Russian group protests obligatory military service
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||16 June 2010|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russian group protests obligatory military service, 16 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c2b5e45c.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
June 16, 2010
Young Russian men are required by law to serve in the army.
MOSCOW – Ten opposition activists have staged a public protest in Moscow against mandatory military service, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
The activists, who are members of the opposition Yabloko party, gathered in front of the Defense Ministry. They displayed a large banner asking "How many more must die to stop compulsory service?" and chanted "Down with mandatory service, yes to contract service!"
The activists told RFE/RL that the large number of suicides by young conscripts in Russia in the last several months motivated them to protest.
Police approached the activists shortly after the demonstration began and asked them to move the protest to Gogol Boulevard, which they did.
Under Russian law, all men between 18 and 27 years are required to serve 12 months in the army.
The activists tried to submit a petition addressed to Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov urging him to introduce changes in the law under which the country's armed forces would be manned exclusively on a contract basis. The ministry refused to accept the petition.