Information on conscription and alternative service and reserve duty [LVA14313]

For information on this subject up to June 1992, please refer to the DIRB Question and Answer Series report entitled CIS, Baltic States and Georgia: military Service. It indicates that a spring draft was carried out in 1992 and provides information on the terms of military service and alternative service in Latvia.

An attached article provides details as to who is eligible to be drafted and indicates that alternative service in the form of "labor" is available (Baltfax 2 Oct. 1992).

It was not until early November 1992, however, that the Latvian parliament passed two laws formulating the "principles of recruiting for the defense forces" and "responsibilities for nonobservance of the law," a possible reference to penalties for draft evasion (Radio Riga Network 4 Nov. 1992; Baltfax 6 Nov. 1992).

The Latvian armed forces reportedly consist of a number of components, including defense forces, a security service and the Zemessardze, "voluntary armed formations defending Latvian territory" (Baltfax 6 Nov. 1992). There is also a "Home Defense Guard," but it is unclear from a 9 January 1993 report whether membership is voluntary or subject to conscription (Radio Riga Network).

A recent report indicates that only Latvian citizens are subject to the terms of conscription but that permanent residents who are not citizens can join the armed forces voluntarily (Baltfax 11 Mar. 1993).

Additional and/or corroborating information is currently unavailable to the DIRB.


Baltfax [Moscow, in English]. 11 march 1993. "Only Citizens to be Conscripted During April Campaign." (FBIS-SOV-93-047 12 Mar. 1993, p. 73)

_____. 6 November 1992. "Parliament Passes Law on Defense." (FBIS-SOV-92-216 6 Nov. 1992, p. 70)

_____. 2 October 1992. "Official Comments on Beginning of State Service Draft." (FBIS-SOV-92-193 5 Oct. 1992, p. 73)

Radio Riga Network [in Latvian]. 9 January 1993. "Meeting Discusses Home Defense Guard Role." (FBIS-SOV-93-006 11 Jan. 1993, p. 56)

_____. 4 November 1992. "Parliament Adopts Defense, Internal Affairs Bills." (FBIS-SOV-92-215 5 Nov. 1992, p. 73)