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Russia: One-Year Conscription Has not Stopped Dedovshchina
Introduced in 2008, the one-year draft was intended to reduce conflict between conscripts from different draft campaigns. The ‘dedy’ or ‘grandfathers’ about to demobilize would often abuse, haze, or otherwise mistreat brand-new inductees.
On Thursday, SibVO Commander, General-Lieutenant Vladimir Chirkin told reporters: “The military expected a dramatic decrease in this type of offenses, but, regrettably, hazing remains an acute problem. The conscripts, who now have to serve 12 months, regard themselves as ‘old timers’ after serving 6 months, and the same thing continues. Apparently, this virus is transmissible.” “We now know that we should search for the causes of bullying not in the duration of service but, it seems, deeper. We now have to work harder with detachment commanders. This year issues of discipline will be even more important for us than those of combat readiness.” Chirkin said several high-profile abuse cases are currently under investigation in the SibVO.
As Veronika Marchenko from Mother’s Right says, dedovshchina hasn’t been stopped: “In the army then and now they beat people on the third day of service, in two weeks, and in the first months.” Marchenko believes ending conscription completely is the only way to curb dedovshchina, but that’s not likely now with the virtually complete failure of professionalization through contract service.
March 1, 2010: One-Year Conscription Hasn’t Stopped Dedovshchina