Board. Doctors will then determine their fitness for a new type of activity.

The document outlines the procedure for the Medical Board to make a decision on the causal relationship between a medical condition, injury (wounds, concussions, mutilations), military service and the defense of the country.

The right approach, according to the MP from the Servant of the People party and the Deputy Chair of the Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Mariana Bezuhla, is to completely eliminate the category of “limited fitness for service.”

See also: How an operator, a florist and a record-breaking athlete, who helped the Armed Forces to defend the region, died for Ukraine

There will be only two criteria left: fit or unfit for military service, she explained to Focus.

“We have expanded the 402nd order of the Ministry of Defense from 2008. It had unrealistic criteria for service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine during peacetime. The selection criteria need to be updated due to the start of Russian aggression in 2014 and full-scale war in 2022. I won’t discuss the list of diseases; it’s a complex issue. The implementation and changes to the order will be worked out in a working group. We are considering the possibility of excluding the category of limited fitness for service during wartime,” the politician noted.

The Ministry of Defense order mentions making everyone with “controversial” articles 2-v, 4-v, 5-v, 12-v, 13-v, 14-v, 17-v, 21-v, and 22-v fit for service.

Here is their brief decryption:

  • 2-v — Clinically cured tuberculosis.

  • 4-v — Viral hepatitis with minor functional impairments.

  • 5-v — Asymptomatic HIV.

  • 12-v — Anemia, blood clotting disorders.

  • 13-v — Endocrine system diseases with minor functional impairments.

  • 14-v — Mild short-term manifestations of mental disorders.

  • 17-v — Neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders (phobic, anxious, obsessive-compulsive, adaptive, somatoform, and other neurotic disorders, neurasthenia, reactions to severe stress) with moderately pronounced, short-term manifestations.

  • 21-v — Slowly progressive diseases of the central nervous system.

  • 22-v — Episodic and paroxysmal disorders.

First, it is necessary to update the criteria for determining unfitness. That’s why active work on the digitization of the Medical Board’s work is currently ongoing, the MP added.

According to Bezuhla’s estimates, there are currently tens of thousands of individuals with limited fitness for service in Ukraine.

“Injured in service”: What to do if a soldier’s health deteriorates on the front lines?

If the health condition of a military service member called up into the army worsens during their service, the responsibility for this lies with the medical service of the military unit, clarified Mariana Bezuhla.

Individuals with limited fitness for service were subject to mobilization after the start of the full-scale war with Russia. In case of a critical health condition, a disability group is assigned, and people with disabilities are exempt from conscription, says Darya Panfilova, a lawyer specializing in military law and the head of the Panfilova and Partners bureau.

According to her, the statutes of the internal service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine require conscripts to report on their health condition. In case of worsening health, they will be directed for treatment.

“If a person hasn’t applied for disability status, it means his health condition is not critical. The Medical-Social Expertise Commission can recognize a person as disabled, while the Medical Board can determine limited fitness for service,” explains the specialist.

The fact of the death of a person with limited fitness for service is subject to investigation. The Medical Board has to establish the cause-and-effect relationship, as the cause of death may turn out to be mine or explosive injuries, the lawyer continued.

Expanding the medical criteria for conscription may pose a significant threat to combat units, says Serhiy Savinsky, a lawyer from the Gracers company, in a comment to Focus. Many individuals with limited fitness for service are serving on the front lines.

“In the case of a military personnel’s continuous stay in the hospital units, it won’t benefit anyone. Violations of the right to receive medical care become more common. The increase in categories fit for service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is related to losses and military rotations. It’s necessary to examine to what extent the Ministry of Defense directive aligns with the Constitution and healthcare laws,” added the lawyer.

Originally posted by Tymyr Savin on Focus. Translated and edited by the UaPosition – Ukrainian news and analytics website

See also: Reserves for the Armed Forces of Ukraine: why teenagers under 18 may not be allowed to leave Ukraine

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