The Ukrainian men fleeing the draft: ‘Not everyone is a warrior’ - BBC World Service Documentaries

4 months ago
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The Ukrainian men fleeing the draft: ‘Not everyone is a warrior’ - BBC World Service Documentaries

Since Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has banned men of fighting age from leaving the country unless they have a valid exemption.

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A #BBCEyeInvestigation found that nearly 20,000 men have fled the country illegally since the beginning of the war to avoid being drafted. A further 21,000 have tried to leave but were caught by the Ukrainian authorities. Many got out by crossing the border illegally, others paid substantial bribes to buy a medical exemption.

BBC Eye hears from the men who made it out hoping to be reunited with their families now living abroad.

00:00 Intro
1:27 We speak to Ukraine's Border Service in Tyachiv
4:06 Numbers are even higher at the Moldovan border
5:15 Yevgeny from Kyiv tells us why he wanted to leave
6:41 How do men like Yevgeny attempt to cross the border?
8:10 What's a ‘White Ticket’? Why is it pricey? We go undercover to find out
11:13 Government response to military recruitment corruption
11:53 Meet Erik - he couldn't get an exemption despite disability
14:46 How crossing the border across the Tysa River can be dangerous
16:59 Yevgeny's journey
18:53 Erik reunites with his family
20:23 ‘Is it worth persecuting those who have left?’, we ask Fedir Venislavskyi, a senior politician from the ruling party

To watch more investigative journalism from our award-winning BBC teams check out this documentary playlist, perfect for the biggest screen in your home: • All BBC World Service Documentaries

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