Ukraine, Harald Sunde | Former Defense Chief: – Send home Ukrainian soldiers capable of fighting in Norway

Ukraine, Harald Sunde |  Former Defense Chief: – Send home Ukrainian soldiers capable of fighting in Norway

Last autumn, Netavisen was able to report that several thousand Ukrainian men of “serviceable age” had received asylum in Norway.

The Directorate of Immigration (UTI) later said that 12,549 Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 had received collective protection in Norway until 31 October 2023.

Five months later, another 3,311 Ukrainian men of “fighting age” were granted collective protection in Norway.

In total, 15,860 Ukrainian men of “combat age” have received collective protection in Norway as of March 31.

After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a state of emergency was introduced, which prohibits Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country.

However, there are some general prohibitions Exception and includes:

  • Men are exempted from military service due to ill health.
  • Male single parent.
  • Men with disabilities.
  • Male companions for disabled or sick persons.
  • Fathers with three or more minor children.
  • Men with permanent residence permit abroad.

Read on

Ukrainian men flee to Norway to avoid military service

– To be sent home

Harald Sunde, a former defense chief and general, believes that Ukrainian men of serviceable age have a moral obligation to return to Ukraine to join the security war against Russia.

– The Ukrainian people and the nation are fighting for their freedom, independence, human dignity and the right to develop their society in accordance with their values. These are basic democratic values, Sunde told Netavisan.

Sunde emphasizes that freedom and democracy are not free.

– I agree with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Ukraine's struggle is our struggle. In my opinion, it is the ethical and moral responsibility of the people of Ukraine to fight for their freedom as we act in solidarity during Ukraine's struggle.

– When the nation calls for military service, the individual faces a dilemma. Then they must choose to fight for the collective because it trumps the values ​​of the individual. These are values ​​bigger than yourself, says the General.

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– This is what Gunnar Sønstepi and Max Manus saw, and Sunde says that a free Norway is more important than a person's own freedom.

The Total Preparedness Committee headed by Sunde submitted its report to the government in June last year. He is also the chairman of Gunnar Sonstepi's memorial fund.

– Do you think Ukrainian men seeking protection in Norway for “evading military service” should be sent back home, Sunde?

– Yes, but the answer is not always as simple as yes. He says individual assessments must be made as there are exceptions.

– There are selectable settings according to Ukraine. Sunde says they can work with the Ukrainian authorities.

Frp: – Unacceptable

UDI has confirmed to Netavisen that Ukrainian male asylum seekers have cited “avoiding military service” or “fear of being called up” as their reason for seeking asylum in Norway. But UDI does not keep statistics on this.

– When I see that there are more people giving reasons such as evasion from military service or fear of being called up, I think it is unacceptable, Storting representative and Frp's immigration policy spokesman Erlend Viborg told Netavisen.

He believes that Norway should send combat-capable Ukrainian soldiers to Ukraine.

– Ukraine is in a brutal war of aggression, where the country's future is at stake. Norway and other free world countries support Ukraine's defense struggle. But we should expect those who believe in Ukraine to leave to defend the country, and that is indeed the case, says Viborg.

– I believe that people who were called up for military service in Ukraine should be sent back to protect and defend their country. He says it's about solidarity with all the other soldiers in Ukraine and the civilians who are suffering there.

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Wiborg believes the UDI should keep statistics on Ukrainian male asylum seekers who cite “avoiding military service” or “fear of being called up” as reasons for seeking protection in Norway.

New soldiers are needed

Tom Rocheth is the chief lecturer in intelligence at the Norwegian Defense Academy. Ukraine still needs new soldiers, he says.

– I would like to believe that there are between 200,000 and 300,000 soldiers that Zelenskyj wants to mobilize, which is a lower number than was first proposed last year, Roseth tells Netavicen.

– If you flee or avoid mobilization on false grounds, that is not something Ukraine takes kindly to. This is another disappointment among many Ukrainians. Those who have left Ukraine and are not exempt from military service have been encouraged to return, he says.

– He says that it is clear that the goal of the Ukrainian authorities is to take them home to perform their civic duty, so everyone has equality.

Rocheth says Ukraine currently has enough men of serviceable age to cover the need for mobilization.

– I don't mind mobilizing that way, but having motivated volunteers is an advantage. He says that it is important that the new mobilization law has given serious measures, but there is mobilization after long service.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a new mobilization law last week. The law obliges all Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 to register in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as to carry registration documents at all times.

According to Ukrainian officials, the aim is to streamline the recruitment process and make it more transparent. CNN.

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Ukrainian men of conscription age abroad cannot renew their passports unless they have updated registration documents at Ukrainian embassies or consulates, writes CNN.

Cessation of consular assistance

Signed by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba X As of Tuesday morning, Ukraine is suspending consular aid for men of combat ability abroad.

– Protecting the rights and interests of Ukrainians abroad will always be a priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the other hand, in today's scenario of a full-scale Russian offensive war, our main priority is to protect our homeland from destruction, Kuleba writes in X.

– Now it looks like this: a person of fighting age goes abroad, shows his position that he does not care about its survival, and then returns to receive services from this state. That's not how it works. He writes that our country is at war.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov told Germany's Die Welt in December that Ukrainian men conscripted abroad risk sanctions if they avoid military service.

A few days later, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Illaryan Pavlyuk pointed out that the Defense Minister's statements were taken completely out of context. EuronewsCiting Ukrainian media.

Pavlyuk said Umerov spoke generally about the importance of Ukrainians abroad also joining the protest.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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