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Research for this report was conducted in St. Petersburg and Moscow in April, May and June 2002 by Diederik Lohman, senior researcher of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch, and Anna Neistat, director of the Moscow office. Diederik Lohman wrote this report. It was edited by Rachel Denber, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia Division; Holly Cartner, consultant to Human Rights Watch; and Dinah PoKempner, General Counsel for Human Rights Watch. Invaluable assistance was provided by Alexander Petrov, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Moscow office and Liudmila Belova of the Moscow office; Emily Letts, associate for the Europe and Central Asia division; and Patrick Minges, publications director.

We wish to thank the young men interviewed for this report for sharing their stories with us, and to the staff of the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg and the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia for facilitating interviews with these young men and providing us with expertise without which this report would not have been possible. We would especially like to thank Anna Beliakova, a lawyer with the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia, for helping us understand many of the legal issues surrounding conscription, as well as for reviewing this report.

Human Rights Watch would like to acknowledge generous financial support for this project received from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Human Rights Watch
Europe and Central Asia Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; John T. Green, operations director, Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Joe Saunders, interim program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Europe and Central Asia division was established in 1978 to monitor and promote domestic and international compliance with the human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. It is affiliated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, which is based in Vienna, Austria. Elizabeth Andersen is the executive director; Rachel Denber is the deputy director; Veronika Leila Szente Goldston is the advocacy director; Alexander Anderson, Matilda Bogner, Julia Hall, Bogdan Ivanisevic, Diederik Lohman, Darian Pavli, Acacia Shields, and Jonathan Sugden are researchers; Anna Neistat is the Moscow office director; Alexander Petrov is the Deputy Moscow office Director; Julie Chadbourne, Demetra Kasimis, and Marie Struthers are consultants; Liudmila Belova, Giorgi Gogia, Emily Letts, Dorit Radzin, Leslie Smith, Ole Estein Solvang are associates. Peter Osnos is the chair of the advisory committee and Alice Henkin is vice chair.

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