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Russian Draft Dodgers Banned From Public Sector Jobs for 10 Years

Defense Ministry

Draft dodgers will be barred from working in the public sector for at least 10 years after they fail to join the Army, according to an amendment published on the government's legal portal on Thursday.

An earlier version of the law passed in 2013 imposed a lifetime ban on draft dodgers.

Following an appeal by parliamentarians in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, however, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled the measure unlawful in October 2014, demanding a limit to the ban. 

In its amended form, the law requires military commissariats to inform state bodies of those who dodge conscription and obliges them to discharge the respective employees within 10 days. 

In 2016, the number of people who failed to enlist for their year of mandatory service shrank by 8 percent to 90,000 compared to the previous year, according to Defense Ministry statistics, cited by the Interfax news agency. 

In theory, draft dodgers can also be punished with a prison sentence of up to two years.  Most Russians, however, avoid such punishment by using personal connections or paying bribes to acquire medical certificates which state they are unequipped to serve.

During a live broadcast with children earlier this month, Putin said he had a “negative” attitude towards those who dodged the draft.

"Even though there is hazing in the army, every man must contribute to the country’s defense,” he said.

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