• Around 30 Ukrainian men have died trying to illegally cross borders to avoid fighting in the war against Russia, according to Ukraine’s border service.
  • Most fatalities occurred while crossing rivers or mountains, with about 24 deaths on the Tisa river on the Romanian border.
  • Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are barred from leaving due to potential military service.

About 30 Ukrainian men have died trying to illegally cross Ukraine’s borders and avoid fighting in the war against Russia which started in 2022, the spokesman for Ukraine’s border service told Ukrinform news agency.

“Some lost their lives while attempting to cross a mountain river or traverse mountains,” said Andriy Demchenko, according to a Ukrinform report late on Monday.

“Overall, since the full-scale invasion began, about 30 people have died attempting to illegally cross the border.”

UKRAINE IMPLEMENTS PASSPORT RENEWAL RESTRICTION FOR MILITARY-AGE MEN OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY

With some exceptions, Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country as they may be mobilised to fight, according to Ukraine’s martial law.

Ukraine soldier

A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at his position in a trench at a front line on the border with Russia, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Sumy region, Ukraine, on Jan. 20, 2024. About 30 Ukrainian men have died trying to illegally cross Ukraine’s borders and avoid fighting in the war against Russia which started in 2022, the spokesman for Ukraine’s border service told Ukrinform news agency. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo)

On Monday, the State Border Guard Service said in a statement on social media that 24 men alone have died while trying to cross the Tisa river on Ukraine’s border with Romania.

Demchenko said that since the start of the war border guards have uncovered about 450 criminal groups that have attempted to smuggle people across the border.

“Attempts to illegally cross the border occur every day,” Demchenko said. “Most of these attempts are outside of border checkpoints on the border with Moldova and Romania. The largest number with forged documents is recorded on the border with Poland.”

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Earlier in April, Demchenko told Ukraine’s state broadcaster that on average about 10 men are stopped each day trying to illegally leave Ukraine.

Last week, Ukraine suspended consular services for military-age male citizens until May 18, criticising Ukrainians abroad who it said expected to receive help from the state without helping it battle for survival in the war against Russia.

In November, BBC said in a report based on data of illegal border crossings from Romania, Moldova, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia that nearly 20,000 men have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the war to avoid being drafted.

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