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Military Reform

The Duty to Serve and the Right to Choose: The Contested Nature of Alternative Civilian Service in the Russian Federation

Peter D. Waisberg


The drafting and passage of Russian legislation on alternative civilian service took almost nine years after it was constitutionally guaranteed.  The issue has been inextricable from sensitive debates over citizenship rights and duties, religious freedom, and military reform.  This article assesses the operation and meaning of alternative civilian service in the Russian Federation through an examination of the legislative drafting process, the debates on the various draft laws, and the provisions of the resulting legislation, finding that the passage of the most restrictive draft of the law resulted in large part from the relative strength of the military establishment among the stakeholders in the legislative bargaining process.

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1The drafting and passage of Russian legislation on alternative civilian service took almost nine years after it was constitutionally guaranteed.  The issue has been inextricable from sensitive debates over citizenship rights and duties, religious freedom, and military reform.  This article assesses the operation and meaning of alternative civilian service in the Russian Federation through an examination of the legislative drafting process, the debates on the various draft laws, and the provisions of the resulting legislation, finding that the passage of the most restrictive draft of the law resulted in large part from the relative strength of the military establishment among the stakeholders in the legislative bargaining process.

2The 2004 spring call up of conscripts for the Russian armed forces saw the first opportunity for conscientious objectors to claim their right to alternative civilian service under federal legislation.  While this right has been constitutionally guaranteed since 1993, a law elaborating its operation was only passed in July 2002, coming into force in 2004.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, alternative civilian service has been a particular contentions issue, inextricable from sensitive debates over citizenship rights and duties, religious freedom, and military reform.  It lies at a particularly telling junction, combining the obligation to serve one’s state, usually associated with republican citizenship and the ideal of the citizen soldier, with the recognition of an individual’s right to conscientious objection, stemming from ideas of freedom of conscience and religious toleration.  The conditions for the exercising of this right and the discharging of this duty cast a light on both the structure and character of a particular citizenship regime.  This article assesses the operation and meaning of alternative civilian service in the Russian Federation through an examination of the legislative drafting process, the debates on the various draft laws, and the provisions of the resulting legislation.

3 The Russian Federation constitution declares the right to alternative civilian service in Article 59, which states

41. Defense of the Fatherland shall be a duty and obligation of citizens of the Russian Federation.

52. A citizen shall carry out military service according to the federal law.

63. A citizen of the Russian Federation shall have the right to replace military service by alternative civilian service in case his convictions or religious belief contradict military service and also in other cases envisaged by the federal law.

7As with many provisions in the constitution the particulars of exercising this right, such as who qualifies as a conscientious objector, the length and nature of alternative civilian service, and where such service is to be performed, was to be elaborated in corresponding federal legislation.  

8 The process of drafting and passing this legislation took almost nine years, during which alternative service claimants were for the most part denied their constitutional right.  This delay was the result of a number of factors, some political and others merely practical or administrative.  During this period new laws were required in most areas and delays were experienced in many spheres as a result of the sheer number of legal acts that required passage.  The drafting process itself could be quite protracted.  In the case of alternative civilian service the military establishment constituted a powerful interest, which was well represented on the State Duma defense committee.  It was consistently opposed to the legislation and intent on both frustrating the drafting and passage of such legislation and made every effort to make any legislation that did see the light of day particularly difficult to use.  In large part these objections were framed in terms of national security and military preparedness, as the option of alternative civilian service would rob the armed forces of a valuable pool of conscript labour.  While there were non-governmental champions of alternative civilian service, namely Soldiers’ Mothers and the Antimilitarist Radical Association, they were able to exert little if any influence on the drafting process.  Finally, the antagonistic relationship between the State Duma and the executive branch and the institutional predisposition to legislative gridlock in the second republic under the Yeltsin presidency1served to retard the legislative process through partisan confrontation and the proliferation of nuisance legislative initiatives.

9 Under the Putin presidency the matter of alternative civilian service has been resolved in a relatively timely manner as part of the general effort to complete the foundation and edifice of the ‘dictatorship of law’ and as one of the first tentative steps towards military reform.  That said, it should be noted that the version of this legislation signed into law in July 25, 2002 was perhaps the more attractive to the military establishment, short of having no law at all.

10The debate over the alternative civilian service and the resulting institutions are significant for Russia’s emerging citizenship regime is for a multiplicity of reasons.  The course of the debate and the resulting legislation can tell us much about the relative strength of particular institutions and groups within civil society, as well as their ability to bargain effectively with the state over particular rights and duties.  Additionally, the study of marginal groups, such as conscientious objectors, can be effective in revealing the contours of complex structures and large scale changes, such as those occurring in the Russian Federation.  These issues also cut straight to the heart of several questions of social justice and the extent to which democratic principles are actual and substantive.  

11Drawing on the account of the origins of rights provided by Charles Tilly2, rights are here understood as historical products of struggle and resistance, grounded in the particular histories of particular places.  Tilly offers a useful definition of citizenship rights and convincing logic for theorizing their expansion and transformation in periods of transition. Citizenship rights are defined as enforceable claims made on the state or its agents, where the criteria for such claims is membership in the political community or those subject to its jurisdiction. These claims are the product of struggle on a national scale, emerging from bargaining between the state and organized individuals or groups of its population.  Historically, this bargaining began over state appropriation of the ‘means of war’, but later expanded both in the range of claims recognized and the extent of the population capable of making such claims.  

12 In this article I examine the development of the law on alternative civilian service, the debates surrounding the drafting of this legislation, the efforts of the military and civil society organizations to influence the terms of alternative service, including eligibility, duration, and place of service, and local municipal legislative innovations aimed at enabling conscientious objectors to both exercise their constitutional right and serve the state.  The contested nature of the meaning of this right and duty which developed over the course of the debate and in the final version of the law, as well as the perceived challenges to the federal order by local legislation, offer important insights into the ongoing construction of a Russian citizenship regime and the possible direction of military reform.

