Recently, an article appeared on the Internet about 140 State Duma deputies who want to be recruited by the army to set an example for Russian youth. Therefore, more than 140 deputies, subject to the draft, will go through muster on February 5-9. This was reported by the Duma’s Defence Committee. Therefore, this nothing special: just the deputies decided to contribute their might to strengthening the defensive capacity of the country. However, this event can be regarded from different points of view. If I am not mistaken, it was Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, who promised to create a professional army in Russia. Yes, he did promise, though people usually promise different things.
The new Russian president is more careful in his statements, which is probably the result of his secret service experience. Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov even mentioned the terms of the army’s reorganization (10-15 years), though he himself seems not to believe that it will happen so soon.
The yearly spring and autumn conscription usually turns into a try-to-catch-up affair: the workers of military registration and enlistment offices together with the police try to catch conscripts, while the conscripts try to hide. Recently, an article reported on an 18-year-old disabled young man from the city of Nizhny Novgorod who was called up, while he even could not rise from his wheelchair without assistance. Unhappily, this is not the only case of the kind.
What about the army itself? each year, many soldiers abandon their military units. We should recall the recent escapes from an airborne unit in the Ulyanovsk Region. Militaries prefer not wash their dirty linen in public.
Now let us see what happens with the law “about alternative service.” There are three deputy draft laws and one draft law that was created by the General Staff, which should not be mentioned at all, because it seems not to present any alternative at all, while the three deputy projects are similar to each other. The difference is only that they differently determine the terms and the places of alternative service. The next consideration of the law is fixed for February 14, and now I dare mention one more publication.
The muster of the deputies is to be carried out on the base of the General Staff’s Military Academy, by its best teachers. After the training, regular ranks will be conferred to the deputies: from lieutenant to colonel.
According to federal law “On Military Service," the deputies are free of military training, though the elected representatives of the people decided not to indulge themselves. Even the deputies who are not subject to the draft, for example, Tatyana Astrakhankina and Pavel Burdukov (KPRF faction), decided to take part in the training. Nice, is not it? One spends four days on the academy’s base and gets the rank of lieutenant at least, while at most, colonel. How they love their people, these deputies!
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/05/36611.html