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MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. MP Alexey Zhuravlyov has asked to amend a bill on compulsory military service so as to conduct a call-up campaign once a year rather than every spring and autumn, which was practiced in the Soviet-era army.
The author of the amended bill, who is a member of the Duma Committee on Defense, said the amended bill would help get rid of the notorious hazing practice in the army when newly drafted servicemen are harassed by older fellow soldiers whose term of compulsory military service is to expire soon. Another advantage of the amended bill is that it will enable to cut budgetary expenditures, the MP said.
At present, conscripts are drafted for compulsory military service twice a year — in spring (from April 1 until July 15) and in autumn (since October 1 until December 31). Since January 1, 2008 the overall term of compulsory military service was shortened from 24 to 12 months.
The advantage of calling up young conscripts once a year is that "newly drafted servicemen and their fellow servicemen with already some record of the army service will undergo training separately, which will help eliminate hazing practice altogether. Besides, it will help cut budgetary expenditures on organization of call-ip campaigns,” the author of the bill told Izvestia daily.
The MP's proposal aroused a different reaction within the Duma Committee on Defense. One of the opponents of the bill, MP Sergey Zhigaryov, said that the bill would not help relieve the budgetary load.
"Usually, call-up envisages organization of call-up centers for conscripts, railway and air transportations. During a call-up campaign conscripts are brought to a call-up center. In a big city, it will be a particular difficult problem. If half a million conscripts are brought to a single call-up center it will be overcrowded; besides, it will be a too big one-time load on the budget and educational centers," the opponent of the bill said.