Some Theoretical Preliminaries: Compulsory Military Service, Conscientious Objection and the Institution of Alternative Civilian Service

13Compulsory military service and the ideal of the citizen-soldier have been closely associated with modern citizenship since the time of the French Revolution.  According to this reading, the duty of all male citizens to take up arms in the defense of the state is among the most fundamental.  Military training and service has been identified not only with the defense of the state but also with the formation and education of citizens.3

14However, these deep republican roots also engender a profound tension between this ideal of duty and equality and the fundamental liberty of citizens under free government.  The rise of conscription in a number of states in the eighteenth century brought about conscientious objection on the part religious groups, whose teachings forbid the use of violence.  Appeals by these groups to the fundamental right of freedom of conscience must be taken seriously by states with liberal core values.  As with other rights, claims for conscientious objection soon experienced a spillover effect, expanding beyond the traditional peace churches to other sects and religious individuals whose faiths do not require non-violence, and finally to those whose pacifism is secular, based on moral or philosophical grounds rather than religious ones.  Objection is necessarily resistance and a challenge to the authority of the state, but the acceptance of conscientious objection recognizes some resistance as legitimate.  

15 The conflict between the demands of states for universal, compulsory, male military service and the claims of individuals for exemption on the grounds of freedom of conscience may be mediated through the institution of alternative civilian service.4  Alternative civilian service simultaneously affirms the legitimacy of the state’s claim that citizens must serve and defend the state, while recognizing the rights of individual citizens to freedom of conscience.  However, this institutional compromise raises a number of practical questions, the determination of which reflects the character of the citizenship regime of a particular state.  

16Provisions for alternative service are necessarily restrictive, lest they open the floodgates to mass evasion of military duty.  States must find the correct institutional balance to allow for the exercise of particular guaranteed rights, while preserving the integrity and equality of conscription.  As demonstrated below, it is difficult to insulate the issues of conscientious objection from larger issues of military reform, as both sides of the debate use the limits of conscientious objection to promote their own vision of the relationship between citizen and state and the extent of the legitimate demands of the each on the other.  I argue that this instrumentalization of the institution of alternative civilian service may be unavoidable in the development of Russia’s citizenship regime and that the debate and its outcome provide the institutional framework for citizenship practice.

17There are a number of issues which must be resolved for the implementation of any regime of alternative civilian service.  The first concerns the nature of the conscientious objection itself.  Traditionally, conscientious objectors have been members of so-called peace churches, religious communities that preach non-violence and refuse to bear arms or serve in militaries as a matter of faith.  The state must make a determination of whether particular groups qualify as legitimate religious communities.

18A more recent phenomenon is the incidence of secular objection, where individuals claim to be pacifists for moral or political, rather than religious reasons.  This represents an expansion of the basis of legitimate objection from its traditional origins in the liberal recognition of freedom of conscience.  

19Secular objection has often been associated the phenomenon of selective objection, whereby an individual will refuse to participate in particular conflicts.  This became increasingly common in the American case during the Vietnam War and often draws upon a secularized theory of just war, whereby certain conflicts are deemed not to be a last resort or self-defense, and are therefore unjust and illegitimate.

20An additional consideration is the type of alternative service that is to be performed in place of military service.  Many conscientious objectors refuse all association with military organizations, including non-combative duties in military hospitals, supply depots, and the like.  

21Recognition of the right to conscientious objection and the utility and legitimacy of alternative civilian service requires the establishment of adjudication bodies and procedures for the determination of legitimate conscientious objectors, as well as institutions for the coordination and placement of labour resources with a mind to serving the public good.

22Margaret Levi has argued that there are two categories of conscientious objectors, absolutists and contingent objectors.  Absolutists, typically members of religious communities opposed to violence, will refuse military service under all conditions, even when the costs are extremely high.  Such costs might include social stigma, imprisonment, abuse, or even death.  Contingent objectors will refuse military service only if the costs are perceived to be lower than those associated with active combat duty.  Levi’s study correlated increased claims and performance of alternative civilian service in the second half of the twentieth century in France, the United States, and Australia with both the growth of religious communities opposed to the use of violence and a greater institutional acceptance of and opportunity for alternative service.5

Alternative Civilian Service in Russia

23 Alternative civilian service is not without precedent in Russian history, though its application was most restrictive.  The institution of conscription in 1874 was met with resistance and objection by various religious groups.  Given the subordination of the Orthodox Church to the state and its call for the defense of ‘faith, tsar, and fatherland’, this was necessarily sectarian objection.  These non-violent religious communities included Molokans, Dukhobors, Mennonites, Tolstoians, and Baptists.  Of these, only the Mennonites were successful in securing the right to alternative service, combining an historical claim with a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis the state. Upon their immigration to Russia, the Mennonites exacted a promise from Catherine II guaranteeing that they would never be asked to bear arms.  This claim was backed up by their connections with powerful elites, their considerable economic clout, and their credible threats to emigrate.  So powerful was their position that they were able to refuse an offer of non-combatant service in the armed forces, instead winning the privilege to serve in forestry units administered by fellow Mennonites.6

24 Conservative elements in the government regarded the pacifists as both shirkers of military duty and religious outlaws.  However, even after the legalization of alternative religions in 1904, persecutions continued, as greater emphasis was placed on the civic duty to perform military service.  Those who refused to serve were stripped of status and privileges, jailed and often tortured.  The outbreak of WWI only intensified the situation with a dramatic increase in the number of claimants for conscientious objectors.  Josh Sanborn has argued that there was additional suspicion of religious pacifists because the German heritage of a majority of the sects inspired charges of treason and the presumption of their acting as some type of fifth column. However, there was some support for the expansion of conscientious objection among liberal elites, both out of sympathy with the growing movement of Tolstoian pacifists and the more general liberal value of freedom of conscience.7

25 If the reaction of the state was divided, there was widespread suspicion and hostility towards conscientious objectors among the masses, who merely regarded them as shirkers and cowards.

26 A similar debate between liberals and conservatives occurred under the Provisional Government but was cut short by the October Revolution and the withdrawal from the First World War.  More surprising is the allowances for conscientious objection and civilian service made by the Bolsheviks.  Sanborn attributes this to both tactical and ideological considerations.  The Bolsheviks had enough opposition to contend with, so a tactical alliance with pacifist sectarians would neutralize an additional source of struggle.  Ideologically, it was recognized that these groups had not only struggled against Tsarism, but had achieved a form of religious communism, which it was thought would be easier to assimilate than to destroy.  An additional factor allowing for such a policy was the sympathy of Lenin’s close associate, Vladimir Bonch-Bruevich with sectarian groups, lending high level support to their cause.8  While the combination of these factors resulted in the enactment of provisions for alternative service from 1919, these measures were consistently opposed by elements in the military and the Commissariat of Justice, which argued that there was a necessary uniformity of civic obligations for Soviet citizens and that those who refused to discharge those duties should not be allowed to vote, hold office, or be eligible for social benefits.

