But many Ukrainians did not respect this ban. As reported by information obtained by the BBC, more than 40,000 men attempted to leave the territory, leading to the arrest of nearly 21,000 of them by the Ukrainian authorities. Among them, more than 14,000 men attempted to cross the border on foot or by swimming, often during the night. Around 7,000 other deserters tried to flee using false papers and/or reporting false illnesses, Ukrainian authorities have said. Many Ukrainians died trying to flee across the Tisa River.
The 19,740 men who managed to cross the Ukrainian borders fled to Moldova, Romania, Poland, Hungary and even Slovakia. Faced with these desertions, the parliamentary representative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Fedir Venislavskyi, agreed to speak to the BBC. “The government understands that this phenomenon is not isolated and that it is widespread. But unfortunately, I emphasize that corruption is very resilient”, he explained. He also said that Ukraine was doing “everything possible to reduce the number of corruption cases as much as possible.”