Saturday, December 29, 2018

Only 1.5 Percent of 20,000 Russian Draftees with Higher Educations Used in Scientific Companies

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 29 – The Russian armed forces drafted 132,500 men in the most recent round, the General Staff reports. Of these approximately 20,000 had higher educations; but only 300 of these or 1.5 percent will serve in the military’s scientific companies, an option Moscow had been advertising as a widely available option for those completing their educations. 

            As these 16 companies have contingents of only 800, the new draftees will form almost 40 percent of the total, an indication that there is relatively little room for expanding this option for the educated and thus making it likely even more young Russians will seek ways to defer or escape service (

            One group of draftees, however, was treated with greater favor: athletes.  Approximately 200 of the draftees were viewed as potential Olympians and so were placed in special sports companies, where they form slightly more than half of the contingents of these units. 

            Lt.Gen. Yevgeny Burdinsky, who oversees the draft for the General Staff of the Russian Armed Services, said he was especially pleased that the number of young people who did not appear at the draft sites had fallen from 3,000 a year ago to about 1200 this year, an improvement that may reflect the weakening economy which leaves potential soldiers with fewer options.

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