Fact Check: Pregnant Medic In Odesa Did NOT Receive A Summons

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Pregnant Medic In Odesa Did NOT Receive A Summons Unlawful

Has a pregnant medic in the Ukrainian city of Odesa received a summons? No, that's not true: Ukrainian law recognizes pregnancy as a valid reason for a servicewoman's dismissal, and pregnant women do not need to register for military service.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok by @alexandr_turner (archived here) on November 12, 2023, and was also shared by the account @maj300a (archived here).

The text (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) shown in the video states:

A pregnant girl-medic in Odessa received a summons. The main trash for today:

Below is how the post appeared on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-16 at 11.40.30.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Nov 16 11:42:11 2023 UTC)

The video showed a girl crying and holding a document in her hand on which the word "summons" can be seen. The girl in the video says (translated from Ukrainian to English by Lead Stories staff):

They bury poor people. I can't ... When will all of this end?

The video is shot so that it is impossible to distinguish the text on the so-called summons, and the video does not provide any information about the recording's date, time or location.

A reverse image search (archived here) conducted on November 27, 2023, did not reveal the original source of the video. A search for the phrase "Pregnant medic in Odessa received a summons" (archived here) conducted on November 16, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites did not reveal any evidence-based reports on the claim.

The Ukrainian law "On Military Duty and Military Service" states that in Ukraine, women on military records may be called up for military service or to perform tasks related to ensuring the state's defense in times of war (Article 1). However, this law recognizes pregnancy as a valid reason for a servicewoman's dismissal (Article 26).

Starting in October 2023, the Ukrainian government introduced mandatory military registration for women with professional training in certain fields. The list of such specialties includes nurses and midwives, hygienists, ophthalmologists, medical assistants and other specialists working in health care and pharmacy. Yet, such registration does not mean that women are automatically mobilized.

The Ukrainian Ground Forces have stated that including women in military registration is important to collect data on the reserve of medical specialists in the country. They made it clear that pregnant women don't have to register for military service. According to Article 73 of the Decree on Military Medical Examination in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, pregnant women cannot serve in the military under a contract, regardless of the stage of pregnancy. They are considered unfit for military service in the reserve and are not recommended for deployment abroad.

Additionally, the Health Ministry of Ukraine notes that this procedure has been in place since 1992, and the majority of female medical professionals are already on military records.

On November 13, 2023, the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation debunked this claim in its official Telegram account. They have concluded that this video clip exhibits all the characteristics of a Russian fake and stated that this footage first appeared on the TikTok account called "російський німець" (translated from Ukrainian: Russian German), which has previously been implicated in spreading disinformation. Lead Stories could not find this video on the TikTok accounts with this label here, here, here, here or here. On November 14, 2023, Lead Stories contacted the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for more information about this account and will update the article when a reply is received.

Lead Stories has previously debunked a claim that Ukraine employs bulletproof vests specifically made for "pregnant women fighters."

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