PERM, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – Fourteen medical doctors will stand trial on bribery and abuse-of-office charges for helping dozens of young Russian men evade mandatory military service by diagnosing them with stomach ulcers, investigators said Monday.
The doctors, who face 12 years behind bars, received a combined 550,000 rubles ($17,000) from 38 would-be draftees in Russia’s Ural Mountain region from 2005 through 2010, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
All 38 of the potential conscripts have been prosecuted for draft-dodging, the statement said, adding that more than 80 witnesses have been questioned. It was not immediately clear when the doctors’ court hearings were to begin.
An estimated 244,000 draft-age Russians (18 to 27) evaded military service last year, the General Staff said in March. A year of military service is compulsory for all able-bodied Russian men.
Many young men use falsified medical documents or claim they are continuing their education to avoid conscription.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.