27 The provisions for alternative service faced the same questions of the adjudication of claims and the nature of the alternative service encountered earlier.  According to the Sovnarkom decree of 4 January 1919 the United Council of Religious Communes and Groups was asked to give expert testimony to determine the veracity of pacifist claims, which were to be decided before people’s courts.

28 The representatives of the Commissariat of Justice attempted to frustrate the process by questioning the validity of the testimony of the United Council, but far more obstructionist measures were encountered outside the capitals.  Local draft boards sent claimants to military tribunals rather than people’s courts and regularly ignored the provisions of the decree to find these pacifists guilty of treason.9

29 In the years following the Civil War the measures grew increasingly restrictive in response to the declining health of Lenin, the decline of the political fortunes of Bonch-Bruevich, and the destruction of the sectarian communities during collectivization.  These changes were effected through Commissariat of Justice Circulars first replacing expert testimony with local witnesses and then restricting the eligibility to members of religious sects which had refused to take up arms under tsarism, listing only the Dukhobors, Molokans, Mennonites, and Netovtsy, thereby removing moral conviction form the equation.10  

30It is important to highlight that these changes were justified with appeals to uniform civic duties for Soviet citizens.  While these restrictive provisions for conscientious objection were reaffirmed in the 1925 Law on Conscription, there were dropped from the 1939 version of the legislation on the grounds that so few claimants had come forward, achieving the uniformity of civic duties and revolutionary consciousness in law if not in deed.

31 The concept of alternative civilian service returned to Russia during glasnost’ when public space opened for discussion of previously taboo topics.  It emerged both in the growth of new religious groups, and the diminution of barriers to freedom of conscience and in the context of discussions of the military reform in the wake of the disastrous Afghan War, which eroded much of what was left of public confidence in Soviet military and the ideal of universal military service.

32Steven Solnick has noted that difficulties in conscript mobilization had existed and worsened for decades, so that the military encountered mounting difficulties in fulfilling is draft quotas by the late 1980s.  Most significant for this article is his observation that increasingly the universal character of military service was only in name, as it became easier to obtain deferments and exemptions for some, while many of those unfit or unsuitable for military were inducted simply due to their availability.11  

33 Many of the ideas which emerge during glasnost’ were carried forward by reformist forces in the newly independent Russian Federation.  The provision for alternative civilian service emerged as part of the draft constitution prepared by the presidential administration over the course of 1992.  It may be considered part of a larger effort to construct liberal institutions and legislative frameworks as a means of anti-communist rehabilitation and an effort to bring Russian legislation and institutions into accordance with international standards.

34 From the very beginning the military establishment was opposed to the idea of civilian alternative service.  It should also be noted that harsh conditions in the Russian military, especially for conscripts resulted in massive draft evasion.  Poor food and housing conditions low wages, the rampant hazing of young recruits by older conscripts and officers, and the conflicts in Chechnia all contributed the deepening recruitment crisis.  In addition to the ideological opposition of the military establishment and many conservative politicians, it was feared that any provision for alternative civilian service would be abused by draft evaders seeking a legally sanctioned means for avoiding military service.

35 Following the approval of the new constitution in December 1993 a legal void was created in the area of alternative civilian service.  An initial draft of an alternative service law passed first reading in the State Duma in December 199412, only to be returned to committee for further discussion and amendment.  Progress on the bill was slow and in May of 1996 it was reported that work on the law on ACS continued during the difficult passage of the law on defense, which provides the legislative basis for the organization and regulation of the defense establishment.13  It was not until October 7, 1998 that the draft law on ACS returned to the StateDuma for its second reading, only to be rejected.

The Impact of Civil Society

36The two civil society organizations most involved in the campaign for alternative civilian service legislation were the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers (CSM) and the Antimilitarist Radical Association (ARA).  While arguing for the guarantee of constitutional rights, both of the groups saw alternative service as the means to an end, rather than an end in itself.  For Soldiers’ Mothers alternative service was seen as another avenue for the avoidance of compulsory military service.  The ARA regarded alternative service as an agent of military reform.

37 CSM is one of Russia’s most recognizable and successful civil society organizations with a truly national grassroots structure.  It achieved enormous success in mobilizing public opinion during the first Chechen War (1994-1996), combining daring acts, in which mothers would rescue their conscripted sons from barracks and prisons with a strong political organization capable of forming alliances with prominent members of the State Duma.  Key to their success in this effort was the consonance of their moral claims as mothers protecting their sons with the prevailing, traditional gender roles in Russian society.14

38 What had been its strength during the first Chechen conflict proved to be a weakness in its efforts to affect military policy in general and the law on alternative service in particular.  As Amy Caiazza has observed, reliance on a traditional gender role allowed military officials to dismiss the CSM as hysterical, irrational, unprofessional, and naïve women unable to fully grasp the complexities of security issues.  This obstacle was reinforced by the pervasive sense among policy elites that interest group activity in military policy debates was a form of unwelcome and illegitimate intrusion.  Participation in military service policy remains, by and large, restricted to policy elites.15

39 The ARA was formed on the basis of the Russian Radical Party, which had enjoyed some small electoral success in the local Moscow city Duma in the early 1990s.  Following its formation in 1993 the ARA identified the passage of alternative service legislation as its top priority.  While signalling the importance of alternative service as a constitutional right, it was explicit in its belief that there was a greater purpose in the pursuit of this legislation.  The ARA believed that the institution of alternative would make the existing system of military recruitment untenable and force a change in national military policy.16

40 The ARA was far less successful than the CMS in its activities for a variety of reasons.  It was unable to mobilize public support for its cause and it was frustrated in its attempts to create a national, grassroots organization among its target audience, draft-age men.  Additionally, while it was able to forge links with international radical and antimilitarist groups, which could provide financial and organizational support, these resources proved of little value in the relatively closed world of Russian military policy.17  Its persistent efforts at lobbying on alternative civilian service and other military policy issues did result in some support from prominent figures in the State Duma, but it was not possible to translate this into any appreciable impact on the legislative process in military policy.  This lack of success and organizational difficulties led to the virtual suspension of its activities following the Third Congress of the ARA, held in Moscow on June 23-24, 2001.18

41 The limited influence of nongovernmental organizations on the alternative civilian service should not be particularly surprising, given post-Soviet Russia’s weakly developed civil society and the fact that issues framed in terms of security remain largely closed to non-state interest groups.

