Ukraine's Zelensky signs mobilisation bill into law

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed into law a controversial mobilisation bill aimed at boosting troop numbers, parliament said Tuesday.

The parliament's website said the bill had been "returned with the signature of the President" on April 16, after receiving final approval from lawmakers last week.

The new law toughens penalties on draft dodgers, incentivises conscription and obliges men to keep their military registration details with the authorities up-to-date.

But controversially, the law does not demobilise long-serving soldiers on the front, a proposal lawmakers scrapped after facing pressure from Ukraine's military.

Lawmakers say the issue of demobilisation will be addressed in a separate bill, but have not given details.

Kiev has ceded ground to Russian forces since late last year as it struggles with a shortage of manpower and hold-ups in much-needed aid from Western allies.

Earlier this month, Zelensky signed into law separate legislation lowering the age of mobilisation from 27 to 25, expanding the number of men eligible to fight.

The new laws are designed to boost Ukraine's fighting potential but have caused anger in a nation exhausted by more than two years of battling invading Russian forces.

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