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14.12.2003 | Inna Sukhorukova, Kharkov

Not-able-bodied youths are still enlisted to the army

   

Recently the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers obtained the letter from the Zhytomir oblast from serviceman K., a Kharkovite. The boy wrote that he had been mobilized by the Kominternovskiy recruiting committee being ill with enuresis. It is obvious from the letter that the boy’s service turned into hell because of his disease. It should be noted that the military unit commander did not wait until a tragedy occurs, as it often happens in our practice. He sent the ill youth, who was maltreated by other servicemen, to a hospital. Yet, unfortunately, the work of the military doctors was not irreproachable. Maybe, they forgot how to diagnose enuresis in a hospital and that enuresis is not a disease at all, but a symptom of a psycho-neurological or urological disease. The boy was not demobilized as not-able-bodied, he was returned to his military unit. The doctors required to present the medical certificates from Kharkov medical establishments, where the boy had been treated before. In spite of the fact that the commanders kept an eye on the young soldier, other servicemen continued to taunt him. It is common in youth collectives, when the attitude to such boys is scornful and aggressive. The boy was not beaten, but his fellows did not regard him as a human being.

When we began to collect the needed medical documents for this boy, we came across the unexpected difficulties. The matter is that both juvenile doctors and the medical commission of the Kominternovskiy district recruiting committee had to know about K.’s disease, since the boy studied at special boarding school No. 11 (Kharkov) for children with psycho-neurological disorders up to the 9thgrade, he was also treated in the 5thpsycho-neurological hospital for children and minors.

Here is a simple question: where are all K.’s medical documents -- excerpts from the medical case, doctors’ recommendations and so on? No, we do not want to justify the psychiatrist and neuropathologist of the district recruiting committee. Their duty is to examine recruits and to recognize the ill ones. Yet, the system of the juvenile medical service did not work properly too. Children are kept in the boarding school up to the 9thgrade, and then they are transferred to the professional educational establishments. The administration of the boarding school informed us that all documents are given to the graduates or their parents, so neither the juvenile medical service nor district recruiting committee can obtain these documents from the school. There are several such schools in our oblast, thus, we have a number of young men, who may not be enlisted to the army, but the information about them exists separately from the juvenile service and recruiting committees. Besides, the district committee is not responsible for recruiting K., since he was acknowledged not-able-bodied after the expiration of the term of the responsibility of the committee (as it is known, district recruiting committees are responsible for recruiting the diseased only for half a year after the mobilization). The Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers sent an information request to the oblast recruiting committee concerning the number of not-able-bodied recruits. The answer read that during 2002 only three unhealthy youths were mobilized to the army. It is clear that such a small number may be explained only by the above-described peculiarities. K. was not included to this list, as well as other servicemen, who were acknowledged unfit for military service in the same manner, that is slowly and carelessly.

So it is not surprising that the results of the monitoring annually conducted by the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers do not correspond the data of the oblast recruiting committee. It happens very often, when a youth stays in hospital for several times, months are passing, and nobody is responsible for his recruiting.

Besides, when we receive the information from the commanders of military units, we see that the boys, who were discharged in the first months of their service, are frequently not included in the reports of the recruiting commission too. And this fact contradicts to the rules.

The mobilization of the unhealthy youths reached the enormous level. For instance, the commandment of one of the units of the Kharkov oblast had to convoke their own medical commission and to re-examine all recruits that were sent to the unit. The commander of another unit informed us that 75% of the young Kharkovites directed to his unit are ineligible for military service. He sent the complete data on these recruits, list of their names, their diseases, etc. Yet, where are such data stored officially, and who processes these data?

Thus, we must draw a depressing conclusion: one of the reasons of recruiting the ill youths is the absolute anarchy in the information exchange between military units and recruiting committees, the official passivity on all levels. It is necessary to arrange as soon as possible the system of informing the district recruiting committees and the system of storing the information about the ill children, who learn in special schools, in oblast recruiting committees. The data must be collected by the oblast committees about the recruits, who were discharged from the army because of the diseases not connected with the service. And it would be rather well to learn, where the data about those, who were discharged in the first months of their service, disappear?

The transparent information system is a way to improve the quality of recruiting campaigns. And on the contrary, the chaos in the information exchange between the juvenile medical service, recruiting committees and army is the main reason of recruiting the not-able-bodied boys...

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