Ukraine's parliament has passed a bill to recruit new soldiers to strengthen its army, which has been fighting against the Russian occupation for over two years. 

The bill, which does not include harsh draft evasion penalties that had previously sparked public outcry, aims to increase the number of soldiers in the army. 

Lawmakers voted in a parliamentary session on Thursday for the new law, which was also publicly supported by armed forces officials. 

"Pass this law, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not disappoint either you or the Ukrainian people," Joint Forces Commander General Yuri Sodol told lawmakers before the vote. 

Sodol, who commands Ukrainian troops in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, said, "The enemy outnumbers us seven to ten times, and our manpower is insufficient."

Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a deputy from the Holos party, said on Telegram that the bill was passed with 283 votes.

The bill must be signed into law by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukrainian army faces resource constraints
Military analysts say Ukraine's armed forces need to address serious problems such as manpower and ammunition shortages as better-equipped Russian forces advance in the east.


The law will give the country's armed forces greater ability to determine how many people in cities and towns can be called up for military service and will make it easier to identify all those eligible for conscription. 

The adopted bill gives Ukrainian men 60 days to update their personal data with the military authorities. Military branches have long had incomplete or outdated data. 

The bill also cancels an earlier proposal to set a timetable for when soldiers can be demobilized. 

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Ukraine is already facing a shortage of trained soldiers capable of fighting, and demobilizing frontline soldiers would deprive the Ukrainian army of its most skilled soldiers. 

Exhausted soldiers who have been on the front lines since the Russian invasion are unable to rotate to rest.

With more than two years of war in the country, Ukrainian troops are facing shortages of soldiers and ammunition, as well as doubts about Western aid. 

Attacks on energy facilities continue
The bill was passed in parliament against a backdrop of increased Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure in recent weeks. 

Officials reported that Russia again targeted infrastructure and energy facilities in several regions overnight Thursday, completely destroying the Trypilska thermal power plant, the largest power generation facility in the Kiev region.

Overnight missile and drone strikes also damaged energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said more than 200,000 people in the region were without electricity.

The regional governor, Vitalii Kim, announced that four people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the city of Mykolaiv on Thursday. 

Energy facilities were also hit in Zaporizhia and Lviv regions.