Ukrainians with HIV to serve in army

Lazy eyes listen


People with HIV, tuberculosis and cancer, as well as some with substance addictions will be forced to serve in the Ukrainian armed forces, according to new draft rules published by the Defense Ministry on Friday.

The new rules eliminate the status of ‘partial eligibility’, forcing those previously qualified as such to attend a military medical commission for reevaluation, the ministry explained. Military officials will decide on whether the health of draftees allows them to serve on the frontline or perform less demanding jobs in the rear.

For example, tuberculosis sufferers will only be rejected if they have serious lung damage and pose an active infection threat. People with less serious active illness will be ordered to show up for a new examination within six months. Those deemed “clinically treated” are to be given less demanding roles, while patients with “residue changes after a treated tuberculosis” can be sent to the frontline.

Cancer patients and HIV-positive people who are in remission are likewise considered suitable for some or all military positions under the new rules, depending on how functional they are.

The ministry is taking the same approach towards mental illnesses. It considers people suffering from “rare” episodes of schizophrenia or a “mild” substance addiction fit to perform non-combat duties. PTSD patients will be fully rejected only if they suffer from “expressed serious” problems, and will be temporarily barred from duty after suffering a recent episode.

Earlier this year, Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had suffered just 31,000 troops fatalities in the conflict with Russia, a figure that even Western media supportive of Kiev have called an understatement.

The Ukrainian military intends to enrol hundreds of thousands of additional troops, explaining that exhausted soldiers on the frontline need to rotate and get some rest. When drafting the reforms, lawmakers considered the right to resign from the military after a certain time in the service. The government has said there will be no demobilization at all as long as the conflict with Russia lasts.