Ukraine's Zelenskyy exposes widespread corruption in military medical exemptions

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decried on Wednesday what he described as systematic corruption in medical exemptions to people avoiding military service, saying the system was subject to bribes and mass departures abroad.

Ukraine has made a crackdown on graft a priority as it presses on with a counteroffensive 18 months into Russia’s invasion. Uprooting corruption is also a key element in the country’s bid to join the European Union.


For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Zelenskyy said the National Security and Defense Council had considered data showing the extent of false exemptions, bribe-taking and flight abroad since the February 2022 invasion. The investigation of dubious medical exemptions was still being conducted, he said.

“There are examples of regions where the number of exemptions from military service due to medical commission decisions has increased tenfold since February last year,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

“It is absolutely clear what sort of decisions these are. Corrupt decisions.”

He said the investigation had exposed corrupt practices in different regions and by officials in different positions, involving bribes ranging from $3,000 to $15,000.

Zelenskyy said a separate analysis was needed to determine the numbers of people who had fled abroad, largely on the basis of medical commission decisions.

“We are talking about at least thousands of individuals,” he said.

Zelenskyy this month dismissed all the heads of Ukraine’s regional army recruitment centres.

He said more than 100 criminal cases had been opened in a wide-ranging probe launched after a graft scandal at a recruitment office in southern Odesa region last month.

Read more:

Ukraine says its forces pushed deeper into Russian defensive lines near Robotyne

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says he will propose tougher corruption measures this week

Ukrainian elections in 2024 possible amid wartime conditions: Zelenskyy

Top Content Trending