Men are marrying disabled women to avoid being drafted to fight on frontline

Men are marrying disabled women to avoid being drafted to fight on frontline
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ZMG - Veuer / VideoElephant

Ukrainian men are marrying disabled women as a part of a controversial loophole out of fighting on the frontline.

For the past two years, the outlet NGL Media has been delving into various schemes to avoid being enrolled into war, including enrolling into universities, fake divorces and child custody among many more.

Now, attention has been turned to fake marriages with women who have disabilities so men can receive a deferral.

The publication launched an investigation into the scheme and found that people were earning between $1,500-5,000 for organising such marriages.

They talked to various lawyers and authorities and learnt that fake marriages are not treated as against the law in Ukraine. However, people can sometimes get detained if they're making money from it.

NGL Media put the scheme to the test by heading to Telegram and Facebook groups in an attempt to marry off one of their very own journalists as a part of a social experiment.

They claimed that many of the groups online – some explicitly called 'Fake Marriages' – contained advertisements that were specifically looking for disabled women.

Subsequently, they made several fake ads to test it out for their investigation.

One included a man seeking a disabled woman to leave Ukraine, and two others posing as women looking to make money from the scheme.

They reportedly received dozens of responses, including from 'matchmakers' offering their 'services' to set the fake marriage up for financial gain.

Yevhen Filipets, a lawyer in Ukraine, told the outlet: "In my experience, out of 100 cases of servicemen who apply for discharge for family reasons, 95 cases use that topic, i.e., if their wife, their parents or their wife’s parents have a disability."

"To get an exemption, it is enough to have such a marriage," the lawyer added.

"It is almost impossible to prove the marriage is fake; it is possible only through a court decision. And one of the spouses has the right to go to court to recognise such a marriage as fake. Will he or she apply in these circumstances? I don’t think so. Ukrainian people are very resourceful," he continued.

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