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Russian prosecutor highlights violations of servicemen's social rights

Moscow, 28 April: During the period of last year, the military prosecutor's office revealed more than 73,000 violations of the social rights of servicemen and former servicemen discharged from the armed forces, according to a report by Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General and Chief Military Prosecutor Sergey Fridinskiy.

According to the report, which has been passed to the Federation Council committee on legal and judicial matters, the most widespread irregularities are in the sphere of housing provision and welfare support.

The Prosecutor-General's Office has responded to all the violations and, according to the report, during checks the rights of more than 23,000 citizens, which had been violated, were restored. Also, last year military courts considered 40,300 lawsuits filed by servicemen to do with the protection of their rights, and three-quarters of them were satisfied.

The report attaches particular attention to problems to do with housing provision for servicemen - the number of people in the Defence Ministry structure who need housing exceeds 129,000 people.

The Prosecutor-General's Office urges legislators at the federal level to adjust the norms of federal legislation that apply to the of servicemen to move into residential property that belongs to the municipal housing fund after the property is vacated (by previous residents).

According to the deputy prosecutor-general, after the adoption of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation and the law on the monetization of benefits, the implementation of the clauses of the law on the status of servicemen became problematic. "Contradictions in legislative norms lead to conflicts between the command of military units, local government and servicemen, so the process of agreeing a bill on the introduction of relevant amendments to housing legislation, which has already been drafted, needs to be speeded up," Fridinskiy said.

Among outstanding matters, the deputy prosecutor-general named the problem of the resettlement of citizens discharged from the armed forces from remote places and closed administrative-territorial entities.

According to Fridinskiy, in 26 closed administrative-territorial entities, in which the Defence Ministry is the main employer, a total of 413,000 people currently live, 6,000 of whom are in Murmansk Region. At the same time, the funds allocated to the resettlement of servicemen do not make it possible to fully resolve the problem.

"As a result, only 700-800 families a year are resettled from closed administrative-territorial entities and in one year the same number of citizens join the queue for resettlement," the report says.

The Prosecutor-General's Office drew legislators' attention to the need to improve the servicemen's remuneration system and pension provision for citizens discharged from the armed forces.

According to Fridinskiy, "the salary of a regiment commander is comparable to the salary of a cleaner on the Moscow underground, which is nonsensical".