On 30 May 2017, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine issued the 2017 drafting order (“2017 Order”) to reserve officers. The 2017 Order is yet to be approved by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

The draft is mandatory. It applies to individuals of both genders who are (i) commissioned army officers, (ii) aged up to 43 years old, and (iii) who never completed their military service post-commissioning. The reserve officers drafted under the 2017 Order will serve 18 months in the regular army. Those that either volunteer or are required to carry out their military service in the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone (“ATOZ”) in the East will be mandated to undergo three months’ prior training at specialised military academies.

There are very limited statutory grounds to avoid the draft. Individuals will be exposed to criminal sanctions for any attempt to evade the draft in violation of the law.

Employers will be exposed to administrative sanctions if they fail to comply with the 2017 Order. Employers will also be exposed to additional costs related to the draft, as they will be required to (i) maintain drafted employees’ employment positions, and (ii) pay drafted employees monetary compensation in the amount of each drafted employee’s average monthly salary. This amount is calculated on a per-employee basis as the average of his/her monthly salary for the immediately preceding 2-month period. Employers will be subject to both obligations for the entire duration of their respective employees’ military service. Although the law provides for a mechanism of compensation for such employers’ costs from the national budget, no such mechanism applies in practice at present.

Given the category of persons to be called up, the 2017 Order may materially affect the business community, as both young and mid-level professionals, and even some top managers will be subject to the draft.

Key words: Ministry of Defence of Ukraine signed an order on conscription for compulsory military service for officers in 2017.