Doctors Detained for Helping Conscripts Avoid Service

A group of doctors has been detained in the Kirov region on suspicion of running an under-the-counter business of issuing false medical notes that allowed young men to avoid military conscription, regional police said Wednesday.

The doctors are accused of taking bribes from the parents of around 1,000 conscripts in return for writing false medical-exemption certificates since 2005, police said in a statement.

“We’re talking about millions of rubles' worth of bribes and hundreds of young men who dodged conscription for false medical reasons,” an unidentified police official told Interfax.

Police said doctors of all levels within the Kirov region’s health-care system were implicated, and bribes were extorted by various organizations, including some connected to the military.

Police did not say how many doctors have been detained. But they face charges of “bribery by an organized group,” which carries a maximum punishment of 12 years in prison and a three-year ban from practicing medicine after their release.

Paying money for medical slips is a common way for many young men to avoid their one year of compulsory military service.

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