According to ITAR-TASS, Main Military Prosecutor Sergey Fridinskiy today warned colleagues at an inter-governmental meeting on military-patriotic indoctrination that anti-drug measures among minors are not having the intended effect, and:
“Based on last year’s results, the growth of crime connected with illegal trade in narcotic and dangerous substances in the troops (of all power structures) exceeded 70 percent.”
For his part, Deputy Defense Minister, State Secretary Nikolay Pankov agreed that drug-addicted youth pose a threat not just to the army, but the whole country. He added:
“The ‘drug addiction’ diagnosis is becoming customary for draft commissions.”
And as if on cue, today from a Ural region draftee assembly point in Yegorshino came the story of 100 young men who arrived recently high on marijuana in hopes of being deferred from conscript service for dependence on narcotics.
The voyenkomat reported nothing like 100 guys showing up before the draft board in a state of ‘narcotic intoxication’ has previously happened.
A voyenkomat representative said:
“There’s never been such a thing, we are sure this is a particular feature of the current draft. The young guys intentionally used narcotics in order not to end up in the army.”
According to Newsru.com, a State Narcotics Control officer for Sverdlovsk Oblast is investigating the ‘stoners’ who came from Nizhniy Tagil, Yekaterinburg, and Pervouralsk. The voyenkomat said these men would be returned to their towns for additional medical observation and rehabilitation.
ITAR-TASS reported more of Pankov’s comments on a different subject. He said:
“In Russia, nearly 150 extremist youth groups are active, the participants in them live mainly in big cities.”
Pankov didn’t rule out that young extremists could spread from large cities to small towns and lightly populated areas, saying:
“This is highly probable. All this comes into military collectives and leads to the growth of nonregulation relations, so-called ‘dedovshchina.'”
This is just one reason the army’s always preferred country boys from the ‘sticks’ rather than city guys.
The topics of drugs and nationalism in the army, if not taboo outright, have been little discussed. Some honest talk about these problems might be the first step in solving them.