MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office found over 65,000 violations during last year’s draft of conscripts for the armed forces, the office said on Tuesday.
“Overall, based on the findings of checks into whether the laws on military duty were observed during the 2012 draft, the prosecuting bodies found 65,234 violations of the law,” the office said in a statement on its website.
“More than 8,000 people were brought to disciplinary liability,” it said, adding over 1,400 officials were brought to administrative account, with 897 lawsuits submitted to the courts, and 1,254 criminal cases launched for dodging military service.
Most violations were committed during draftees’ medical examinations, with sick conscripts improperly drafted into the armed forces, while some young people were also illegally granted deferments.
In addition, some people with previous convictions were not drafted although by law those whose convictions have been removed from official records can serve in the armed forces.
Young men aged 18-27 are liable for a year of military service in Russia, although there are exemptions for the sick, full-time students, fathers of two children and some other categories. Military service remains extremely unpopular and draft-dodging is widespread.
Russia is carrying out a gradual transition to an all-volunteer professional armed forces, but the move has been hampered by the low prestige of a career in the armed forces, poor pay and conditions, and the rapidly falling number of young men due to Russia’s demographic profile.