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Kyrgyzstan - Military Personnel

Although the Kyrgyzstani government did not demand a new oath of service until after adoption of the Law on Military Service (the first draft of which in 1992 was copied so hastily from Soviet law that it included provisions for a navy), the majority of the officer corps (mostly Russian) refused to serve in a Kyrgyzstani army, and since that time many Russian officers have sought repatriation to Russia. A more informal outflow of draftees already had been underway before Kyrgyzstan's independence. According to one estimate, as many as 6,000 Russians deserted from duty in Kyrgyzstan, although that loss was partially offset by the return of almost 2,000 Kyrgyz who had been serving in the Soviet army outside their republic. According to reports, in 1993 between 3,000 and 4,000 non-Kyr gyz soldiers, mostly Russians, remained in the republic.

Life in the ranks is arduous. Impoverished Kyrgyz recruits lack food and clothing; some even risk starvation. Bullying in the barracks continues. No longer the predominant ethnic group, Kyrgyzstan-born Russian conscripts face the same type of harrassment they used to inflict on Kyrgyz. If iscipline collapses in the barracks, ethnic tensions, especially among those who have already come to blows such as the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, threaten to destroy unit morale and cohesion. Is it any wonder that parents do not want their sons to join the armed forces and draft dodging and desertion flourish?

Bishkek's primary military problem is cadre, both enlisted and officer. Once the unified command concept collapsed, Kyrgyzstan set up regulations to create a conscript force of nearly 20,000 a target it has not been able to meet. Within a year it was apparent that these plans were overly ambitious, especially because Bishkek could not finance such a force following the collapse of the Kyrgyz economy. By 1998 the conscript force consisted of 14,000 men.

Serious problems also confront the officer corps. The Kyrgyz are the second smallest titular population; they make up barely half of Kyrgyzstan's population. Like the Kazaks, they were a nomadic people and did not seek out military careers. Of 4,000 Soviet officers stationed in Kyrgyzstan "at the inception," about 90 percent were Russian; not one regimental commander and only one battalion commander were Kyrgyz. Around 1,700 Kyrgyz officers were serving outside Kyrgyzstan in 1991, many of whom returned to serve in the new Kyrgyz forces. But numbers alone do not ensure sufficient experienced veterans for specific ranks and military specialties. Bishkek appointed an ethnic Kyrgyz as its first Defense Minister, but the Chief of the Main Staff was Russian. Additional appointments included experienced Russian and Ukrainian officers, with many Kyrgyz officers appointed to deputy positions.

The Kyrgyz forces have become increasingly homogenized only because efforts to retain skilled Russian officers have not been successful. An interstate treaty allows Russian soldiers to serve in the Kyrgyz armed forces on a contractual basis through the end of 1999. A 1994 agreement enables contract Russians to transfer to Russian or Kyrgyz service "without any obstacles." But such efforts have failed to halt the hemorrhage of skilled officers following the collapse of the Kyrgyz economy.

Yet, even so, internal tensions have also appeared among those Kyrgyz who make up the officer corps. Press reports have noted within the armed forces the north-south division visible in national politics. Northern officers have been reluctant to serve in the south.

1. Compulsory draft for military service

Do the mothers and fathers of the conscripts forced into the military thank the government for taking away their sons? Hardly! The call to citizens for active military service is carried out twice a year by the Decree of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Military service is compulsory for males of 18 years old. Based on the medical examination and the recruits application, the district (city) draft board makes a decision. Male citizens between the ages of 18 and 27 will be drafted for military service if they are not exempt from service and are not eligible for a service deferral.

Twice a year in spring and autumn in the military police officers and managers with situation with NCO Corps is preservice training, teachers of educational institutions, local government officials examine the conscripts. There is a multistage system of quality control for the medical examination of conscripts. After the district (municipal), sending in troops, conscripts undergo a medical examination at the regional sites, where doctors control is also carried out by experts of VVK MO CD. Upon arrival in military recruits undergoing an in-depth medical examination at military clinics. As a result of the measures taken in recent years have dropped dramatically the number of conscripts called up active military service with various illness.

Conscripts found fit for military service and have no reason to delay and exemption from conscription, conscripted and through regional collection points are sent to the military units of the Ministry of defence, the border forces of the National Police, internal troops, National Guard, national security service, the Ministry of emergency situations and the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic.

2. Service in the reserves

Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic that have not performed military or alternative service and were abroad will be required to complete the military requirement if they do not qualify for a deferral or exemption, and have not reached the age of 27. Those that are 27 and older will be enlisted in the reserves and will be required to pay 300 units. Citizens aged 18-27, who are not eligible for a deferral or exemption and are physically fit for military service, have the right to voluntarily serve in the mobilization reserve. Service in the mobilization reserve requires cash contributions to the Ministry of Defense. The amount of this contribution is of 120 units including taxes (12,000 KGS). Military service in the mobilization reserve lasts one month during which the recruits undergo military training at Ministry of Defense centers. Military training for reserve officers is carried out in the Kyrgyz Republic for military departments of civil Universities.

