The issue of alternative civil service has been discussed in Russia by public organizations, parties, ministries, politicians, and military men, not to mention the common people. The bill “On Alternative Civil Service in the Russian Federation” was presented by the defense ministry to the government two weeks ago, and there were many people who considered it too harsh, so it was sent for further development. The Defense Ministry determined that the term of alternative service should be four years, obtaining a higher education should not be allowed, and alternative service should not only imply civil service but also service in the military units doing non-military work. Furthermore, as was written in the bill, the draftees would be required to provide reasons for their decision for choosing alternative service, which wouldn't be easy.
Well, as a matter of fact, it is easy to understand the military men. If there is an alternative to avoid regular military service, then all the draftees will rush there, so it was a requisite to envisage such a development of the situation.
The document caused a lot of disputes, but now it has become more liberal. For example, the bill now stipulates that the young men will be able to serve in the places of their living, and obtain a higher education.
In addition, alternative service will be regulated not by military laws, but by the labor legislation.
The Russian Federation government is currently considering the new variant of the bill today. It is expected that the coordinated document will finally be approved. News agencies reported that Alexander Pochinok, Minister for Labor and Social Development, made a report at the session. As Pochinok said, “the bill has changed fundamentally over the last week.”
Young men will be able to serve in social protection institutions, in healthcare, education, and emergency service institutions. However, the term of alternative service will be twice as long as the term of regular military service. In the case of bad discipline, or if the draftees will not execute their obligations properly, then they will have to serve in the military units.
Veronika Dmitriyeva – the chairwoman of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers said the bill had not been shaped up yet. She claimed that four years of alternative service was too much, as “this period of time will take a person out of the social environment, which will not allow a young man to develop and grow.” Dmitriyeva said that the deputies would not be able to make a democratic decision, for “they are under the president’s hypnosis."
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov