Ukrainian intelligence has accused Russia of planning to conscript Ukrainian civilians from the occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, according to a Saturday UK military intelligence update.
“This would follow similar prior conscription practices in the Russian-occupied Donbas and Crimea,” the statement read.
The statement said under Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, occupying powers cannot compel “protected persons" -- which, in this context, includes civilians in occupied territories -- to serve in its “armed or auxiliary forces." Additionally, pressure or propaganda aiming to secure volunteers to enlist is not allowed.
“Any enlistment of Ukrainian civilians into the Russian armed forces, even if presented by Russia as being voluntary or military service in accordance with Russian law, would constitute a violation of Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the UK Ministry of Defense statement said.