From gender changes to fake disabilities: More than 6,000 Ukrainian men are leaving Ukraine daily

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.21 - 2023 9:17 AM CET


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The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine has raised an alarm over a significant and worrying trend: approximately 6,000 men of military age are leaving Ukraine daily, exploiting various loopholes to cross the western border.

This mass exodus, as reported by Colonel Ihor Matviychuk, Head of the Border Control Organization Department of the Western Regional Directorate, is characterized by inventive yet questionable tactics to avoid border restrictions and military obligations.

One of the most striking examples of evasion tactics is a case of gender reassignment in official documents. Matviychuk recounted an incident where a man, initially named Anton, changed his legal identity to Tonya, not through an actual gender transition, but solely on paper.

This case underscores the lengths to which some individuals are going to bypass military service.

Additionally, there has been an uptick in the number of men marrying mothers with multiple children, a strategy used to gain exemption from border restrictions. Moreover, men with disabilities or those accompanying them have been leaving the country in large numbers.

The current legislative framework lacks detailed control over individuals assisting persons with disabilities, leading to this exploitation.

According to Colonel Matviychuk, the situation at the border is further complicated by the fact that a considerable number of these men possess certificates deeming them unfit for military service.

The absence of legal penalties for such actions only adds to the complexity of the issue.

The daily departure of thousands of men not only raises concerns about the potential impact on Ukraine’s military and civilian efforts but also highlights the need for systemic improvements.

Matviychuk emphasized the necessity for the Ministry of Social Policy to address these loopholes and implement more stringent measures to regulate border crossings.

This crisis of mass departure poses significant challenges for Ukraine. Not only does it strain border control resources, but it also potentially weakens the country’s defense capabilities at a critical time.

The government is thus faced with the dual task of tightening border controls to curb evasion while ensuring that legitimate cases of travel are not unfairly impeded.

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