Russia starts spring draft
Moscow: The Russian armed forces are expecting to call up 153,200 conscripts for military service in the annual spring draft that started Monday and will last through July 15.
The draft target is 13,000 more than last fall.
The General Staff reported in mid-March that more than 244,000 draft-age men dodged conscription last year.
Some 8,794 Russian men received their call-up papers but did not show up at the recruitment office as required, which is a criminal offence that carries a prison term of up to two years under Russian law, General Staff senior official Maj. Gen. Viktor Glotov said last month.
In addition, some 235,800 men dodged the draft last year by avoiding being handed their call-up papers, which is an administrative offence in Russia.
Military officials are obliged to notify potential recruits that they are eligible for the draft as soon as they reach the age of 18. Many young men use falsified medical documents, notify the authorities they are still enrolled in higher education (those in higher education are exempt from the draft) or pay bribes to avoid the 12-month period of service. Potential draftees are eligible for conscription until the age of 27.
Russia is forecast to have a falling number of potential draftees due to the country's aging demographic profile, with the lowest number of available recruits expected between 2016 and 2020.