Antifake / Factcheck

30 April

Fact check: Belarus-1 TV Falsely Claims Latvia Drafts Conscripts into Army Without Medical Checks

According to the plan, 480 new recruits were needed.

Fake appearance date: 22.04.2024
In Latvia, conscripts are being recruited into the army on a lottery basis, without considering their health status, Belarus 1 TV channel falsely reported. Debunking the piece of fake news, the Weekly Top Fake covers how the conscription process actually runs in this Baltic country.

Anna Chizh-Litash, the host of the "Po forme" program on Belarus 1 TV channel, made a statement on April 22, distorting the audience's perception of the recruitment process in the Latvian army.

"The way they select people for service is a special kind of art. Since they couldn't gather the necessary number of conscripts, a lottery was held for the first time in the country. Young people who will soon defend their homeland were randomly selected using a computer program. And who they are, whether they are healthy or not, is no longer important," she said.   

However, as the WTF team's investigation showed, this is fake. According to the plan, 480 new recruits were needed. In total, 515 people applied to serve in the army. But after the health check, not all of them were deemed fit for service. 

The shortage of 150 people was filled through a lottery. Given that some conscripts may not pass the medical check, about 300 military draft notices — twice as many — were sent to randomly selected young people.

Also, Anna Chizh-Litash talked about the recruitment process in the Polish army on the air.

"They're thinking about reintroducing compulsory military service in Warsaw. Although, they abolished it not so long ago, in 2009. But the Poles themselves do not want to serve in the army. Only 27% voted 'Yes'. But the country's leadership is unlikely to take into account the opinion of the population," she said.

Indeed, according to a public opinion poll conducted in November 2023, the data presented by Anna Chizh-Litash is correct. In contrast, according to more recent studies conducted in February and April 2024, the number of Poles favoring the return of compulsory conscription has risen to 45%.

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