In Belarus the autumn conscription into the Armed Forces has started, which applies to the active service and the reserve. On 4 July 2022, Aliaksandr Lukashenka signed the Ordinance № 227 “About military discharge and call-up for fixed-term military service, service in the reserves”.
The document envisages conscription into the active military duty and service in the reserve of Belarusian male citizens aged from 18 to 27 on the draft day, which have no right to deferment of military service or have lost such a right. The conscription started in August and is going to last till November, 2022. The term of service in the Belarusian army remains the same, which is 18 months for conscripts with no higher education and 6 months for the graduates of higher educational institutions with military departments. The only people able to avoid the conscription will be the students of agricultural higher educational institutions (Lukashenka is a graduate of one of them), very sick people, people having three or more kids or closely related to a perished enforcer.
Everything looks like it has always been. However, amid the war in Ukraine, we observe some worrying peculiarities of the autumn conscription.
For example, usually the autumn conscription in Belarus starts in September (when the state battle for the harvest is finished), but this year it has started in summer.
There’s something the Ordinance is not telling. Instead, the local executive committees are telling that by means of regulatory acts, which actually announce the enumeration of the recrutable population of Belarus: not only conscripts who have received the so-called “personal” draft notices must appear at the enlistment offices, but all the male population aged from 18 to 65 are invited there under various pretexts (allegedly for “document verification”) (See Item 11: citizens (over 18 years old), who have not received personal draft notices for draft activities, should arrive to the military commissariat to pass the activities of the draft in the period from August to November 30, 2022, carrying a personal identification document).
It is interesting, that they recruit contract soldiers right among the conscripts, although in the past it was possible to hire as a contract soldier or sergeant only a person with a military speciality and from the reserve.
In other words, today one can become a contractor in the Belarusian army without prior active military service.
It is a huge hint that such contractors are supposed to be disposable, and that the current conscription has a particular objective which is the war in Ukraine. It is forbidden to send regular conscripts to “special operations” in foreign countries, but it is allowed to send contractors there.
It looks like not by chance there was created the “group of organization of selection to military service under the contract” with the aim “to increase the staffing of soldier and sergeant positions serving under the contract, and also to increase the prestige of the military service.” There has never been such a group within the structure of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus before, it is a new invention.
It is planned to draft 2000 conscripts from Minsk region, and about 10 thousand conscripts from all the regions of Belarus in general. The numbers are approximately the same.