Filling the Void: Local Governments Take the Initiative

42The prolonged absence of federal legislation led to a multiplicity of ad hoc and improvised approaches to the claiming of the right to alternative civilian service guaranteed under the constitution.  These have ranged from outright rejection of claimants by draft boards, often resulting in fines or imprisonment to innovative local initiatives, which attempt to provide a framework and institution for the performance of alternative service.  The variation in outcomes has had the effect of compromising the principal of universality and in many cases constituted a clear violation of the constitutional rights of particular Russian citizens.

43State Duma Deputy Iulii Rybakov revealed that he had learned from the General Staff at the Defense Ministry that 1,966 individuals who had been drafted asked to perform alternative civilian service.19 Of this number of claimants it was reported that 3 had been jailed for draft evasion.

44 In the midst of this legal void a number of municipalities stepped into the breach by providing their own mechanisms for the exercise of the right to alternative civilian service.  First among these was Nizhnii Novgorod.  Mayor Yurii Lebedev initiated the program by municipal order on June 27, 2001.  This program had the dual purpose of enabling draft age residents of Nizhnii to exercise their right to alternative civilian service while drawing on a much needed labour pool for the provision of arduous and low status jobs in local hospitals.  The program began operation in the fall of 2001, when the twenty successful claimants (out of a total of fifty-one applicants) began work at City Hospital No. 1.20

45 The program was designed and administered by the City Administration Committee on Sericemen Affairs of Nizhnii with the approval of the mayor, and the governor of Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast’, Gennadii Khodyrev.

46According to the program the conscientious objectors were to serve as orderlies in local hospitals, working eight hours a day for 354 roubles per month for a period of three years.  In order to determine the legitimacy of a claim, applicants were made to visit seriously ill patients and a morgue in a hospital, which in combination with the long service terms of three years (compared to two years for military in the army) and low pay was intended to scare off false claimants.  The program was put in place by the city administration without the support of the local draft board.21  While this arrangement did allow potential conscientious objectors to exercise their constitutional right, it was a clear infringement by a local government on a federal competency.

47 Local officials stressed the high costs for conscientious objectors participating in their alternative civilian service program.  While describing the physical demands of the hospital work, the Chair of the City Administration Committee on Servicemen Affairs, Lev Pavlov stated that he “personally would never have done it.”22

48 An analysis of the Nizhnii experiment by the General Staff main mobilization department revealed that the introduction of the option of civilian service had no effect on the number of draft evaders.  Out of a total of 9885 recruits called up for the annual draft in 2001, only 60 requested alternative civilian service and of those only 15 reported for duty at the hospital to perform this service.23  During this period the proportion of draftees opting for evasion remained relatively stable in comparison to past years.

49 However, senior officials in the Defense Ministry were extremely critical of these local experiments on the grounds that matters of defense policy were the preserve of the federal government and these localities had intruded on an area of exclusive federal competence.  The Head of the Administration for the organization and Mobilization at the Defense Ministry, Vladislav Putilin, insisted that alternative civilian service should only be offered following the passage of a federal law.24  This view was echoed by President Vladimir Putin, who voiced his support for the concept of alternative civilian service but insisted that experimentation prior to the passage of federal legislation is illegal and that all activities in that sphere should be referred to the Office of the Prosecutor General.25  He was even more stinging in his criticism of the Nizhnii experiment, dismissing it as the politicization of the issue by an unpopular mayor seeking re-election.26

50 One of the problems for those who select alternative service under these experimental municipal schemes is that because they are not recognized by the federal government and the armed forces there is no guarantee that those who have completed the alternative service will not be called up again for military service.  High-ranking military and Defense Ministry officials hinted as much during criticism of the Nizhnii experiment.27

51 In another setback, the decree by the mayor authorizing the alternative service experiment was overturned by a February 2002 regional court decision.28  As expected, the General Staff ordered the conscientious objectors working in Nizhnii to report for military duty, prompting them to quit their jobs at the hospital and effectively ending the experiment.29

52 Another problem that the federal government feared was the precedent setting nature of the Nizhnii experiment.  The city of Perm very quickly followed the Nizhnii example, allowing the Perm Centre for the Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives to place individuals who had been approved for alternative civilian service.30   Even as late as March 2002, as the government was preparing to release its draft legislation, the city of Petrozavodsk announced plans to introduce its own local program for up to 300 claimants who would serve only 2 ½ years.31

Federal Legislation

53 In late 2001 there was significant progress on the issue of alternative civilian service on several fronts.  The Kremlin sponsored ‘Civil Forum’ which was widely derided as an attempt to manage civil society, provided a forum for a face-to-face meeting between Defense Ministry officials and NGOs active in the campaign for the realization of alternative civilian service.32

54 Debate also occurred at the cabinet level.  A draft law on alternative civilian service was prepared by the government and presented in January 2002, which was based on recommendation of the General Staff and the Defense Ministry.33  The provision under this draft were particularly onerous, outlining a four year service term, as well as stipulating that the service should be extraterritorial, meaning that it should be performed outside the objector’s place of residence, and that the service is to be performed in non-combat roles in the military.  This draft also requires the claimant to prove to the draft board that military service would violate his convictions, religious or otherwise.  However, the draft produced by the Defense Ministry was not the only variant developed by the government.  

