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Russia: Information on the current legislation governing military service, whether military service is compulsory, and the consequences of not reporting for service

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 August 1993
Citation / Document Symbol RUS14726
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Russia: Information on the current legislation governing military service, whether military service is compulsory, and the consequences of not reporting for service, 1 August 1993, RUS14726, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad8f20.html [accessed 21 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

In addition to the information available in previous Responses, please find attached copies of two articles that were originally included in Response to Information Request RUS14195 of 17 May 1993, which contained information on the February 1993 law on military service and on problems related to army recruitment. Also attached please find a copy of Response to Information Request RUS14247 of 28 May 1993, which may not have been available at your Regional Documentation Centre at the time of your preliminary research. The 1991 BBC article attached to this document reports that a man who "is registered at a draft office and is subject to the draft for active military serviceuntil the expiry date of his active military service or until his exemption from it in accordance to law" may be "temporarily refused a foreign travel passport for exit from the USSR" (BBC World Summary 8 June 1991).

One of the articles originally included in Response to Information Request RUS14195 provides highlights of the new law on military service, and indicates that "contract-based military service" had been established in the army for the first time. This allowed for the voluntary conscription of citizens aged between 18 and 40 years, for periods of three, five or ten years (Rossiyskaya Gazeta 13 Feb. 1993). The article adds that "for those serving under conscript," service durations are 18 and 24 months, the latter duration being for service in the navy, and states that "a boy with higher education only has to apply himself to the science of the Army for one year in all" (Ibid.).

The four recent news articles attached to this Response provide additional information on military service and service evasion.                One of the articles states that in July 1993, Amnesty International reported finding only two prisoners that the organization described as political: two youngsters who were jailed but later released because they had refused to perform military service (The Independent 9 July 1993). Referring to 1993, another article put the number of draft dodgers at 30,000 and stated that "only 129 men were compelled to face charges" (Soviet Press Digest 2 July 1993).

An article on evasion of military service states that by early May 1993, "31,000 men who had been called up were officially registered as draft dodgers in the first half of 1993," but added that "criminal proceedings had been launched against only 320" (The Guardian 20 May 1993). Finally, an earlier article on evasion of military service states that "draft dodging is rarely punished," and that "only 38 men were prosecuted for dodging the draft in 1991" (AFP 3 Dec. 1992).

Additional and/or corroborating information on the subject, including a copy of the law governing military service, could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 3 December 1992. "Russian Army Desperate to Stop Draft Dodging." (NEXIS)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 27 February 1993. "New Decree on Foreign Travel and Emigration." (NEXIS)

The Guardian [London]. 20 May 1993. "Russia Hit Hard by Draft Dodging." (NEXIS)

The Independent [London]. 9 July 1993. Helen Womack. "Five Killed in Labour Camp Riot in Russia; Officials Admit Criminals Are Kept in Atrocious Conditions." (NEXIS)

Rossiyskaya Gazeta [Moscow, in Russian]. 13 February 1993. "Proceedings of 11 Feb. Supreme Soviet Session." (FBIS-SOV-93-034 23 Feb. 1993, pp. 36-37)

Russian Press Digest. 2 July 1993. Sergei Stepashin and Sergei Sekretov. "Russia's Army Next Year Will Have More Officers Than Soldiers." (NEXIS)

Attachments

Agence France Presse (AFP). 3 December 1992. "Russian Army Desperate to Stop Draft Dodging." (NEXIS)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 27 February 1993. "New Decree on Foreign Travel and Emigration." (NEXIS)

The Guardian [London]. 20 May 1993. "Russia Hit Hard by Draft Dodging." (NEXIS)

The Independent [London]. 9 July 1993. Helen Womack. "Five Killed in Labour Camp Riot in Russia; Officials Admit Criminals Are Kept in Atrocious Conditions." (NEXIS)

Rossiyskaya Gazeta [Moscow, in Russian]. 13 February 1993. "Proceedings of 11 Feb. Supreme Soviet Session." (FBIS-SOV-93-034 23 Feb. 1993, pp. 36-37)

Rossiyskiye Vesti [Moscow, in Russian]. 1 April 1993. "Army Recruitment Problems Viewed." (FBIS-SOV-93-061 1 Apr. 1993, p. 36)

Russian Press Digest. 2 July 1993. Sergei Stepashin and Sergei Sekretov. "Russia's Army Next Year Will Have More Officers Than Soldiers." (NEXIS)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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