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24-Year-Old Man Marries 81-Year-Old Woman to Avoid Military Service

A young Ukrainian man has managed to successfully avoid compulsory military service by staying married to a woman 57 years his senior for almost two years. Despite widespread criticism online, the man has the law on his side.

In late 2017, Alexander Kondratyuk, a young man from the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, received his conscription papers. He was to report to the nearest military commissariat for enlistment in his country’s one year military service. All able-bodied Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 26 are required to undergo military service, with one exception. If such a man were responsible for looking after a disabled wife, he would be exempt from service. So Alexander somehow convinced his cousin’s 81-year-old disabled grandmother to become his bride, and the couple have now been married for almost two years. Kondratyuk is 24, so after two more years he will become too old to undergo military service and probably divorce his octogenarian wife.

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