The scenario sounds somewhat familiar: surprisingly young men park their big SUVs in front of Vienna’s posh hostel. Nationality emblem of vehicles from Audi Q5 upwards: “UA”, yellow-blue stripes. These are people who, because of their age and physical condition, you would expect to find somewhere other than a shikki-miki front. In any case, they are all of military age. Men aged 18 to 60 are not officially allowed to leave Ukraine at this time, except for fathers with three or more children.
Current figures from Germany now show what the morale of young Ukrainians is like. According to the Federal Interior Ministry, 221,571 Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 have come to Germany since the war began on February 24, 2022, meaning 189,484 men are still there today. These are officially registered. According to ministry estimates, there are more than 100,000 people who have not registered and are therefore in the country illegally.
For Ukraine, the loss of people suitable for military service in the second year of the war is a big problem. Missiles, tanks, ammunition and other military equipment can be replaced – as long as Western allies supply. Soldiers don’t do this – or rather, they become more difficult. The Russian invasion triggered mass migration, including to Ukraine but especially abroad.
According to the UN refugee agency, about 6.3 million residents have left Ukraine since the war began – the majority of them women and children. But according to statistics agency Eurostat, 650,000 men of military age have fled to the 27 EU countries, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Many Ukrainians in Germany apparently do not want to fight. According to the estimate of connection e. V., an association that supports deserters, states “Since the beginning of the war, at least 175,000 people subject to military service have escaped the draft – some of them to Germany”.
The situation is similar in Austria – at least 14,000 Ukrainian men are said to have fled to us. Some with forged documents, some with the help of smugglers. The number of unreported cases is said to be much higher, eXXpress reports. Some of them are said to have paid up to $10,000 for a certificate confirming their unsuitability for military service.