About 25 thousand of conscripts evaded to serve in Russian army in 2000, the head of the RF Armed Forces Main Department for Education colonel-general Vitaliy Azarov said. According to him, 76 % of them did it “under the influence of Russian mass media”. The colonel regrets that Russian media “has not published any serious documents, slamming deserters and evaders”. Unfortunately, in public opinion, it is normal to evade joining the army, Vitaliy Azarov says. Recommendations how to circumvent the law and to evade going to the army often appear in Russian mass media, the colonel notes. When German weekly “Stern” published an article of such kind, an action “for violation of the constitutional principles of the state” was filed against its authors, and they faced charges. The military and patriotic themes are not among the priorities on Russian TV and radio. At the same time, in USA the volume of broadcasting for armed forces is 250 hours a day. $12,5 billion are being allocated for informational support of the army every year. “American soldier can subscribe to 12 newspapers, 10 Russian soldiers can subscribe to only one”, Azarov said. However we dare say that not only mass media is to blame that young people do not want to join the army. Abuse of private soldiers, sometimes leading to their death, is widespread phenomena in Russian army units, not to mention the situation in hot spots, such as Chechnya, where young men die every day. The minimal wage of American private soldier is $ 694 a month. The press service of Russian Defence Ministry failed to answer our journalist’ question, “How much money does Russian soldier gets?”. They said that they cannot report any information on telephone and recommended to send an official request. By the way, it took us 20 minutes to receive the information about American servicemen’s wages.
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