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14.12.2003 | Maya Kriukova, Kharkov.

The report on the results of monitoring of the quality of the spring recruiting campaign of 2002.

   

The Kharkov Union of soldiers’ mothers (KhUSM) and the Kharkov working group of the International Society of Human Rights (ISHR) continue the monitoring of the quality of recruits mobilized from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast. Two months after the end of the spring recruiting campaign we sent 56 letters with questionnaires to the commanders of the military units, where recruits from Kharkov and the oblast had been directed. We received 34 responses, which makes about 60% of the total number of the sent questionnaires, so this is the sufficient quantity to consider the exploration representational. It should be noted that almost all answers were received in October, i.e. five months after the recruiting campaign.

As many as 2322 recruits from Kharkov and the Kharkov group were enlisted to the Armed Forces during the spring campaign. In the military units, from where we obtained information, 975 young soldiers are serving, which makes about 41.99% of the total number of the conscripted from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast.

Commanders of 12 military units responded that they had no claims to the quality of recruits. On the contrary: „ to compare with the Kyiv oblast, Kharkovites is much better“, „ military basic training is of better quality“, „ quality of recruits has significantly improved“ Yet, unfortunately, such favorable comments came only from 21.42% of the total number of military units and concern only 143 servicemen, that is 19.69% of the total number of recruits, about whom we have information. The responses of the commanders of other military units are presented in the table below:



975 persons were monitored

Quantity



Among them:

Absolute number

% of the total number of the monitored



1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service

85

8,71



2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service

49

5,02



3. Have deviations in behavior, have criminal records, used narcotic drugs

99

10,15



4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations

52

5,33



5. Were recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)

1

0,1



6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army

12

1,23



7. Declared their unwillingness to serve

17

1,74



8. Attempts of desertion

1

0,1



9. Suicidal attempts

-

-



10. Are essentially underweight

28

2,87



Yet, these data are too general.

The commander of a military unit, to which 249 Kharkovites were directed, gives such data:


249 persons were monitored

Quantity



Among them:

Absolute number

% of the total number of the monitored



1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service

18

7,22



2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service

14

5,62



3. à) have deviations in behavior

38

15,26



á) have criminal records

4

1,6



â) used narcotic drugs

10

0,4



4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations

5

2



5. Were recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)



6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army



7. Declared their unwillingness to serve

15

6,02



8. Attempts of desertion

1

0,4

The Moskovskiy district RC



9. Suicidal attempts



10. Are essentially underweight

23

9,23



In what follows we quote the conclusions of the commander:

„ the opinion of the commandment of the unit, 70-75 % of the recruits conscribed during the spring campaign-2002 are not ready for army service (by the state of their psychical and physical health)“

The analysis of the social-psychological monitoring of the young soldiers mobilized in spring-2002 confirms that, along with the problems observed after the previous campaigns (poor health and bad physical training), the new problem has appeared: military commissions enlist the youths with low level (by the system „“) or the 4thgroup (by the system „“) of the neuro-psychical stability and those, who are essentially underweight.

Thus, the considerable shortcomings are observed in the psychological and medical selection of the recruits in the military commissions of Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast (especially in the SAKHNOVSHCHINA, KUPIANSK, PERVOMAYSK, BALAKLEYA, VALKI, CHUGUEV, SHEVSHENKOVO districts of the oblast and ORDZHONIKIDZEVSKI, KYIVSKI, DZERZINSKI, MOSKOVSKI and ZHOVTNEVY districts of Kharkov), as well as the careless attitude to forming the commissions’ staff, who do not pass to representatives of military units the complete packages of the necessary documents and data about the recruits (whether they have military records, are registered in drug dispensaries, psychiatric dispensaries, etc.).

12 soldiers-Kharkovites enlisted during the spring campaign-2002 were dismissed from the same unit after the decision of military medical commissions. The letter was sent on 16 October 2002, so these boys served for five months only.

6 more servicemen were dismissed from other military units during the first five months of the service. These soldiers were mobilized by the following district commissions: Kyivskiy (1), Valki (1), Krasny Kut (2), Volchansk (1), Balakleya (1). One of the commanders commented this fact: „ work of medical commissions is unsatisfactory, since they conscribe the youths with such diseases“

All in all, 18 servicemen (1.84% of the total number of the monitored recruits -- 975 persons) were dismissed from May to October.

