Col. Gen. Mikhail Klishin, who has headed the General Staff’s Main Organizational-Mobilization Directorate for the past three months, complained yesterday that some 37,000 young men dodged the latest draft call — the highest number in history. He compared this with 44,000 for the whole year of 1993 (there are two draft calls each year) and 443 in 1985, in Soviet times. Worse yet was the fact that those who did answer the call to colors were less healthy, less educated, and far less motivated then their predecessors. Klishin said that one in three draftees were unfit to serve for medical reasons compared with one in five 5 years ago and a mere 5 percent in 1985.
The government had hoped to induct 215,000 young men, with 65 percent to serve in the traditional armed forces and the rest spread around amid the myriad other government ministries and agencies that command troops. Klishin did not reveal if this goal had been met, but his report was not encouraging. He also admitted that the chances of making the semi-annual drafts "a festive occasion for all our lads" was slim indeed. (Reuter, January 15)
General Blamed for 1995 Fighter Crash in Vietnam.