Belarusian military lack young cannon fodder so much that they decided to lower medical standards for conscripts. Interestingly, for general consumption, it is fed as good news: allegedly, now those who wanted to serve in the army but were not considered to be fit enough will be able to join it.
We might say, that the Belarusian Ministry of Defense has got what it desired. As the Deputy Chief of Medical Unit of the Main Military Medical Clinical Centre of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Sviatlana Kashura, has recently communicated, now the Ministry of Defense together with the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Belarus are carrying out works on adjusting health requirements for people enlisted for military service. It applies to all categories of servicemen: contractors, conscripts and reservists.
Interestingly, the military body is trying to make it look like they are doing that to meet the desire of young people who want to serve in the army. According to Sviatlana Kashura, she «receives a large number of petitions from citizens who consider that the health demands are too high, they do not allow young people make their dreams to become a serviceman true. Besides that, the current legislation has different approaches to those entering military higher educational establishments and those who serve under the contract. Peculiarities and approaches for determination of health condition do not take into consideration new models of military equipment in the army and changes in the form of combat actions.»
It sounds nice, but people who know the situation will only smile sarcastically. For years, if not decades, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense has complained of insufficient number of conscripts. It is connected to the demographic crisis in Belarus: in the last 20 years the population size has been shrinking; at the same time, the population is aging, as the number of young people is decreasing much faster than the population of the country in general.
Vice versa, the number of various enforcement structures in Belarus is constantly growing: it’s characteristic of every dictatorship to grow the number of people in uniform. At the same time, the Belarusian youth is not burning with desire to serve in the army. As they approach the conscription age, young people are keen to leave the country or to find a good reason to avoid military service. All that results in the chronic shortfall in military units.
However, the Deputy Chief of Medical Unit of the Main Military Medical Clinical Centre of the Armed Forces insists on her version while talking to journalists. In particular, she says: «There is a certain list of diseases that did not allow a young man to fulfill his military duty in the 90s, when the armed forces had different military equipment. With the development of high technology, a young man with such diseases can successfully perform duties of an air defense system operator or be a satellite telecommunications system operator. Also, young men who are slightly overweight but in good physical shape and have a lot of muscle mass, cannot implement their dream although they would love to. In most cases, it does not impede them from achieving high results in sports, especially in strength sports».
It’s a standard practice of the Belarusian regime to present its unpopular and even destructive actions as a response to a «grassroots initiative». Previously, the decisions that the regime in general or Aliaksandr Lukashenka personally needed were lobbied through by specially organized «letters of veterans» or «requests of work collectives». Now, not very healthy young men allegedly feel the urge to go to the army. Also, they want to do that precisely when a threat of a big war is hanging over the country.
The whole situation, described here, is very dangerous for a whole generation of Belarusians. In peaceful time, a conscription to the army for those who previously were considered unfit for duty would be just a big nuisance and time of life lost in vain. It’s very unpleasant, but it’s not deadly. Nevertheless, now, Vladimir Putin and Aliaksandr Lukashenka are doing their best to drag Belarus into the war that has been conducted by Russia against Ukraine for almost a year now.
Accordingly, the present generation of young Belarusians can become the first among the last 4-5 generations to be actually thrown into the bloody meat grinder of the war. If it happens, the young soldiers with physical disabilities, with chronic illnesses, will be the first to die. Actually, when the country is one step away from the war, their conscription is a crime, because such young men are deliberately condemned to death.
In reality, everything is even worse. When military units are staffed with physically weak people, incapable to endure extreme stresses, it endangers the whole unit in a combat situation. That is, completely healthy young soldiers will die because their fellow soldiers are not physically fit enough.
Therefore, the decision of the Belarusian regime to lower the threshold of health requirements of conscripts is a double crime.