55The Labour Ministry was also charged with the preparation of draft, given its responsibility for the administration of labour resources, which outlined the economic sectors and professions in which alternative service can be performed.  It was then decided that a compromise government draft, based on the Labour Ministry version but amended in consultation with the military and the Defense Ministry was to be presented to the State Duma by Labour Minister Aleksandr Pochinok.  This variant also allowed for civilian service to be performed near one’s place of residence and for the possibility of being enrolled in institutes of higher learning while performing alternative service.34  Reaction to the Labour Ministry compromise draft was mixed.  Federation Council Chairman Oleg Mironov supported this variant, noting that the term of service should not exceed three years, while adding that the term for service in the army should be reduced to six months.35  

56The cabinet opted for the Labour Ministry draft at a January 30, 2002 cabinet meeting where the Defense Ministry’s version was roundly criticized for its harsh conditions by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov, Deputy Prime Ministers Valentina Matvienko and Ilia Klebanov, as well as Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu.36

57In her announcement of the approval of the Labour Ministry compromise draft Deputy Premier Valentina Matvienko explained that the principal of extraterritoriality would only be employed under emergency conditions and that possible areas of service might include nursing homes, orphanages, and the fire service.37

58 More than one commentator on military affairs believed that the selection of the more liberal Labour Ministry draft was part of a larger effort to force the General Staff and Defense Ministry to more actively pursue military reforms38, including professionalization of the armed forces, which could potentially render conscientious objection and alternative service a dead letter and significantly alter the obligations constituting the institution of citizenship.  Even those who insisted that the primary significance of this was the concretization of a constitutionally guaranteed right admitted that such rapid movement after years of glacial progress was likely a function of the desire to reform the military on the part of the bill’s sponsors.39

59 The draft legislation was introduced for first reading on April 17, 2002.  The State Duma was to consider four variants of the legislation, but one was withdrawn just prior to the session.  This left the deputies to choose from the government draft, an independent ‘democratic’ draft authored by Iulii Rybakov, Eduard Vorobiev, V.N. Lysenko, A.E. Barannikov, and Oleg Shein, and a ‘radical’ draft from V. Semenov.40

Table 1. Comparison of the Concepts of the Drafts for the Law of the Russian Federation “On Alternative Service”

Proposal in the Draft Legislation

Government of the RF

State Duma Deputy Ia.A. Rybakov et al.

State Duma Deputy V.О.Semenov

Term of Service

48 months for those without higher education;

24 for those with higher education –[for comparison, service in the army is 36 and 18 months for those without and with higher education, respectively]

In one’s place of residence:

36 months for those without higher education;

18 for those with higher education.

In the case of extraterritoriality:

30 for those without higher education;

15 for those with higher education.

30 months for those without higher education;

15 months for those with higher education.

Principle of service

In the place of residence and other regions.

Territorial (in the place of residence). Beyond those borders, under exceptional circumstances.

Place of service

In state and municipal enterprises and organizations; in the capacity of civilian personnel in enterprises and organizations of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, other troops or armed formations.

Citizens belonging to indigenous, small-numbered peoples may serve in enterprises and organization of traditional economies and traditional crafts.

In unitary enterprises established by the RF, subjects of the RF, or municipalities, and also in state or municipal companies.  

The social sphere (social, health, and city services, etc.).

In exceptional circumstances in military hospitals

State, municipal, or community organizations.

Principle of indication

Individual declaration

Citizens directed to alternative civilian service

Those subject to call-up, who were called up that year in a state of health for military service; those who have deferrals and exemption from service according to the law on military service.

Alternative service in the military


Permitted with agreement of the individual


Proof of conviction


Not required

Circumstances for Alternative Service

If the convictions or religious beliefs of a citizen prohibit the performance of military service;

if a citizen belongs to an indigenous, small-numbered people, engaged in a traditional lifestyle, participating in traditional economic activities.

If the convictions or religious beliefs of a citizen prohibit military oaths and/or the performance of military service as well as other circumstances envisaged by federal laws.

The adoption by a citizen of the decision to perform alternative civilian service in the place of military service upon call-up.

Schedule of types of work and obligations (professions), as well as enterprises and organizations where the performance of alternative civilian service is envisaged

Defined by the government of the RF

Foundations for the denial of institution of alternative civilian service

If a citizen violates the term and/or order of service of the declaration of the substitution of military service by conscription with alternative civilian service;

if the draft board does not recognize well-founded arguments by the citizen that their convictions or religious beliefs prohibit military service;

if there is false information in the declaration of the citizen for the substitution of conscripted military service with alternative civilian service;

if a citizen is called up twice before the draft board and does not appear to have a valid reason;

if earlier an opportunity for alternative civilian service was presented to a citizen and he declined it.

Documents are not presented by the citizen in accordance with the norms of the given law;

The grounds which prompt the citizen to make a petition for the substitution of military service with alternative service do not correspond to the requirements of the given law;

The declaration for alternative service and the supporting documents knowingly contain false information;

Organs of interior affairs, residential organizations or organs of local self-government in the place of residence of a citizen, the administration of an educational institution or place of work of a citizen presents information confirming that the activities or conduct of a citizen do not correspond to his assertion his holding convictions or religious beliefs which prohibit taking military oaths and/or performing military service;

If a citizen violates the term and/or order of service of the declaration of the substitution of military service by conscription with alternative civilian service without a valid reason.

Date on which the federal law on alternative service would come into force

January 1, 2004.

January 1, 2003

January 1, 2003

Adapted from”Sravnitel’naia tablitsa kontseptsii proekta Zakona RF “Ob al’ternativnoi sluzhbe,”​PRAVO/​news/​analiz.htm

60The three draft laws were introduced into the State Duma for discussion in the daytime session.  The government draft was presented by Labour Minister Pochinok.  He explained that the government took a balanced approach to alternative civilian service, allowing successful claimants to serve in or near their place of residence and to continue with their studies.41

61Rybakov introduced the ‘democrat’ draft by maintaining that a professional army would be more effective and Russia should follow the example of Western countries, where laws are not made by generals.  After labeling the government’s proposal as general’s draft, he emphasizing that his draft would not require any evidence or substantiation of convictions by conscientious objectors before draft boards and that it envisaged an alternative service term equal to that of military service.42  This version would dramatically reduce the costs of conscientious objection by allowing for service in the place of residence and no extension of the service term.

62In Semenov’s addressed to the State Duma he explaining that the true goal of his draft was the promotion of the refusal of military service in general.  He also highlighted his extremely liberal stand on the issues of term of service, place of service, and type of work which would be available to conscientious objectors.43  The aim of this draft was to challenge the ideal of the citizen-soldier and to question the claim of the state on its citizens for the performance of military service.  Such a vision of the citizenship regime goes well beyond the unrealized liberal conditions set down in the 1993 constitution.

