MPs want to grant more rights to foreign volunteer fighters, Zelensky proposes to clarify regulations on conscription in wartime, and the State Property Fund intends to privatize the property of the Dovzhenko Center.
Privatization of property of the Dovzhenko Center
Letter by the State Property Fund
Decision-maker: the State Property Fund.
Who is affected: the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the Dovzhenko Center, the Cabinet, representatives of the cultural sector and civil society, and Ukrainian citizens.
Summary of the letter: the State Property Fund demands the Dovzhenko Center to provide documents on two buildings with a total area of over 9 thousand square meters to include these buildings on the list of small privatization objects. The Ukrainian State Film Agency as a management body has already given its permission to privatize these buildings.
Why this is important:
- privatization of property is one of the phases of reorganization of the Dovzhenko Center. According to the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the reorganization started long before the full-scale invasion. An animation studio and a movie fund are supposed to be detached from the Center. The latter is going to be passed to the Scientific Center of Cinematography of Ukraine. According to the media, the fund is not working since 2011
- the requisite number of signatures for the petition to cancel the reorganization Dovzhenko Center was collected in less than a month. The Cabinet in his answer, though, repeated the arguments and confirmed its intention to proceed with the reorganization. The key argument is that the operational spending of the Center is larger than revenues from its activities
- the parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy also appealed to the Cabinet and the Ukrainian State Film Agency to cancel the reorganization of the Dovzhenko Center.
What was wrong:
- the decision by the State Property Fund undermines the Center’s financial stability which is shaky even now. According to art reviewer Lena Chychenina, there are offices that the Dovzhenko Center leases in the buildings that are proposed for privatization. In particular, the money from rent was used for a renovation of the Center
- state agencies disregarded public demand. The Cabinet, the Ukrainian State Film Agency, and the State Property Fund act against the interests of the citizens, representatives of civil society, and MPs who oppose the reorganization of the Dovzhenko Center.
Alternative solution: to grant Dovzhenko Center the status of the State Film Fund of Ukraine. If necessary, change its form of incorporation. This will allow the Center to remove the “shortcomings” of its current status and continue to perform its functions.
More rights for foreign volunteers fighting for Ukraine
Draft bill # 8098 of October 4, 2022
Cosponsor: Oleksandra Usninova from the Holos faction, MPs from factions Servant of the People (20), Holos (8), European Solidarity (1), Batkivshchyna (1), and For the Future (1).
Who is affected: foreign soldiers fighting for Ukraine and the State Migration Service.
Summary of the bill:
- foreigners will be allowed to sign contracts and serve in Ukrainian military units of any kind
- a contract for military service with Ukrainian military units of any kind will be recognized as a legal reason to stay on the territory of Ukraine for foreigners and stateless persons
- foreigners and stateless persons will be granted the right to live in Ukraine if they served three years or more in Ukrainian military units. The same will apply to those who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine or other military units and were declared ineligible for service due to health conditions caused by sickness or wounds they suffered in the course of their service
- foreigners and stateless persons will be able to enlist for the service not only at territorial centers of recruitment but apply directly to the military units they want to serve in.
Why this is important: currently, Ukrainian laws allow foreigners fighting for Ukraine to serve only in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. That is why foreigners who are fighting as members of the National Guard or other military units, in particular, the Azov regiment, are de facto doing it illegally. Thus, they can be persecuted for that and will not be eligible for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship in the future.
What is right:
- better guarantees for foreigners fighting for Ukraine. There are many Russians and Belarusians among them, and these people risk being persecuted in their native countries for supporting Ukraine
- legal security for foreigners fighting in all kinds of Ukrainian military units
- simplified procedure for foreigners and stateless persons enlisting for military service in Ukraine. Permission to enlist directly at military units will save time and effort for both foreigners and Ukrainian military bodies.
Regulations on conscription under martial law
Draft bill # 8109 of October 6, 2022
Sponsor: Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine.
Who is affected: persons subject to military service, draft boards, and Ukrainian citizens.
Summary of the bill:
- no conscription of citizens will be allowed while martial law is in effect
- under martial law, draft boards will do the following:
- organize medical examinations of the registered persons 27 years old and older, register such persons or exclude such persons from the registry
- provide references for draftees who want to enroll in military universities recommending to go through with qualifications and exams or refuse to provide such references.
What is right:
- there is no need for a conscript during the mobilization under martial law. The bill is supposed to clarify regulations on conscription and the work of draft boards while martial law is in effect
- draft boards will work in parallel with centers of recruitment and social support. They will have their specific functions so the resources will be used more efficiently.
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