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Zelenskyy says Ukrainian men should return to Ukraine at least to pay taxes

Thursday, 11 January 2024, 14:33
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, thinks that Ukrainian men of military age should return to Ukraine from abroad in order to support the economy of their state and protect it.

Source: Zelenskyy in a joint statement with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas

Details: Zelenskyy was asked whether Estonia must extradite Ukrainians of military age to Ukraine for mobilisation.


He replied that at the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine people of different genders and age went abroad because nobody knew what would happen next, the Ukrainian citizens saved themselves, and Ukraine’s neighbouring states opened the borders.

But then the situation changed, so at least men should come back to Ukraine, Zelenskyy notes.

Quote: "We liberated 50% of the territory occupied at the beginning of the full-scale war and pushed the enemy back. Our guys have been fighting for two years. And there are people who crossed the border during all this, violating the rules and the law. And this is the issue with these people, these men. If they are of military age then they must help Ukraine and be in Ukraine.

I am not saying that some people must be on the frontlines and some must not. There is the law. But there is also a rule of decency, which I told the Prime Minister (of Estonia) about today: one soldier takes 6-8 taxpayers to be financed by the Ukrainian state (we are not assisted in this by anybody).

If you are in Ukraine, and not on the frontline but working, anywhere… if you are working and paying taxes then you are also defending the state! And we really need this. But if you are of military age, and you are abroad, and you’re not on the frontline and you don’t pay taxes and you’ve left the country against the law, then there are questions. That’s it.

If we want to preserve Ukraine, if we want to preserve Europe then we must all understand: we either help Ukraine or not; we are either the citizens who are in the front, or the citizens who work and pay taxes. [If the taxes are not paid] There will be no funds for the military. And if there is no money to fund the soldiers, then there will be no soldiers, there will be no one to defend Ukraine. Such are the rules of life."


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