war crimes in Ukraine

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Results of the monitoring of the quality of spring recruiting campaign-2003

Maya Kriukova, Kharkov
The quality of the recruiting campaigns did not improve: 80% of young soldiers from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast are not ready for army service.

The Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers continues the monitoring of the quality of recruits mobilized from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast. We sent 51 letters to the military units, where the recruits had been directed. 5 letters were returned because of the incorrect addresses. We received 22 responses, which makes 43.14% of the total number of the sent letters. The commanders of the military units rendered us the data about 516 servicemen.

The commanders of 7 military units responded that they had no claims to the quality of recruits. Unfortunately, there are problems in 15 units, where 483 servicemen from Kharkov are serving (93.6% of the total number).

As many as 2081 recruits from the Kharkov oblast were enlisted to the armed forces during the spring campaign-2003. According to the data given by the commanders of military units, 8 servicemen (2.07%) were dismissed from the army during the first six months of the service. At that all 8 soldiers were dismissed almost at once after their arrival to the units. In all these cases it was the guilt of the medical commissions of district and oblast military commissariats. We have the impression that the doctors did not examine these youths al all. This assumption is confirmed also by the number of the diseased during the first month – 86 persons, which makes 17.8% of the total number (483 servicemen). In one military unit, where 136 soldiers from the Kharkov oblast served, the number of the diseased was 14, three of them concealed their disease, and one was dismissed because of the state of his health. So, 11.3% of the recruits, who had been sent to this unit from the Kharkov oblast, appeared to be not-able-bodied. In the opinion of the commander of one of the military units, “the proportion of young soldiers, who are not ready for army service, is 80% (!) of the total number of the youths, which were enlisted during the spring recruiting campaign-2003… This fact evidences about the extremely law quality of psychological and medical examination of recruits in military commissariats of Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast, the careless work of the staff of military commissariats, who do not pass to representatives of military units the complete set of the necessary documents and data about the recruits (whether they have criminal records, are registered in drug dispensaries, psychiatric dispensaries, etc.)”.

The commander of another unit (in which 3 new soldiers out of 20 were recognized as completely unready for military service) points out: “50% of the youths sent to our unit by the military commissariats have the education not more than 9 grades and have no civil profession”. The existence of the recruits, who concealed their diseases, is also rather disturbing. The wish to serve in the armed forces in Ukraine is, of course, worthy of respect. Yet, it seems strange, when a soldier, who even had no time to swear an oath, gets to hospital. According to Order No. 2 of 4 January 1994, Articles 90 and 91 all recruits must undergo the medical examination, which should discover any health disorders. Is it possible to “conceal” a disease, especially a chronic one? We believe that it could happen only if the doctors did not study the medical card of an ill youth at all and did not examine him. Yet, for what the medical commissions exist then?

More than once we put the question about the quality of work of the recruiting medical commissions. The treatment of soldiers in military hospitals is much more expensive than their examination and treatment in civil medical establishments. Yet, it seems that everybody is satisfied with this situation. Ill youths are recruited to the army, and the army wastes a good deal of money for their treatment instead of spending this money for the military training of soldiers…

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