Belarusian army is craving for rookies. Usually, it happens when the country is already at war, or is preparing for war. It is in such periods when the Ministry of Defense does not have strict demands to the physical characteristics of rookies. They are sent to death anyways…
«When the state wants to send you to death it calls itself motherland», an old apothegm which, unfortunately, remains relevant today. Countries with authoritarian or dictator regimes always give a particular role to the army, and that army is always draft-based. Just because, every dictator aspires to place under arms the greatest possible number of people. As any bureaucratic structure, the armed forces have a tendency to expand.
During peaceful times and more or less bearable life in the country, the desire of servicemen to expand the army is rigidly limited by two things: the defense budget and medical criteria (they allow to draft only the healthiest young people to compulsory military service). Such limitations also existed in Belarus once. However, after the events of the 2020, the power structures of Belarus get as much money as they want.
The only issue they had to «resolve» was conscripts’ health. Too many young people were turning out to be unfit for troop duties. Nevertheless, it is too long and costly to take systemic steps and improve the health of the Belarusian youth. Instead, the Belarusian military bodies started escalating hysteria like «NATO is at the gate, we must defend motherland, all under arms!».
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine added more drama: it became obvious that the Kremlin is seriously planning to drag Belarus into this war, and a lot of Belarusian generals are not against. Why not? It is not them who will go under Ukrainian shells.
So, the military lobby got what it wanted: on February 4, 2023, a joint resolution of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Health was published and immediately entered into force, making amendments in the instruction of determining requirements to the state of health of citizens subject to military duty.
What has changed? A lot. For example, now, young people with obesity of the second degree and body mass index 37 kg/m² are recognized as fit for compulsory military service. Before that, they received an NGM status (unfit for military service in peace time, partially fit for military service in war time). Besides that, now, young men weighing over 100 kg are found unfit for military service in special operation forces of the Armed Forces (current name for former Belarusian landing troops). Before, the limit was 90 kg. Can you imagine a paratrooper weighing a centner?
Demands to the eyesight of conscripts have also been made «more democratic»: now young men with myopia of any eye in one of the meridians from 6.0 to 8.0 diopters are found fit for compulsory military service. The same thing about other illnesses: now people with hemorrhoids without prolapse of nodes, with mild form of bronchial asthma (or without attacks for over 5 years), with some forms of platypodia or foot deformity are also found fit for military service. As are conscripts with diseases of the endocrine system, eating disorders, diseases of the nervous system and heart, skin diseases, spinal diseases.
When you deal with the Belarusian state, you should always assume the worst. Generals are working to get as much «cannon fodder» in the army as they can, obviously out of assumption that the Armed Forces of Belarus are going to suffer huge losses. That can only happen in one case: if Belarus joins Russia in its war against Ukraine. If that’s the case, then huge losses are inevitable. Just look at the numbers of Russian losses in this war: 130000 people killed only! Together with the wounded and the POWs the number easily amounts to half a million. Russians themselves admit that they have already lost half of their paratroopers, over a half of their special forces, two thirds of their tanks…
At the same time, the Ukrainians are determined to fight and they get more and more modern weapons from the world coalition. So, the fate of Belarusian soldiers in case they are thrown into that war is going to be unenviable.
At the front, the Russians try to fight by the quantity of the manpower, they throw convicts and newly mobilized people, without proper training, right into the fight. In the result, the death rate among them tends to 100%. Judging by how the Belarusian Ministry of Defense lowered medical demands to the conscripts, it’s obvious that it performs one task on the orders of the Kremlin: to collect a huge amount of «cannon fodder» to slaughter.