63Representatives of the Defense Committee and the Legislation Committee also made presentations at the daytime session.  Andrei Nikolaev reported that the Defense Committee was a co-initiator of the government draft and had based its decisions on the central question of whether male citizens must fulfill their duty to defend the Motherland.  Having reached the conclusion that all young men must perform this duty, they suggested that those of draft age not called up for military service should perform alternative service as required by the state.44  It should not be surprising that the Defense Committee would emphasize duty and state security, as well as the role of the state in directing the disposition of alternative service labour resources.

64Pavel Krasheninnikov, representing the Legislation Committee highlighted the need to ensure the exercise of the constitutional right to alternative civilian service through legislation which is not discriminatory.  He dismissed Semenov’s draft out of hand as romantic and criticized Rybakov’s draft for ignoring the rights of the indigenous small-numbered peoples.  While he acknowledged that the longer service terms were discriminatory, the committee believed that the government draft was the best and recommended its adoption in the first reading.45

65The drafts were open to discussion and debate in the evening session of the April 17, 2004, during which representatives of all of the major fractions in the Duma spoke.  Unity, Fatherland-All Russia, Peoples Deputies, and Russia’s Regions all supported the government draft.  The Communist Party of the Russian Federation claimed that the legislation was inopportune, as the priority should be on solving the current problems of the military, such as hazing and the sending of conscripts to ‘hot spots’, while the imposition of alternative service would only make matters worse.46  They appeared to be entirely unconcerned with the constitutional rights of conscientious objectors.  

66In a similar vein the Agrarians opposed all of the drafts, claiming that the prime concern should be national security and that young people should be called up to work with computers rather than chamber pots.  Both Yabloko and Union of Right Forces criticized the government draft for what they saw as an excessively long service term.  Rybakov added that the government draft was unworkable and that it would only result in the poor having to serve in the military while those that who were able to bribe their way out compulsory service would successfully evade their civic duty.47

67In the voting that followed the drafts by Rybakov and Semenov were rejected, while the government draft was approved by a narrow margin, gaining 245 votes in its favour.  The draft was then adopted in its first reading in a vote of 251 for the motion.48

68Predictably, the reaction of civil society groups who had campaigned for the passage of alternative civilian service legislation overwhelmingly negative.  Valentina Melnikova of the Russian Union for Soldier’s Mothers Committee was quoted as saying that the provisions were humiliating and impossible for conscientious objectors to fulfill.49  It is telling that much of the critical reaction centred on the restrictive terms of alternative service, arguing that the option was necessary to allow young men to avoid the dangers of army life.  Such a provision would have such an elastic definition of conscientious objection that the very institution of military service obligation would be challenged.

69At the other end of the spectrum, the Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov said that he was satisfied with the draft, but that he would have preferred a service term of 6 years for alternative civilian service.50  This length was based on a calculation of hours of service for military personnel, noting that they are on duty twenty-four hours a day and do not receive holidays.  It also clearly demonstrates a preference on the part of the military establishment for terms of alternative service so onerous that they really would be all but impossible to fulfill.

70The second reading of the government draft occurred on June 19, 2002, resulting in only minor changes despite the hundreds of amendments submitted by liberal deputies.  The most significant change was the reduction in the term for alternative service from four years to three and a half years for those without higher education and from two years to twenty-one months for those with higher education.  Those who perform their service on military installations would have their terms reduced by six months.  The controversial clause requiring claimants to prove their convictions before draft remained unchanged.  The decision where alternative service is to be served was also left up to the discretion of the military, rather than automatically being in their place of residence.51

71The final reading of the draft took place on June 28, 2002, and it was adopted with a vote of 237 in favour52, thereby preserving the changes made in the second reading.   It was passed by the Federation Council along with a raft of other significant legislation in a six and half hour marathon session on the final day of its spring sitting53 and was signed into law by the president on July 28, 2002.


72The drafting process, the legislative and public debates, and the final version of the law on alternative civilian service described above are significant not only in and of themselves, but also for what they can tell us about the social and political transformations taking place in the Russian Federation more generally.  Indeed, the multiple implications of this legislation allow for speculation on areas including the limits and exercise of citizenship rights and duties, resolution of competing claims of the state, its agents and citizens, the impact of particular groups in civil society and the state on the legislative process, and military reform.  Additionally, it is often through examining the situation of groups at the margins of society, such as conscientious objectors, that social and political dynamics are most starkly revealed.

73 Among the conclusions that can be drawn from this examination of the debate and drafting process for the law on alternative civilian service is that the elaboration of the regime of citizenship rights and duties often has more to do with the struggles over attendant policy issues than the fulfillment of the abstract principles of equality and justice or the implementation of constitutional norms.  In the case of alternative service, the outcome of the debate and the final form of the legislation was most strongly affected by the ongoing inter-agency struggle over military reform.  Since coming to power, Putin has presided over the restoration of stable funding of the defense budget, constituting a marked improvement from the relative neglect experienced under Yeltsin.  In part this may attributed to the administration’s dependence on the military for the maintenance of domestic order in North Caucasus, however imperfect that has proven to be, and the projection of influence in other former republics.

74However, this more supportive approach towards the military has not been unqualified.  Putin has consistently demanded progress in the area of military reform.  In addition to relying on the powers of the purse, his administration has deployed alternative, ‘liberal’ reform options, developed both inside and outside of the executive branch, which are less palatable to the military establishment, during the debates over military reform in an effort to move this agenda forward.  As suggested above, the debate over alternative civilian service in government circles and the floating of the more liberal Labour Ministry proposal was part of a larger struggle over the direction and pace of military reform, including the professionalization of the armed forces.  This dynamic was not without precedent.  In the spring of 2003 the Ministry of Defense’s military reform plan had to compete with an alternative ‘liberal’ plan advanced by the Union of Right Forces, under the stewardship of Boris Nemtsov.  While the Defense Ministry plan was eventually adopted as the basis of military reform, the then Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov voiced his preference for the SPS variant and cabinet agreed to fund only thirty per cent of the Defense Ministry reform.54  In the case of alternative service examined above, the deal that was struck over alternative civilian service and its consistency with previous policy struggles offers us a glimpse of the probable direction of military reform.

