Kerch draft board faces recruitment difficulties – Borozdin

December 4, 2019

Kerch’s military draft board in the occupied Crimea faces recruitment difficulties, since at the moment out of 1891 people only 1535 were notified, and the remaining 296 people were called draft evaders. This was announced by the head of the occupation authorities of the city Serhiy Borozdin via his Facebook page.

“At the military draft board in Kerch we are forced to admit that we have recently experienced difficulties in recruitment, since young people who are fit for military service are actively avoiding conscription. Currently, out of 1891 people only 1535 were notified. The remaining 296 people are evading the draft. Considering the city’s draft resource, such figures are unacceptable”,- the report informed.

Borozdin believes that one of the problems is the long-term duration of conscripts to undergo a medical examination in the city’s medical institutions: “Many Kerch residents simply do not have time to call, and some deliberately delay the process. I remind you that draft evasion without legal grounds  may be punishable by a fine, forced labor or arrest, and even imprisonment for up to 2 years”.

We remind you that the OHCHR also noted that Russia, as an occupying power, must abide by international humanitarian law, which prohibits coercion of Crimean residents to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. Any pressure or propaganda of voluntary entry into the army is prohibited.

Representatives of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center have repeatedly noted at international sites that the legal status of Crimeans is regulated by the IV Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations, namely, article 51, which states that an occupying power cannot force Crimeans to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. Any pressure or propaganda in favor of voluntary entry into the army is prohibited. In addition, the UN Resolution on Crimea calls on Russia to stop “the practice of forcing Crimeans to serve in the armed or auxiliary forces of the Russian Federation, including through pressure or propaganda”.