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Russian Websites Banned for Advice on Dodging Military Draft

A Moscow court has ruled to ban four websites for providing information on how to avoid compulsory military service, the TASS news agency reported Wednesday.

“The decision was taken to ban the spread of information online which both encourages and promotes means of evading military service,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on its website.

The court said that the sites contained information evading the draft and on companies which could help “customers” obtain an exemption from service. The sites also encouraged “negative attitudes” towards members of the draft commission,” the statement said.

Military service of one year is mandatory in Russia for men aged 18 to 27 with several exceptions. Cases of evading the draft are widespread, with some estimates claiming that up to half of those eligible do not serve.

Some recruits paying bribes for doctor’s notes on non-existing illnesses, while many academically gifted young men opt for further university study, deferring military service until they are over the call-up age.   

In February, TASS reported that recorded cases of attempts to evade military service in Moscow had dropped 45 percent in two and a half years.

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