5 June 2020, Friday, 22:00
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Amendments to Conscription Rules in Belarus

Amendments to Conscription Rules in Belarus

Boundaries will be closed for conscripts.

A draft law "On Amendments to the Laws on the Effective Functioning of the Military Organization of the State" is submitted to the "House of Representatives" for consideration. The document has been submitted to the "parliament" as a matter of urgency. It is planned to pass it in two readings at this session.

The most debated novelty of the law is the determent to get an education. According to the new document, it will be available only once. After school, a young man, for example, can enter a university, a college and so on. After graduation he must serve in the army and then can continue his studies, tut.by writes.

Only those who study abroad and sent there by government agencies (organizations) are excluded from this list. "To ensure the economy with required specialists the state bodies (organizations) are interested in, it is offered to provide a deferment on this ground, regardless of earlier deferment to continue education, i.e. without regard to the principle of one-time character", the amendment to the law says.

At that, if the law comes into force when the young man has already graduated from the university and is already pursuing the Master's programme, he will not be recruited immediately. He can easily finish his studies.

"Those who haven't served and had no legal grounds to it, won't be able to join the public service"

The draft law says that the call-up commission may decide "to recognize a citizen as having failed the conscription without having any legal grounds to it".

An important innovation: young people who do not serve in the army "without legal grounds" will not be able to work in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the State Committee of Forensic Expertise, in the financial investigation agencies of the State Control Committee, the Investigative Committee, as well as to become public servants.

- Today, the career of a public servant in our country does not depend on his military duty," the justification for the draft law signed by Defence Minister Andrei Raukou says.

- At the same time, according to the legislation, for example, the chairman of the regional (city, district) executive committee in wartime is the chairman of the local Defence Council, the head of the area defence, and therefore he should be able to resolve military issues and to control subordinate territorial troops. His deputies shall perform the same functions.

The justification notes: "The practice shows that in recent years, the number of managers in the state administration bodies who have not served in the army or got any other military education has increased".

Young men who evaded conscription unless they are 27 will be recognized as not having completed military service.

- As soon as these young men (27-year-old) appear at the military commissariat (a separate subdivision), all the information will be recorded in "Special marks" with the number of the protocol of the call-up commission (the order of the military commissioner)," the amendments to the Law say.

Young people who are 27 years old or older by the time the Law comes into force will not be subject to these amendments.

Travel abroad will be prohibited for those who are "properly notified and do not attend the call-up events"

Dodgers will also face problems with travelling abroad. Now, if a young man does everything to defer from service, he should be recognized as a dodger, only then he won't be able to leave Belarus.

The departure from Belarus may be restricted to those who "evade conscription, inactive duty". In other words, the restriction demands for signs of a crime, which entails liability under Article 435 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

When the law is amended, everyone who "is properly notified and does not attend events on military induction, inactive duty or does not meet the obligations on military registration will be subject to travel ban unless they attend these events". In other words, it will not be necessary to open a criminal case and recognize a young man as a dodger.

Contractors May Not Complete Placement

Government-subsidized graduates, as well as contract students, who voluntarily entered the military service in the Armed Forces, other troops and military formations of Belarus and served not less than the term of compulsory service, are exempt from reimbursement of funds spent by the state on their education. They may not complete the placement.

It will be recalled that in 2018, Belarus had fewer conscripts than expected. It did not significantly affect the combat effectiveness of military units, but experts found it alarming.

During the fall draft of 2018, about 10 thousand young men joined the Armed Forces. More than 37 thousand, that is, almost four times more, got deferments. There are various reasons for it. Three major reasons are: about 30 thousand young wanted to continue their education, about 2500 people -family issues and 4000 - health condition.

The demographic situation also complicates the situation. Over the past 10 years, the number of young men of draft age has halved. In the future, statistics show that this situation will only worsen. If no specific measures are taken, in 2022 we will face the shortage of conscripts, Andrei Murashou, an advisor at the draft department of the General Staff's main organizational and mobilization department, said.

The Defence Ministry also announced new benefits for those who served in the army:

- benefits for enrollment and training in educational institutions, in particular, priority right to housing in dormitories;

- the right to study at the expense of the budget at the preparatory departments of higher education institutions;

- preference for enrollment in universities and colleges;

- the right to choose during placement;

- the right to enter an extramural form of study at universities and colleges;

- inclusion of active military service in the minimum insurance period;

- employment guarantees in case of a job before the service. Regardless of the form of ownership (now it relates only to public organizations), a former employer must hire a person again as soon as his active military service is finished.