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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Latest on Kozlovsky

The black & white placard states: "Free Oleg Kozlovsky!"
Oborona is distributing them throughout Moscow.

Oborona reports that a group of opposition figures have drafted a letter to the Russian Prosecutor General demanding the release of Oleg Kozlovsky from compulsory military service (this post is based on LR staff translation from Oborona's website, it is not provided by our professional translators; corrections appreciated, especially anyone who can give us a medically accurate translation of the diagnosis specified in Russian!).

The text of the letter is as follows:

RE: Immediate Release of Oleg Kozlovsky

DATE: December 20, 2007

Recently the Izmaylovsky Military Commissariat in the city of Moscow carried out an involuntary military recruitment to the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of a citizen of the Russian Federation named Oleg Yuryevich Kozlovsky .

According to the parents Mr. Kozlovsky, from the age of 14 he has been afflicted with a serious varicose vein problems which, with confirmation of the diagnosis, in accordance with the Regulations on the examination conscript recruits as approved by decree of the government of the Russian Federation dated 25 February 2003, 123, is a basis for disqualification from military service.

Accordingly,, we have reason to believe that the conscription procedure was carried out in violation of the laws and the Constitution of the Russian Federation, including:

1) Clause 2 of Article 29 of Federal Law 53-FZ "On Military Duty and Military Service" regarding the activity of military commissions evaluating fitness for military service based on the results of medical examinations;

2)Paragraphs 6-7 of Article 28 of Federal Law 53-FZ "On Military Duty and Military Service" regarding the production by the Military Commissioner of copies of decisions of military commissions at the request of a citizen and a citizen's opportunity to appeal such a decision, which is also guaranteed paragraphs 1-2 of Article 46 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, but was not afforded to Mr. Kozlovsky.

We certain that the induction of Mr. Kozlovsky was politically motivated, and believe that it was implemented in a manner designed to silence the leader of a leading opposition organization and, as such, represents a further escalation of repression against the opposition.

We demand:

1) The immediate suspension of Mr. Kozlovsky's service in the army and an immediate medical examination to determine his fitness for service;

2) The opportunity for Mr. Kozlovsky and his parents to appeal the decision of the military commission in court should the necessity arise;

3) The investigation identification of those responsible for violations of the Russian laws in implementing military recruitment;

4) In accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 7 of Federal Law 53-FZ "On Military Duty and Military Service", the punishment of all those found responsible for violations of the existing legislation and the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The signatories are:
  • Andrei Khachaturov, Federation Council member
  • Alexei Novoselov, Yabloko youth party chairman
  • Maria Dronova, Chairman Yabloko Sverdlovsk Office
  • Lyudmila Alexeyeva, President of the Moscow Helsinki Group
  • Maria Gaidar, coordinator of the youth movement "Yes!"
  • Garry Kasparov, chairman of the Joint Civil Front and "Other Russia"
  • Mikhail Kasyanov, presidential candidate
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova, Chairman of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers
  • Eduard Limonov, political activist
  • Julia Malysheva, President People's Democratic Youth Union
  • Alexander Podrabinek, journalist;
  • Lev Ponomarev, executive director For Human Rights
  • Ilya Yashin, co-chair of the faction Youth Young Democrats-Yabloko
Oborona also publishes a letter to the same authorities from Kozlovsky's mother Marina:

December 20, 2007

My son Oleg Yurevich Kozlovsky, born 1984, was conscripted into military service. Without referring to the numerous procedural irregularities which are subject to appeal I would like to draw attention to the manner in which my son's medical condition was evaluated.

Oleg has suffered from varicose vein disease since 1998. Since then, he has been under the supervision of specialists. [Here she sets for the technical medical terms for his condition: "Гемодинамически значимый синдром, функциональный стеноз. Функциональная недостаточность клапанного аппарата поверхностных и глубоких вен во всех отделах обеих нижних конечностей. Снижение венозного оттока по глубоким и перфорантным венам в дистальном отделе правой голени."]

The diagnosis indicates not only superficial circulatory issues but also chronic blood circulation deficiencies in the deep veins making my son unequivocally unfit for military service. His medical charts and diagnoses were transferred to Dr. Fadeichevoy at the conscription collecting point. However, Dr. Fadeichevoy ignored this data and based his medical conclusions on visual examination only, declaring my son fit for military service. I do not understand how such a conclusion could be possible.

I demand an objective investigation of the obviously improper determinations of Dr. Fadeichievoy and the recall of my son from duty for a full examination by qualified medical specialists.

Showing that the opposition press and politicians still do have some clout in Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry has issued a formal response to the charges:

Response to claims regarding the alleged illegal detention and call for military service of citizen Oleg Yuryevich Kozlovsky

Between December 20th and 24th a number of media articles have been published about the alleged illegal detention and call for military service citizen Oleg Yuryevich Kozlovsky .

The Information and Public Relations Division of the Moscow Military District officially declares that Mr. Kozlowski was called up for military service in full compliance with existing standards and legislation. In the personnel actions of the military commissions there were no legal violations.

Unfortunately, rash and unsubstantiated statements have been made by journalists regarding "lost documents verifying reserve officer rank" and "ignoring medical data" and "inappropriate assignment for service." In fact, Mr. Kozlovsky's actions suggest that he intentionally violated the conscription statutes in order to avoid military service.

In the period between June 6, 2002 and July 30, 2006, Mr. Kozlovsky, in compliance with federal law, was exempted from military service in order to receive an undergraduate education at Moscow State University. He did, in fact, undergo military training while at the university, receiving the rank of reserve "lieutenant," but the sole purpose of that training was to avoid military service. His deferment ended in July 2006 and he failed to complete the necessary paperwork for an extension. Prior to his deferment, the Military Commission duly considered an application for disqualification based on medical disability and discounted it, finding him fit for military service.

The Information and Public Relations of Moscow Military District encourages journalists not to jump to conclusions or to pursue "hot" stories without proper basis in fact.

Oborona explains that the delay in processing Kozlovsy's subsequent deferral paperwork was a bureaucratic one involving deficiencies on the government side having nothing to do with Kozlovksy, and that the Military Commission does not have any qualified medical personnel to evaluate Kozlovsky's medical condition, which until now had been a moot point since he was serving as a reserve officer on educational deferment. It further points out that there is simply no basis to strip Kozlovsky of his officer's rank and induct him as a private even if it were somehow legal to draft him into active service, which is palpably isn't, and there is no doubt whatsoever that Kozlovsky was pursuing a legitimate graduate degree which is the basis for automatic deferment of service.

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