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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Military tourists cause damage to Russian Defense Ministry

Young men decide to have fun at the expense of the state

The personnel of the military committee in the Krasnoyarsk region offer to start practicing criminal responsibility for young men's refusal to sign army contracts. They believe that it is the only way to get of so-called 'military tourists' – young men, who expressed their wish to serve on a contractual basis, arrived at the site of the service, but refused to sign contracts at the last moment.

A fourth of 160 would-be contractors did not sign army service contracts in March of the current year in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia, the Vremya Novostei wrote. Deputy of the Army Commissar in Krasnoyarsk, Yevgeni Remezov, thinks that young men decided to have fun at the expense of the state. “In Krasnoyarsk, we give rations to future contractors for the time that they need to reach destination points, where they will actually serve. The state pays for their food and railway tickets. The men can take a good rest, travel around Russia and eat for free. This is not bad at all, taking into consideration high ticket prices,” Remezov said.

The Russian Defense Ministry spends ten thousand rubles (about $350) on every such military tourist. They have already caused the damage of 500 million rubles to the Krasnoyarsk military registration and enlistment office. It is impossible to retrieve this money, the authorities can not have any claims against a man, who refuses to sign the contract. A man promises to serve in the army, the defense ministry does all enlisting costs. If such a man makes a different decision and refuses to sign the contract, his actions are not considered illegal.

The majority of military experts and human rights activists believe that the right should be preserved. Colonel Alexander Stolarchuk, who works with contractors directly, is certain that young men have to carry responsibility for their decisions. “I always ask recruits to think about it again, they need to make a final decision, before they take a train,” the colonel said. Young men confirm their intentions almost every time, but as soon as they arrive to military units, they change their minds. “We need to be able to collect the money that the state spends on those men,” Alexander Stolarchuk said.

The conscripts believe that such military tourists are not fraudsters. When they arrive to army units, they see everything with their own eyes – the conditions and difficulties of the army services makes them think differently.

Top military officials admit that the issue with contractors is spread nationwide in Russia. “Military tourists,” however, have caused serious damage to the state – one may multiply the losses of the Krasnoyarsk region by the number of Russian regions.