President Boris Yeltsin on October 6 signed the decree for Russia’s autumn conscription period — which runs from August through December. He set an induction goal of 188,400 conscripts, the lowest in many years. Of this total, 113,000 will serve in the armed forces proper. The remaining conscripts have traditionally been spread among as many as 17 other ministries and agencies. However, under a recent law on compulsory military service, draftees not going to the traditional services can serve only in the Federal Border Service, the Interior Ministry forces, the Railway Troops, or with the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI).
Lt. Gen. Vladislav Putilin, the Genera Staff officer in charge of mobilization, said yesterday that 19 percent of the eligible draft cohort would need to be inducted to reach the quota. This might be a difficult task given wide-ranging opportunities for draft deferments and the growing number of youths willing to dodge the draft.
Other figures mentioned by Putilin suggested that the armed forces will continue to shrink — perhaps faster than its leaders would like. He said that 140,000 conscripts will be released during this fall draft period and explained that the intake of 113,000 would be enough to man the armed forces at just over 80 percent of their authorized strength. Eighteen months ago that figure stood at 85 percent. (RIA-Novosti, October 9)
Incipient Detente Between Minsk and Moscow.