Preparation for the autumn conscription or new mobilization. How lawyers explain the multiple increase in penalties for failure to appear at the military draft office

The State Duma has prepared a package of amendments that will radically increase penalties for citizens who evade visits to military registration and conscription offices and service in the army.

According to the bill, which was approved by the Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation, the fine for failing to appear on the agenda without a valid agenda will be increased to 30,000. Now such a fine ranges from 500 to 3 thousand rubles.

In addition, the amendment introduces new penalties for employers. For legal entities, the fine for failure to ensure the appearance of hired workers subject to mobilization to the military registration and enlistment office will be up to 500 thousand rubles.

Military lawyer Maxim Grebenyuk explains that these amendments do not change the military registration procedure, but only increase the penalties for violations that existed before. “It turns out that if someone breaks the law, now they’re just going to pay a higher price,” he says. – The same applies to business: previously there were regulations that the employer was obliged to check whether his employee was registered with the military, and if he was not, to send him for registration. The difference is that now, if he does not carry out these activities, he can pay up to half a million rubles.“.

Grebenyuk suggests that if the amendments are passed and the authorities actually start rigorously enforcing them, it could encourage employers to start selecting people who are not subject to military service, such as women, when hiring.

Grigory Sverdlin, creator of the Go Through the Woods project, which helps Russians avoid mobilization, agrees: “I think now it will be harder for men of military age to find a job. Business is business, they reduce risk and of course no one wants to pay such huge fines.” Sverdlin notes that he is not sure whether employer penalties will be widely used, but rather an additional measure of intimidation. “And, of course, this is preparation for a new wave of mobilization and for the autumn conscription, which starts on October 1, he says. – All this so that in the future the Ministry of Defense will have no difficulty in summoning as many people as it needs. How much they still do not know depends on Ukraine’s successes at the front.” Grebenyuk adds that greater accountability will help military drafting offices “reach out” to more people, including those who could potentially be mobilized but, for example, military drafting offices were unaware of their whereabouts.

Valeria Vetoshkina, a lawyer from the First Department human rights organization, is convinced that the introduction of the amendment “is definitely part of the preparations for the autumn conscription, because the law will come into force on October 1, 2023, simultaneously with the conscription. Vetoshkina adds that, as far as it can be judged from the published documents, in the case of mobilization, and not conscription to the army, fines will apply to legal entities (i.e. employers). “The ball is now in the employer’s court – will he cooperate with the authorities or will he look for a way out”she says.

Yevgeny Smirnov, lawyer of the 1st Department of the Human Rights Organization, adds that since last year the authorities have started work on closing loopholes in the regulationsto avoid the call. “The fact that the annual draft calls, last year’s mobilization showed how little the state has legal tools to force men to join the armed forces. The “price” for avoiding mobilization [раньше] amounted to 3,000 rubles – the maximum penalty for not appearing on the agenda, he argues. “Thanks to the previous changes in the regulations governing conscription, the authorities have already de facto banned the evaders from earning money, introducing various prohibitions for them (deprivation of the right to drive a car, prohibition of registering an individual entrepreneur, prohibition of traveling abroad, etc.) and complete control (synchronization of the database of persons subject to mobilization with the databases of state authorities).” The new amendments continue this trend, says Smirnov, as a result of which it is increasingly difficult not to get into the army.


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