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Belarus proposes to conscript students, as USSR did during Afghanistan war

Tuesday, 11 April 2023, 00:44

Alexander Volfovich, Secretary of State of the Belarusian Security Council, proposed  on Monday (10 April)  to revive the practice of conscripting students to the army.

Source: Volfovich during a meeting with the heads of higher education establishments in Belarus, quoted by BelTA, state-owned national news agency of the Republic of Belarus

At the meeting, Volfovich asked the heads of universities to consider proposals "on how to teach students at military departments, and how they generally feel about students being drafted into the armed forces, as was the case in the Soviet Union".

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Volfovich made an attempt to justify this measure by saying that a student who has served in the army returns to study as a "mature" person, and "even the ladies will look at him differently".

"And he will reconsider about why he entered a higher education establishment in the first place. And the number of hours required for military papers can be reduced in the future," the official added.

In the USSR, student conscription lasted from 1982 to 1989, during the war in Afghanistan. This helped to solve the problem of manning the Soviet armed forces in the face of a shortage of conscripts.

Belarus, which has supported Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, has become increasingly militarised in recent months and has been conducting regular military exercises.

In addition, Russian tactical nuclear weapons are to be deployed in the country this summer, and Alexander Lukashenko, self-proclaimed President of Belarus, wants to receive guarantees from Moscow that in the event of aggression against Belarus, the Russian Federation will protect Belarus "like its own territory".

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