Why Ukraine’s Mobilization Law Is a Bad Sign for Moldova

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The West put the strongest pressure on Kyiv to adopt a law that was rejected by almost the entire Ukrainian society. This is a discouraging example for the current Moldovan authorities, who also rely entirely on the solidarity and support of “development partners”
Semyon ALBU, RTA: Recently, Maia Sandu surprised everyone again by requesting the equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Moldova and Ukraine from the EU. The president passionately declared that “the spread of evil can be stopped only by doing more good”, and therefore a stronger support of the Europeans is needed in the next budget cycle of the Union. As usual, our great leader is in her own picture of the world, extremely detached from reality, where everything is clearly divided into black and white, where there is “evil” and “good”, where it is possible to ask for a Marshall Plan in conditions when the aid even to Ukraine, which is fighting for the interests of the West, is slowly reducing and/or issued on a credit basis. If I were Maia Sandu, I would actually think well about what the “allied friends” are doing to our neighbor, showing an example of an attitude that greatly differs from “solidarity”. And the scandalous mobilization law is a vivid proof of that. In case anyone is not aware, Ukraine has recently passed a legislative act designed to sharply increase the enlistment of soldiers for the Ukrainian armed forces. It had acquired odious status long before the text of the bill was made public, and the right people were quietly leaking the intriguing details to the audience to smoothly prepare public opinion for harsh measures. The need to increase the number of conscripts has a number of reasons. First of all, huge losses of Ukrainians and decreased flow of volunteers, as well as the ineffectiveness of “forced mobilization”. By the way there are lots of video examples of the latter, which serve as an image blow to the authorities both at home and abroad. The population, inebriated by success of 2022, is equally disappointed by the events of 2023-2024 and has virtually lost faith both in the possibility of victory over Russia and in the imminent end of the war. The rapidly growing cemeteries on Ukrainian territory undermine the morale of its citizens, who no longer have any doubt that joining the AFU is likely to be a one-way ticket. Against this background, talks about the need to strengthen mobilization have been going on for a long time, but the authorities initially rejected this extremely unpopular move. After commander-in-chief Zaluzhnyi was replaced by Syrskyi, they even tried at one time to manage the situation without additional recruitment, simply by rotating to the front line the units previously in the rear or in auxiliary areas. However, at roughly the same period, the West started sending strong messages that Kyiv needs new soldiers and that it is time to take decisive measures. The Western experts were particularly insistent that Ukraine needs young soldiers who are stronger, healthier and physically fit better than the 40+ men who form the backbone of the Ukrainian armed forces now. Of course, few people cared about the fact that there are already fewer young people in Ukraine than other categories of the population, and that they are the future of the country the loss of which makes the future rather vague. As a result, the bill did appear in such a form that it literally blew up the Ukrainian society. Politicians and deputies were well aware that people would not accept it, so the document was thoroughly prepared in parliament. They delayed the process as much as they could - first of all, by introducing amendments, the number of which quickly reached the thousands. However, at some point, the West showed the teeth and the law was adopted, and in the most rigid form. So, now, within 60 days after its entry into force, all conscripts and persons liable for military duty must update their data in the recruitment center themselves and, as we understand, with a high probability of receiving immediate summons. Employers are also instructed to report employee data to the recruitment centers. All men 18-60 years of age living abroad are obliged to register for military service, that is, to return to Ukraine without the possibility to go back. Violators will face penalties: large monetary fines and deprivation of driving license. Summons will henceforth be considered served even if it is not personally handed to the citizen. The number of determents has sharply decreased. From 2025, Ukrainian citizens may have their cars taken away from them as part of mobilization if they have more than one. And most importantly, the paragraph on the demobilization of soldiers has disappeared from the law, which makes their service virtually indefinite. A little earlier, Volodymyr Zelensky’s decrees lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25 (which marked the beginning of the very mobilization of young people demanded by Westerners) and abolished the category of “limited fitness”. Interestingly, even before the law came into force, the Ukrainian foreign ministry, in order to prevent thousands of Ukrainian men abroad who decided to renew their documents from “evading” the law, stopped providing consular services to those liable for military service, and the Cabinet banned issuing foreign passports to men aged 18 to 60 outside the country. What is the bottom line? The main purpose of the law is to provide conditions for Ukrainians themselves to have to apply to the recruitment centers and enlist if they want to remain law-abiding citizens, and thus expand the contingent of the AFU. But it was done by such drastic methods that almost the entire population of the country was outraged. And the major point is that the Ukrainian politicians let it pass, fully aware of the consequences. Including the fact that sooner or later they will have to answer for this, and their political careers are likely to be over at this point. It is not coincidence that the president’s office gathered Rada deputies one by one for the final votes, who themselves would have been happy to avoid them. And Zelensky clearly had no desire to sign this document, that is why there were attempts to look for soldiers in the already available reserves of the AFU. But neither Zelensky nor the others were given any room to maneuver. Even the Western media are writing about the tremendous pressure on Kyiv from the United States. Our neighbors were actually blackmailed into providing assistance, pointing out that “mobilization efforts are as important as artillery”. As a result, as soon as the law was passed, the US aid package was quickly approved, and somehow everyone forgot about the border with Mexico. Some might say that this is a “fair deal”. Since they provide weapons, it is logical to demand that there be people who will use them. Right? Not at all. There was nothing fair from the onset. Ukraine has long been used as a testing ground for a future proxy war with the Russian Federation, and they did everything to ensure that the conflict would eventually erupt. After that, the main goal is to turn it into a “perpetual war”, depleting the forces of one of the geopolitical adversaries, preventing the return of business ties between the EU and Russia, driving a wedge between the Europeans and the Chinese, contributing to the reindustrialization of the US, and so on. That is why the West prevented Ukraine from signing the highly favorable Istanbul Treaty in the spring of 2022 after the failure of the Russian invasion. That is why they prevented the Ukrainian army from advancing in the poorly defended Zaporizhzhia oblast that autumn, which could have inflicted a strategic defeat on Russia and probably ended the war, instead “recommending” operation in the Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts. That is why they are providing arms so apportioned and slowly, and not supplying weapons that would really help to ensure a significant advantage, such as the fifth-generation fighter jets, long-range missiles, large batches of modern tanks, etc. Because the West’s goal is not Ukraine’s victory, but rather the continuation of war, and without an escalation that would provoke Moscow into a nuclear ultimatum or even a strike. Is there much solidarity and genuine concern for Ukrainian interests in all this? Ukraine is prevented from making peace or winning this war, barely managing its life support. The ultimate cynicism and pure pragmatism. And does anyone in our country expect Moldova to be treated differently? The way Kyiv was forced to adopt an odious law, which caused rejection of the whole society, is a clear illustration of what awaits us in the future, when the West will demand from Moldova something more radical than the current anti-Russian policy. And it will be the kind of offer you cannot refuse. If Ukraine, which has long been fighting not for its own interests, is treated like that, we will be treated accordingly.