75At the same time, the passage of the legislation is revealing about the rights and duties entailed in the emerging citizenship regime and the relative importance of particular rights in the public debate.  Indeed, one of the most interesting absences from the public debate on alternative service was the complete lack of discussion of what constitutes religious freedom and freedom of conscience.  One would expect that Russia’s controversial Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religion Associations would play a major part in any discussion of alternative service.  This law, passed in September 1997, recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism as traditional faiths and grants certain privileges to the Russian Orthodox Church in recognition of its special historical role.  All other religious groups were compelled to demonstrate fifteen years of continuous operation or were obliged to register with local authorities and accept certain restrictions on their rights and activities.  In essence, this meant that even those groups reestablishing religious communities dissolved under Soviet repression were subjected to these limitations.  The law was passed in response to fears voiced by the Russian Orthodox Church that foreign sects were ‘poaching souls’ from the traditional religions at a time when Russian citizens were spiritually vulnerable.  The new restriction applied to all of the so-called non-traditional groups, which included such long-standing mainstream groups as the Roman Catholic Church, as well as groups newer to Russia, such as the Mormons and the Hare Krishna.  This legislation seriously compromises the universality of freedom of conscience, as demonstrated by the recent Moscow District Court ruling banning the activities of the Jehova’s Witnesses55.  This should be especially important for the debate on alternative civilian service, given that the most universally recognized group of conscientious objectors have been religious objectors from peace churches.  However, the absence of this debate is most likely explained by the positions and interests of the agencies and civil society groups participating in the public discussion of the issue.  The proponents of increased access to alternative service are not religious activists, even if many of the objectors whom they are defending refuse military service on religious grounds.  Instead, their ultimate goal is to help as many conscript-age men avoid military service as possible or to further the cause of military reform, so the grounds for their objection are of little or no concern.  On the other hand, the military establishment has an interest in limiting and controlling the number of eligible objectors.  In theory, the restriction of objection on the basis of religious belief would be one method for controlling the number eligible for alternative service.  However, this would remove an element of control over the determination process from draft boards, which the military has so jealously guarded.

76 At the institutional level, the relatively timely resolution of the issue under the presidency of Vladimir Putin demonstrates the commitment of his administration to the completion of the legal edifice of the state and to fill in the remaining legislative voids.  In and of itself, this is a positive development, as it reduces legal and institutional uncertainty and goes some way to reduce the arbitrary nature of the implementation of constitutional norms and to improve the universality of the exercise of citizen rights.  In this regard a restrictive federal law, however flawed is far superior to no federal law.  

77 The hostile reaction of the federal government to local attempts to fill the rights vacuum, such as those of Nizhnii Novgorod, are unsurprising in today’s Russia, where the president has a publicly stated policy of restoring the ‘power vertical’.  While local authorities justified these experiments as allowing citizens to exercise their constitutional rights, these efforts further endangered the universality of the citizenship regime and infringed on the federal jurisdiction, neither of which could be construed as promoting institutional stability or development.

78 However, at the level of the meaningful exercising of constitutional rights serious concerns do remain.  The final text of the law retains its restrictive character, in terms of both the length of service and the process for the verification of pacifist convictions.  Critics have argued that these provisions have made the right to alternative civilian service all but impossible to exercise.  There are real questions about whether the law will actually allow conscientious objectors to exercise their rights.  States may legitimately make alternative civilian service less attractive and more costly than military service through measures such as extended service terms in an effort to limit free riding by would-be draft dodgers.  However, conditions which unnecessarily put the lives of conscientious objectors in danger, such as placing them in combat units where they are likely to suffer abuse, is to compromise the right that the legislation was intended to protect.

79 The course of the public and legislative debates and the final form of the law also demonstrate the relative strength of particular institutions and groups within civil society, as well as their ability to bargain effectively with the state over particular rights and duties.  The process clearly demonstrated the weakness of the civil society organization which championed greater access to alternative civilian service and the relative, if not unqualified strength of the military establishment in military policy arena.

80 The dominant position of the military establishment in this debate is not surprising given that it is part of the state and that it has an institutionalized role in the legislative process, including its representation on the State Duma Defense Committee.  It was most adept at mobilizing its resources to promote its own interests throughout the legislative process and public debate, attempting to frame the issue in terms of security and military preparedness.  Consistent with their position on military reform, they made every effort to make alternative civilian service as unattractive as possible, so as to protect their ever-shrinking pool of conscripts, upon which they believe the future of the military depends.  The institutional resources and status of the military gave it significant strength in the bargaining process with the policymakers in the executive branch, as demonstrated by the resulting legislation.

81The non-governmental proponents of alternative civilian service, namely Soldiers’ Mothers and the Antimilitarist Radical Association, were unable to exert any significant influence on the legislative process, which is again evident in the final version of the law.  However, they were able to achieve some small measure of exposure in the popular press to the extent to which they were permitted to participate in the public debate.  The Antimilitarist Radical Association had a very narrow support base, limited resources, and little influence as an anti-establishment social organization.  As such, their role was limited to lobbying individual members of the State Duma, small street demonstrations, and press releases, while the obstacles they encounter threatened their very viability as an organization.

82 The Committee of Soldiers’ Mother continues to be a vital civil society organization, but the limitation of their praxis was demonstrated by their failure to make any significant impact on the alternative service debate.  The closed nature of the military policy arena and the professionalization and securitization of the debate turned their strength of maternal moral suasion into a weakness, as military officials could dismiss them as irrational and naïve.  Despite their significant contacts in the State Duma, these obstacles effectively undermined their bargaining position and excluded them from any meaningful participation in the debate on the shape of alternative service legislation.

83The inability of liberal politicians and human rights activists to influence the drafting process reflects the current political realities in Russia and the continued strength and conservatism of the military establishment.  While the views expressed in the ‘liberal’ draft may be shared by certain members of the cabinet and particular ministries, such as the Ministry of Labour, their overall role in the process was reduced to provide the executive with an alternative draft that was unappealing to the military, which could be used to extract future concession on the contentious issue of military reform.

84Military reform in some form is inevitable and when it happens the terms of conscientious objection, alternative service, and universal military service will necessarily be reconfigured.  The drafting process examined above may be viewed as not simply the a conflict between ‘reformers’ and the military establishment over issues of military reform and manpower, but also the contestation over what the state can legitimately claim from its citizens and the extent and purchase of particular citizenship rights.

