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Civil activists stage pickets outside State Duma building

November 27, 2012, 18:43 UTC+3

The participants protest against proposals to increase the term of army draft

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MOSCOW, November 27 (Itar-Tass) — A series of pickets against proposals to increase the term of army draft was held outside the Russian State Duma downtown Moscow on Tuesday. They had been organized by two public organizations, including the Business Women of Russia and the Non-Governmental Sphere of Security (NSB) trade union.

The participants in the action held posters with slogans reading, “One year is enough”, “1.5 half years in the army – mothers of Russia are against”, in their hands.

Lyudmila Koptelova, a Business Women of Russia activist, said that it was necessary to focus on reviving the infrastructure for preparing would-be draftees and increase the prestige of the army service so that people could see some significance in it.

Her view was echoed by retired Major Yuri Alekseyev, deputy chairman of the NSB trade union, who said that there should be an infrastructure that would make it possible to train future draftees for military service. He believes that the training process should start from the age of 14. “We should raise the prestige of defender of society,” Alekseyev told Itar-Tass.

Communist Party deputy Vladimir Komoyedov, the head of the Duma defense committee, said in an interview with Izvestia that one year of army service was not enough to train military experts and called for extending the term of military service to 18 months.

Later, presidential secretary Dmitry Peskov told the Dozhd (Rain) television channel that the question was not on the agenda and that the official stance was unequivocal: to stick to one year of army service.



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