The inclusion of annexed Crimea into the Southern Federal District means that the peninsula has lost its special status, which, in particular, included provisions that excluded the enlistment of Crimeans into the Russian army. Now Crimeans will be drafted in the same way as citizens of the Russian Federation. This opinion was expressed by the coordinator of a Crimean human rights group, Olga Skrypnyk, Krym.Realii reported.
Before Crimea was included in the Southern Federal District, there was a greater chance of an exception being made regarding enlistment. There were already examples of such cases for certain areas in connection with the Caucasus, where no conscription was present. Several community activists hoped that an exception would also be made for Crimea, and that no drafting would be conducted. However, because this merger has, in fact, invalidated any special provisions made regarding Crimea, the conscription issues will be resolved on a general basis, Skrypnyk said.
This means that Crimeans could be sent to serve in the army in a region other than the annexed peninsula, the human rights activist said. Previously, this only applied to those who enlisted voluntarily.
“At the very beginning it was promised that those who are subject to compulsory enlistment would remain in Crimea. Now they, at the very least, will serve within the Southern Federal District. They may stay in Crimea, because Crimea is part of the Southern Federal District, but they could also be transferred to other regions. The district includes two republics and four regions,” the activist added.
Olga Skrypnyk also noted that residents of the occupied peninsula who do not want to serve in the Russian army have the option of alternative civil service.
On Thursday, July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree “On the Southern Federal District,” in which annexed Crimea was included. Thus, the “Crimean Federal District,” formed after the annexation of the peninsula in 2014, was liquidated in Russia.