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Russian govt supports idea to forbid army dodgers to join public service

September 29, 2012, 18:16 UTC+3

A total of 356,500 young men were drafted into military service in 2011 and 600,000 in 2010

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MOSCOW, September 29 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian government supports the idea to forbid army dodgers to join public service, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

“We support this proposal. There is a draft law pursuant to the presidential decree on boosting the prestige of military service,” Rogozin told the journalists on Saturday, September 29.

He personally sees no way how army dodgers can get a job in governmental agencies.

“We think that those who have not served in the Armed Forces, or to be more precise, those who have dodged [military] service should have no right to hold positions in public service,” Rogozin said.

The State Duma Defence Committee has worked out the relevant draft law. Its author, Frants Klintsevich of the ruling United Russia party said earlier that persons who have avoided military service for no good reason would not be allowed to work in legislative and executive bodies or be elected to the post of governor, to municipal councils or the Federation Council.

“There are 236,000 army dodgers in the country. They did not report and did not receive the notice. Under effective legislation, if you do not get the notice and you turn 27, you are free,” Klintsevich said earlier.

The Duma had debated a draft law that proposed criminal penalties for army dodging, but was turned down by the Defence Ministry, and it was decided to work out other penalties.

Klintsevich had proposed to impose a 13-percent tax on army dodgers and said that the revenues could be invested in the Armed Forces and used to support those who were injured in combat or during military service.

Two years ago, the Liberal Democratic Party suggested allowing conscripts to avoid military service by depositing one million roubles in the Defence Ministry’s account.

“There will always be people who do not want to serve,” Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said, adding that now they have to break the law in order to do so. “We push people towards unlawful behaviour,” he said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said that the number of army dodgers has decreased six times over the last four years from about 8,000 in 2008 to 1,300 in 2011.

It also noted a decrease in the crime rate in the army: fewer than 12,000 crimes were registered last year, 390 servicemen died, the number of hazing victims dropped by 18 percent, and the number of those killed went down from 11 in 2010 to seven in 2011.

A total of 356,500 young men were drafted into military service in 2011 and 600,000 in 2010.

The Federation Council has suggested obligating conscripts to report to military enlistment offices personally to receive the army notice within two weeks. If they fail to do so, he may face criminal charges for avoiding military or alternative civil service and up to two years in prison.

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