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Bill Could Block Army Dodgers From Serving in Government

A baby riding in the arms of her father, an army lieutenant, as they descend into the Teatralnaya metro station on Monday. A United Russia deputy wants to introduce a bill that would prevent anyone who has not served in the military from taking legislative or executive positions in the government. Igor Tabakov

A United Russia deputy wants to introduce a bill to the State Duma that would prevent anyone who has not undergone military service from taking legislative or executive positions in the government.

"In a word, it will close the road to public service at the municipal, regional and federal levels of government," the bill's initiator, Defense Committee deputy chairman Franz Klintsevich told Izvestia.

The bill is partially aimed at the children of prominent officials, many of whom become officials themselves without undergoing service, Defense Committee member Andrei Krasov said.

"Military service, of course, brings about a sense of patriotism in young people. Why should we produce, for example, governors who can only talk about this concept with words? This is a principle of social justice," Krasov said.

In Russia, all men are required to undergo military service for one year or serve in an administrative position for three years.

Those who cannot serve for medical reasons or who study in a university past the age of 28 are excluded from serving, though many simply ignore their military obligations or avoid service by living abroad.

The bill is currently planned to be introduced in the fall session, the committee told Izvestia.

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