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Russian Defence Ministry bemoans poor health of conscripts
Interfax-AVN military news agency

Moscow, 10 January: The Russian Defence Ministry is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the health and other characteristics of draftees. The number of pre-enlistment-age young men on the alcohol and drug addiction lists of local doctors has increased by 600 per cent in the past seven years, a source in the Russian Defence Ministry told Interfax-Military News Agency today.

According to the source, the number of those registered with the police for hooliganism has increased by 150 per cent, while the number of young men who neither went to school nor had a job prior to enlistment has trebled, the source said. He added that in the past years, the number of HIV-infected persons among military servicemen, most of them conscripts, had considerably increased. The source attributed the poor quality of draftees to the recent general health deterioration of the Russian population.

"Today's mortality in Russia is 100-300 per cent higher than in developed countries. In the past years, mortality in the age stratum of 20 to 40 years has almost doubled," the source said. "It is socially induced diseases, alcohol and drug addiction, tuberculosis, AIDS, etc, that have become a serious problem for society," he emphasized.

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