INDIANAPOLIS — Within 24 hours of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky began conscripting reservists aged 18-60.
That group consisted of 140,000 reservists from an army of about 250,000 active servicemen. Some of those reservists were civilians – many being students as young as 21 – who enrolled in the Kyiv Territorial Defense and just began training in combat basics in early February.
A few days after that conscription was announced, multiple outlets reported the Ukraine State Border Guard Service said all men aged 18 to 60 in Ukraine are forbidden from leaving the country as martial law became imposed in the country.
"In particular, it is forbidden for men aged 18-60, Ukraine citizens, to leave the borders of Ukraine. This regulation will remain in effect for the period of the legal regime of martial law. We ask the citizens to take this information into consideration," the State Board Guard Service said in a statement obtained by CNN.
That move led many to speculate the country was preparing for a massive draft, but it is only reservists who have been actively drafted by the Ukrainian government at this time.
That Ukraine could potentially be preparing for a mass draft of men aged 18 to 60 was reiterated on Friday, when the Ukrainian parliament voted to approve in the first reading a draft law granting permission to Ukrainians to carry firearms and act in self-defense.
As world leaders warn the Russian invasion of Ukraine could spark World War III, it has a new generation of young people who have never fought in a war wondering how potential further conflicts could influence their chances of getting drafted.
The United States federal government stopped the draft in 1973, after facing massive public backlash throughout the Vietnam War. Two years after Congress chose to not reauthorize the draft, President Gerald Ford suspended men's responsibility to register for it altogether.
However, in 1980, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and President Jimmy Carter reversed that position. He reinstated registration and, since that time, all men who are permanent residents in the U.S. and are between the ages of 18 and 26 are required to register for the draft.
However, according to the Selective Service System – the agency responsible for running the draft and registering men – an act of Congress could still reinstate the draft in case of a national emergency.
Recently, Congress has considered proposals about the draft, which include requiring women to register and dismantling the draft system altogether.