Kiev’s chief military adviser calls for true equality in armed forces, inclusion of women in defense.

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The Ukrainian government should leave its “old-school mentality” behind and implement true equality in its armed forces, Kiev’s chief military adviser for gender issues, Oksana Grigorieva, has argued.

Kiev is currently overhauling its military conscription system, with lawmakers debating amendments to lower the mobilization age and penalize draft-dodgers. There are currently no plans to conscript women, but the idea has previously been raised.

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“Our constitution states that it is the duty of every Ukrainian to protect their homeland, so it is only right that women serve too,” Grigorieva told British newspaper The Times on Wednesday. Russia “isn’t simply going to disappear,” she argued, so “like Israel, we have to be prepared for this and that means training up both men and women to be ready for war.”

Ukraine’s armed forces continue to experience dire personnel shortages on the battlefield, as has been admitted by a number of top Ukrainian military officers, including Land Forces Commander Aleksandr Pavlyuk, who warned on Monday that “no one can sit out” mobilization.

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