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Alternative service in Belarus: basic principles

Thirteen people started the alternative service in Belarus. The relevant law came into force in July 2016. It gives recruits whose religious beliefs do not allow taking an oath the right to replace military service by public works.

Vadim is one of those recruits who have decided that military service is not suitable for them. The main reason of that was the alternative service law, which came into force in July 2016.

It reads if the beliefs and faith of a person don’t allow the future soldier to take an oath, to carry and use weapons, he can apply for becoming an alternative servant.

Vadim Fomin:
It was necessary to provide a certificate from the church and file an application.

Vadim arrived from Brest at Logoisk for public works. He needs to do wiper’s work from seven to four, six days a week. And if he is late, there will be problems.

Vadim Fomin:
I feel myself freer with a shovel and a broom than in the uniform and within the four walls in the army. According to the documents, salary is promised to be 260 rubles.

His mother supported the idea. Despite the fact that he will have to work for three years, service for people with secondary education (Vadim has it) takes a year and a half.

Larisa Fomina:
I think if there are people with their own convictions, who want to serve different, let them serve like they want.

Vadim’s case is not unique and Management of Labor, Employment and Social Security was responsible for his employment. And those recruits are provided a whole list of places.

Maxim Zhitenev, deputy chief of labor, employment and social security of the Brest City Executive Committee:
This recruitment office, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security refer the alternative servants to the enterprise that will employ them.

Vadim admits he hasn’t yet realized the decision. He is looking forward to his responsibility and hard work. He will have a 10-day leave in a year during the alternative service. And if he proves himself to be good, he can have a couple of additional days.

Alternative service in Belarus: basic principles