The Russian Army is creating a foreign legion in an attempt to attract overseas recruits to a force that is widely hated and avoided by young Russians. Perhaps the top brass is hoping to evoke something of the romance of the French Foreign Legion, but recruits are coming from former Soviet republics where unemployment is high and poverty rife. The army is facing a wave of reluctance and even defiance from Russian youths ahead of the draft. Some young men and their families still regard military service as an honour and a mark of manhood but many more see conscription as tantamount to a two-year prison sentence. Rich families pay bribes to get exemptions for their boys while poorer youths dodge the draft as best they can.