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Ukraine increases the penalty for desertion

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed into law a law that increases criminal liability for military personnel for desertion or failure to comply with orders to fight, according to the Kyiv Independent newspaper.

It came amid measures taken by Ukraine’s president, who has sacked 10 officials after criticism of wrongdoing by civil servants, with some officials reported to have gone abroad to destinations including Spain for the New Year holidays. In one case, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s border services was criticized for traveling to Paris while her colleagues were fighting Russian forces in trenches in eastern Ukraine.