Soldiers' Mothers Organization


ul. Razyeszhaya 9
191002 St. Petersburg
Tel/Fax: (812) 112-5058, 112-4199
Contact: Ella M. Polyakova, Elena Villenskaya
Founded in 1991, Soldiers' Mothers provides practical assistance to military conscripts and their families. It assists people through the process of appealing for exemption from and/or deferment of military service for reasons of health, extreme family hardship, or conscientious objection. The group provides medical and legal consultation as well as moral support and education on legal rights and how citizens can exercise them.

Three times per week, Soldiers' Mothers holds receiving hours during which conscripts and their families can meet with volunteers experienced in the appeal process as well as lawyers and doctors willing to provide professional support for these appeals. The group provides access to the proper appeal forms and applications, often difficult to locate at official military or administrative offices. It also maintains files of all the people that receive assistance, including copies of their official appeals and complaints. In 1995, the Soros Foundation donated two photocopiers to the group in order to facilitate the appeals documentation process.

The group also maintains an up-to-date library of all legal texts pertaining to the rights of servicemen. It cooperates with a number of regional soldiers' mothers organizations in collective actions, information exchanges and participation in national conferences.

Soldier's Mothers publications include The Defense of the Legal Rights of Conscripts: From Our Working Experience (1995, St. Petersburg) and The Rights of Conscripts and Servicemen in the Russian Army (1995, St. Petersburg). The latter is a collection of photocopied newspaper articles addressing various issues of military service and the work of soldiers' mothers committees across Russia, produced with financial assistance from the European Union Phare/TACIS Democracy Program.

Last updated:    February 1999

A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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