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New law to add 3,000 men to Belarusian army draft

Society 23.08.2019 | 19:57

MINSK, 23 August (BelTA) – The measures taken in the wake of amendments to the military conscription law will allow adding at most 3,000 people to the army draft, BelTA learned from Vladimir Makarov, Head of the Information Office of the Central Ideology Office of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, during a roundtable session on 23 August.

According to the source, as many as 140,000 Belarusians aged 18-27 can be drafted. As many as 4,200 ones were drafted this spring. About 40,000 people had to appear before army conscription commissions. Most of them had valid deferments. The measures that have been taken since then will allow increasing the number of draftees by at most 3,000 people starting next year. The measures will allow the army to accomplish its peacetime missions, in particular, by maintaining the necessary level of men with military training. Vladimir Makarov specified that the total number of people in the Armed Forces will not be increased. The new legislation is designed to add more army conscripts, whose shortage the army started feeling in 2018. The number of additional draftees will make at most 2% of all the drafted manpower. The total number of draftees will be lower than the one registered in 2005-2017. Back then every draft included about 10,000 people.

The Defense Ministry representative emphasized the importance of having a trained reserve available. “An army of 50,000 people or even 80,000 cannot protect a country like Belarus. In order to protect the state against a real military threat, we would have to increase the Armed Forces by several times. Up to 500,000 people, including territorial defense. It was the official figure mentioned in 2018. To be able to do it, the country needs a trained reserve. The number of people trained over the course of the last 25 years is close to 0.5 million. It will be sufficient for the next ten years. It is important to prevent the figure from dwindling starting 2030,” Vladimir Makarov said.

BelTA reported earlier that on 24 July Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed the law to amend legislation on the effective operation of the state military organization.

The new legislation preserved all the deferments granted on grounds of poor health, marital status, and other reasons. The new legislation allows young Belarusians to dodge the army draft only once in order to continue university education or vocational training. The law has also placed restrictions on giving civil service jobs, national security system jobs to people, who illegally dodge the draft.

The law came into force on 10 August.

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