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Draft exemption and determents

Russian laws include a number of provisions outlining the reasons for draft exemption and military service determents.

Draft exemption is a legitimate reason to cancel a citizen’s obligation for compulsory military service. According to current laws, a citizen is exempt from conscription (draft) if such citizen has previously completed military or alternative civilian service or if the medical board has found such citizen unfit for military service (or fit for limited service). Additionally, a citizen may enjoy the right of draft exemption if such citizen’s father or blood brother has died in the course of their military service. Draft exemption also applies to individuals with an academic degree and perpetrators of crime who are currently serving their sentence or have an outstanding conviction, as well as perpetrators currently under investigation.

Besides, some categories of citizens may use the right of determent. Determent is a legitimate reason to delay the call to military duty. A citizen may enjoy a determent provided such citizen:

  • Is found temporarily (up to one year) unfit for military service for medical reasons;
  • Is permanently involved in nursing, assisting and custody over an incapacitated relative (based on a statement provided by a federal medical and social inspectorate at the place of residence of citizens conscripted to the armed forces) who does not enjoy full government support;
  • Is a permanent custodian or guardian of an underage blood brother or sister;
  • Is a single father;
  • Has two or more children;
  • Has a disabled child up to three years old;
  • Has a child and a wife whose pregnancy period is over 25 weeks;
  • Is currently employed by a public agency or organization that provide determent from conscription-based military service;
  • Has been elected a representative in the State Duma, legislative or representative government bodies or head of a municipal entity (determent is granted for the duration of service in the above organizations);
  • Is registered as an office seeker at a federal or local government body (determent is granted through the date of official release of election results or, in case of early withdrawal – through the date of withdrawal).


Moreover, a citizen may use the right of determent provided such citizen:

  • Is a school or gymnasium student (under 20 years old), a full-time student at a basic or secondary vocational education institution (under 20 years old and having finished secondary education) or a full-time university student (determent is granted for the length of learning at the university, not to exceed the standard length of time required to master basic curriculum), provided the educational institution has been certified by the state educational authority;
  • Is a full-time postgraduate student at a state-certified educational institution or research institution (determent is granted for the length of learning, not to exceed the standard length of time required to master basic curriculum, and for the length of time required to defend a thesis paper, not to exceed one year after completion of the learning process);
  • Has been granted such right by virtue of decrees of the President of the Russian Federation.
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