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1 For a detailed account of the tortured nature of the legislative process see Thomas M. Nichols, The Russian Presidency: Society and Politics in the Second Russian Republic, Macmillan, 1999, especially pp.120-122.
2 Charles Tilly, “Where Do Rights Come From?,” in Theda Skocpol, ed.,  Democracy, Revolution, & History, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998,  p. 58.
3 For a more complete discussion of the concept and ideal of the citizen-soldier see Eliot A. Cohen, Citizens and Soldiers: The Dilemmas of Military Service, Cornell University Press, 1985, especially pp. 117-132.
4 An in-depth treatment of this topic may be found in Michael F. Noonan Jr.’s  “Legal Aspect of Conscientious Objections: A Comparative Analysis,” in The New Conscientious Objection: From Sacred to Secular Resistance, Charles C. Moskos and John Whiteclay Chambers II, eds., Oxford University Press, 1993.
5 Margaret Levi, Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
6 Joshua A. Sanborn, Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905-1925, Northern Illinois University Press, 2003, pp. 183-184.
7 Ibid., pp. 186-188.
8 Ibid., p. 190.
9 Ibid., p. 193.
10 Ibid., p. 197-8.
11 Steven Solnick, Stealing the State: Control and Collapse in Soviet Institutions, Harvard University Press, 1998, pp. 175-176.
12 “Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Russian Federation,” Statement Submitted by the Transnational Radical Party,
13 Doug Clarke, “Federation Council Approves Defense Law,” RFERL Newsline, 16 May, 1996,
14 For an in-depth treatment of this subject see Amy Caizza, Mother and Soldiers: Gender, Citizenship, and Civil Society in Contemporary Russia, Routledge, New York, 2002, esp. ch.. 7.
15 Caizza, Ibid. pp.137, 139.
17 Caiazza, Op.Cit. p.150.
19 Yelena Roudneva, “Alternative Service Pioneers Fear Draft,”,  13 February, 2002. See also Tatyana Titiova, “Christian Conscientious Objector Imprisoned,” Keston News Service, 19 April, 2001,
20 Guy Chazan, “'Alternativniks'” Challenge Russia's Conscript Army, Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2002.
21 Vladimir Dolgodvorov, “Smes’ konstitutsionnogo s nizhegorodskim,” Trud, 9 November 2002,
22 Sarah Karush, “Russian Pacifists Serve in Hospitals,” AP, 14 February, 2002.
23 “Alternative Service Introduction to Have No Effect on Number of Dodgers,” Interfax/AVN, December 6, 2001.
24 “Defense Ministry Accuses Regions of Meddling in Matters of National Security,” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 24, Part I, 6 February 2002.
25 “Putin Says He Supports Alternative Military Service...” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 49, Part I, 14 March 2002.
26 “…As He Slams Nizhnii Novgorod’s Experiment.” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 49, Part I, 14 March 2002.
27 Yelena Roudneva, “Alternative Service Pioneers Fear Draft,”, 13 February, 2002.
28 Oksana Yablokova, “Torn Duma Passes Alternative Service,” The Moscow Times, Thursday, 18 April, 2002, p. 3
29 “Conscientious Objectors Caught in Battle between Center and Region”, RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 116, Part I, 21 June 2002.
30 “Regional NGOs Force Military to Accept Alternative Service”, EastWest Institute Russian Regional Report, (Vol. 7, No. 6, 13 February 2002),
31 “Another Russian City Plans to Offer Alternative Military Service,” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 42, Part I, 5 March 2002.
32 “Regional NGOs Force Military to Accept Alternative Service”, Op. Cit.
33 “Government Drafts Bill on Alternative Service,” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 6, Part I, 10 January 2002
34 “… Reaches Compromise on Alternative Service,” RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 27, Part I, 11 February 2002
35 Yelena Roudneva, “Alternative Service Pioneers Fear Draft,”, February 13, 2002
36 “Regional NGOs Force Military to Accept Alternative Service”,Cf. note 30. ; “Government Adopts Bill on Alternative Service,” RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 6, No. 31, Part I, 15 February, 2002.
37 Sarah Karush, “Russian Pacifists Serve in Hospitals,” AP, 14 February, 2002.
38 John Boyle, “Analysis: Rampages Ignite Russian Debate on Army Reform,” Reuters, 17 February, 2002.
39 Yuri Filippov , “How to Serve Fatherland without Arms in Hand.” RIA Novosti  (Moscow), 9 April, 2002.
40 Tat’iana Smol’iakova, “Chelovek bez ruzh’ia,” Rossiiskaia gazeta, 4 April, 2002, .
41 Plenarnye zasedaniia Gosudarstvennoi DumyRossiiskoi Federatsii, 17 aprelia 2002 goda, Dnevnoe zasedanie,
42 Ibid.
43 Ibid.
44 Ibid.
45 Ibid.
46 Plenarnye zasedaniia Gosudarstvennoi DumyRossiiskoi Federatsii, 17 aprelia 2002 goda, Vechernee zasedanie,
47 Ibid.
48 Ibid.
49 Vladimir Kovalev, “Russia: Lengthy Alternative,” Transition Online, 16-22 April, 2002, .
50 “Duma Adopts Bill on Alternative Service,” RFE/RL Newsline Vol. 6, No. 73, Part I, 18 April 2002.
51 Plenarnye zasedaniia Gosudarstvennoi DumyRossiiskoi Federatsii, 19 iuniia 2002 goda, Vechernee zasedanie,
52 Plenarnye zasedaniia Gosudarstvennoi DumyRossiiskoi Federatsii, 28 iuniia 2002 goda, Vechernee zasedanie,
53 “Series of Landmark Bills Race through Upper Chamber…,” RFE/RL Newsline Vol. 6, No. 128, Part I, 11 July 2002.
54 “Ivanov slivaet voennuiu reformu,” Nezavisimaia gazeta,
55 “City Court Backs Ban of Jehovah's Witnesses”, The Moscow Times, 17 June, 2004, p. 3.
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List of illustrations

File image/png, 124 octets
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Electronic reference

Peter D. Waisberg, « The Duty to Serve and the Right to Choose: The Contested Nature of Alternative Civilian Service in the Russian Federation », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 1 | 2004, Online since 06 July 2004, connection on 17 July 2018. URL :

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About the author

Peter D. Waisberg

Doctoral Candidate,Carleton Univesity, Ottawa, Canada

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Creative Commons License

This text is under a Creative Commons license : Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

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