(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has banned gambling in the country’s military on concerns that it’s sapping morale and posing a security risk in the fight against Russia’s invasion.

The ban for soldiers includes betting in gambling establishments and on the internet while under martial law, according the decree signed by Zelenskiy. Ukraine’s cabinet will restrict advertising and ask Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to prohibit gambling game applications in their stores without an appropriate license.

The move follows a petition filed by Ukrainian serviceman Pavlo Petrychenko, who said some soldiers on the front line were spending their earnings on betting, taking out loans, and even pawning military equipment — such as drones and thermal cameras — to meet gambling debts. 

Read more: Ukraine Tackles Gambling Addiction Within Its Military Ranks

The government plans to elaborate later on the restrictions for all kinds of gambling advertising, while the National Bank of Ukraine will make recommendations to banks to block payments to gambling accounts online.

Petrychenko’s petition, which quickly gathered the necessary 25,000 signatures to be considered after being issued in late March, also cited the risk of Russian online casino operators targeting customers with ads designed to secure access to private data from military personnel and civilians. Petrychenko died on the front line on April 15 and was buried in Kyiv this week.

Ukrainian forces are grappling with morale issues related to shortages of ammunition and manpower as momentum of the war, now well into its third year, has shifted to Russia. Kremlin forces are battering positions in Ukraine’s east and preparing for a potentially broader offensive. 

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