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense appealled for all those liable for military service under 50 to arrive to the places of their registration today by 3 p.m., 13 June 2010. Organization of partial mobilization among civilians will start in district and city military enlistment offices of the country. The Ministry of Defense appeals Kyrgyz citizens to show childlike patriotism and civic duty at the time of hardship for the country. The Ministry of Defense is authorized (according to the decree on partial mobilization, signed yesterday by the Kyrgyz Interim Government) to conduct activities on shifting a part of the Armed Forces for arrangement and composition of war time in an order and within the terms, established by mobilization plans and in accordance with the existing legislation of KR. Partial mobilization in Kyrgyzstan has been announced on 13 June 2010 for maintenance of security of citizens, defense of constitutional order and earliest normalization of situation, restoration of law and order.

3. Alternative service

The Law N 43 "On the Universal Duty of Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic on Military and Alternative Service, February 9, 2009 requires individuals in alternative service as conscientious objectors based on religious grounds to make monetary contributions to a special account belonging to the Ministry of Defense (MOD). Some religious groups such as the Jehovahs Witnesses, however, objected to this requirement, stating that giving funds to the MOD violated their religious principles. The government continues to prosecute conscientious objectors who refused military service and who would not pay the MOD.

Alternative service is a type of service for citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic that replaces the compulsory military draft. A male citizens between the ages of 18 to 27, who is ineligible for a deferral and has not served in the compulsory military draft or the mobilization reserves is subject to alternative services if:

  • He is a member of a registered religious organization, whose doctrine does not permit the use of weapons and service in the armed forces;
  • He was previously convicted of a crime;
  • He has medical limitations as described in the Regulation on medical examination;
  • He comes from a family with five or more children under 18 and he is the eldest child;
  • He is the breadwinner of the family in which parent is disabled (group I or II);
  • He has a parent or a sibling, who became disabled during military service or later due to injuries, wounds, and diseases obtained during the period of military service;
  • He has a parent or a sibling who died during military service, or later due to injuries, wounds, and diseases obtained during the period of military service;
  • He has a wife and one child;
  • He is an only son in a family with retired parents;
  • He is an only son of a single mother (father);
  • He has one brother under the age of eighteen (or an 18-year-old brother who is a group I or II invalid), who is a dependent of a single mother, with no other children in the family;
  • He is an orphan;
  • He reached the age of twenty four and has not done compulsory military service or service in the mobilization reserve.

The duration of alternative service is thirty six months. The amount of financial contributions is 120 units for the entire period of alternative service (12,000 KGS).


Cadets and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) in the ground forces are trained at the Bishkek Military School, which played the same role in the Soviet era. Under a 1993 agreement, a small number of ground forces cadets study at Russian military schools, with the specific goal of bolstering the ethnic Kyrgyz officer corps. Small groups of Kyrgyz cadets also attend military schools in Uzbekistan and Turkey. Officers selected for higher commands attend a three-year course at Frunze Military Academy in Moscow and other Russian military academies.

Military education in the Kyrgyz Republic can be obtained from the Kyrgyz State national military school and the Bishkek higher military college named hero of the Soviet Union Kalyjnura Usenbekova. Bishkek higher military school prepares officers for the regular military personnel. For registration of personal history must go to the military enlistment office at the place of registration. After your personnel file, the applicant must pass the national testing system and pass additional Actr test. To address the mandate Commission of the Ministry of defence the applicant will be enrolled in the Bishkek higher military school.

Youth of Kyrgyzstan also has the opportunity to enrol in military training institutions of the Russian Federation, where can I get a higher military education, in various specialties. After additional tests, successfully passed entrance examinations, the applicant to address the mandate Commission is credited by the order of Minister of defence in one of the educational institutions of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation. After taking the oath, they are sent to a place of study. After graduating from the military schools, students receive officer ranks and military service in the armed forces in accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

After several years of delay, building began on Koi Tash in 2006. The construction includes a large compound to house an NCO academy. The overall cost is approximately 6.5 million USD. While the initial timetable had the project being completed in November 2006, contractor problems (specifically with the local subcontractor) and supply issues delayed completion of the project until June 2009.

SOCCENT programs have constructed several ranges and facilities for Kyrgyz Special Forces units; to include the Ministry of Defense's 25th Scorpions and the National Guard's Panthers. The US purchased new equipment for these units. Army and Marine SOF conducted training with the Interior Forces, National Guard and Ministry of Defense SOF in 2008. Kyrgyz Special Forces are among the best in the region and very receptive to SOF engagement. In August 2008, the US conducted training with the Alphas, the operational arm of the State Security Committee. While the training was a success, it was marred by the seizure by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, of the team's equipment, to include personal items, money and all the team's weapons kits.

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