Prisonniers de l'Armée rouge

MOSCOU – On trouve encore en Russie quelques vestiges de l'Union soviétique. L'un des plus intéressants, ce sont les jours fériés qui sont toujours célébrés, presque 20 ans après l'effondrement du communisme. Ainsi le 23 février est la "Journée du défenseur de la Patrie", une sorte de Fête des pères, mais avec une connotation militaire. Ce jour-là, les filles, les épouses et les petites amies offrent des cadeaux aux hommes et les entourent d'attention (en toute honnêteté, on célèbre aussi la Journée de la femme le 8 mars et la St Valentin, populaire depuis peu).

A l'époque de l'URSS, le 23 février était la "Journée de l'armée de Terre et de la Marine soviétique", destinée à célébrer la création de l'Armée rouge ; sa nouvelle appellation date de 2006. Selon un récent sondage de l'institut russe FOM, 59% de la ppopulation estime que c'est un jour qui revêt une signification particulière (pour 32% de la population c'est un jour ordinaire).

Malheureusement le 23 février n'est pas la seule relique de l'Armée rouge, il y en a une autre : par exempl le service militaire obligatoire. Alors que tous les autres grands pays européens l'ont aboli, la Russie maintient un service militaire obligatoire de 12 mois pour tous les citoyens de sexe masculin entre 18 et 27 ans, aptes physiquement à l'accomplir. Des dispenses sont accordées pour raison médicale, mais également aux étudiants et aux salariés de certaines institutions (la police entre autres). Un demi-million de jeunes gens accomplissent leur service militaire chaque année.

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