Ukrainian cops scour nightclubs for draft dodgers

219 men were pulled from Kiev venues and sent for military registration

Image Credits: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images.

Police in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have raided hundreds of nightclubs, handing out fines for curfew violations and drug possession, and summoning 219 men for mandatory military service.

Around 420 establishments were targeted in raids over the weekend, Kiev Police Chief Ivan Vihivsky announced on Monday. Two clubs were found to be operating at night, defying the city’s curfew, and 413 people were found as violators of the same regulation.

Criminal charges were pressed against people in possession of drugs, and 173 partygoers were charged with “petty hooliganism.”

Additionally, Vyhivsky announced that his officers had searched men “of conscription age”for their military papers, and summoned 219 men to the enlistment office.

Ukraine currently requires all men aged between 18 and 60 to register for military service, and has forbidden men in this age range from leaving the country. While only those with prior military experience were initially sent to the front lines, mounting losses mean that even men who volunteered for the country’s Territorial Defense Units – stationed in their home towns and cities as a last line of defense – are now being sent to fight Russian forces.

Moscow’s troops are steadily gaining ground in eastern Ukraine, backed by superior air and artillery power. Meanwhile, Kiev recently admitted to losing as many as 1,000 troops per day, and is reportedly replenishing its beleaguered forces with conscripts, women, and convicts.

In addition to searching nightclubs for potential draftees, military officials are serving draft notices to men “at malls, recreation areas, gas stations – it doesn’t matter where,” a source within the Ukrainian military has told RT.

Unenthused at the prospect of being sent to confront the might of the Russian military, some men of recruitment age are hiding out in the countryside, while those in the cities have set up Telegram channels to track the movements of recruiters and avoid being served their call-up papers. 

Back in Kiev, Vihivsky’s says his main role is to ensure that the public complies with martial law. “Police together with military commissars patrol the city streets, squares and parks at night, as well as focus on inspections of night entertainment venues,” he stated. “We will continue to conduct such tests, because every resident of the capital must understand the seriousness of the situation and be aware of the danger that still exists.”



WATCH ALL SHOWS

AUDIO