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Poll: Support for conscript service remains high

Estonian infantry soldiers.
Estonian infantry soldiers. Source: (

The Defence Ministry's recent "Public Opinion and National Defense" survey showed that 93 percent of the Estonian population support compulsory military service. 67 percent of respondents find it to be "definitely necessary," and only 5 percent regard it as rather or entirely unnecessary.

Among Estonian speaking respondents the ratio of people considering conscript service to be definitely necessary was 73, percent and among Russian-speaking respondents 55 percent.

The age group most convinced of the necessity of conscript service are over 60-year-olds, of whom 83 percent consider it "definitely necessary". In the age group of 30-59-year-olds, the ratio of such responses exceeds 60 percent, whereas more than half of those under 30 consider it necessary, and only about 10 percent find it unnecessary.

The majority of respondents, 68 percent, also think that young men with minor health issues should enter conscript service with an appropriate workload. The majority of residents disapproves of evasion of conscript service, with 27 percent condemning such behavior and 42 percent considering it to be negative.

Younger age groups express a higher than average tolerance towards it. More than 40 percent of people under 30 years of age took an understanding stance.

Estonian residents have had very favorable attitudes towards conscript service throughout the survey period. Since 2008, the ratio of such responses has been stable at 90 percent or above.

84 percent of the respondents prefer maintaining the current concept of national defense based on professional defense forces combined with a reserve force consisting of those who have passed compulsory service.

11 percent support abolishing compulsory military service and switching to an all-professional army.

The survey was carried out by Turu-uuringute AS in March and in the course of it 1,202 people were interviewed.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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