We permanently express the opinion that until the commanders would have the right to bring an action to court against the imperfect recruiting campaigns, it would be impossible to extirpate such shameless phenomena as recruiting the ill youths. It is almost beyond belief that the medical commissions will change their attitude to recruiting campaigns, that they will not suspect everybody in the wish to dodge the army service, but will investigate skillfully each complaint about health.

That is why we have such great number of the soldiers dismissed in the first six months of army service. In fact, this number is even greater, since there are some commanders, who send the servicemen to hospitals (sometimes more than once) and only then to the medical examination for dismissal. It takes much more time than six months, and the recruiting commissions (RC), unfortunately, are not already responsible for these servicemen. There were incidents, when soldiers spent up to 18 months in hospitals with short intervals. When they returned to the units, their health deteriorated again and they got to the hospital again.

This situation evidences of the imperfection of orders Nos. 2 and 207, which state that the youths with such diseases as, for instance, gastritis, are able-bodied for the army service. Army service results for such youths in the aggravation of their health and the urgent necessity of medical aid. When such young soldier returns to his unit, to physical and psychological loads, to the food unacceptable for the unhealthy organism, very soon he again gets to the hospital. In that way, the state money is wasted several times more than in the case if the youth was treated in a usual, not military, hospital. And everybody knows that the army lacks money

The cases are not rare, when youths return from the army being invalids, with the diseases that cannot be healed. Alas, nobody is responsible for this.

In what follows we present the Table comparing the recruiting campaigns of 2000, 2001 and 2002.
 

% of the total number of the monitored



Among them:

Spring 2000

Autumn 2000

Autumn 2001

Spring 2002



1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service

11,73

8,5

13,15

8,71



2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service

3,94

2,01

9,1

5,02



3. Have deviations in behavior, have criminal records, used narcotic drugs

1,58

5,05

1,82

10,15



4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations

5,52

5,57

3,25

5,33



5. Recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)
   

0,26

0,1



6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army

2,46

0,74

0,39

1,23



7. Declared their unwillingness to serve

0,49

0,22

0,52

1,74



8. Attempts of desertion

0,29

0,074

0,0

0,1



9. Suicidal attempts

0,1

0,074

0,13



10. Are essentially underweight

3,78

2,8

2,87



Our conclusions:

Analyzing the results of the monitoring of the recruiting campaigns of 2000-2002 we see that the quality of the campaigns remains low. The number of servicemen, who used narcotic drugs or have the deviations in behavior, substantially increased. In our opinion, this is the result of the imperfection of the programs used by the psychologists of the district medical commissions. Besides, there is a considerable difference between the programs used in recruiting commissions and in military units. Maybe, this is the reason of the disparity in the results.

The great quantity of the dismissed (in one unit – 12 out of 249 servicemen, in another – 4 out of 202, 2 out of 22 – in one more unit), recruiting of the youths with such diagnoses as „ flat-foot of the both feet with arthrosis“ (the Kharkov district RC) or „ dislocation of the temporal lower-jaw joint“ (the Kominternovski district RC) confirm the correctness of the conclusions of the commanders of military units about the unsatisfactory work of medical commissions of district or oblast RCs.

We think that the total situation is even worse, because we got no responses from some military units.

After each report on the results of monitoring of the quality of recruiting campaigns we turn with our propositions to the state administration of the oblast. Unfortunately, they are passive.

The city directorate of health protection is worried only by the lack of money, but nobody cares about what happens with our new-born children, about the fact that the youths are conscripted to the army, who are ill or insufficiently examined, that those recruits, who got the postponement because of the health state, are sometimes not treated at all. On the contrary, if a recruit needs some medical examination, they demand money from him, and frequently such recruits have not such money. The reason is that more often the ill youths are from the poor families, from the most vulnerable population layers. Yet, they form the majority of our Armed Forces. Maybe this is the reason why such tragedies as Sklyniv happen in our country

Irresponsibility, unwillingness to change anything, concealment of the real number of the dismissed instead of revelation and elimination of the shortcomings and misuses, protection of the esprit de corps – these are reasons that cause the situation we observe during the recent years.

Our propositions:

To demand from the Ministry of Defense:

à) to revise urgently orders Nos. 2 and 207 because of their incomplete conformity with the today’s state of health of youths, in particular, to include the article envisaging not-able-bodyness because of the aggregate of diseases. Nowadays such article is absent, and this results in the recruiting of the ill recruits, who must be treated during the whole term of army service.

b) to introduce the norm on the personal responsibility of the doctors of the districtal and oblast medical commissions for the enlistment of the ill and to render the right to the commanders of military units to bring such doctors to responsibility. No errors are admissible, when the affair concerns with health or life of people.
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