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Russian Army Cuts Female Staff by Two-Thirds

RIA Novosti

17:52 05/03/2013 MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Armed Forces have cut around two-thirds of their women in uniform over the past five years, a military official said on Tuesday.

“Compared to 2007, the number of servicewomen (officers and warrant officers) has shrunk from over 30,000 to a little over 11,000 today, including about 4,300 officers – both junior and senior ones,” said Yelena Stepanova, a lieutenant-colonel and department chief with an Armed Forces’ sociological research center.

The move is part of a broader process of personnel cuts across the Armed Forces in the past few years, and is not a selective policy, she said.

“It should be noted that women’s motivation for military service is very high,” Stepanova said at a Moscow forum on women’s military service. “A woman goes to serve in the army not to show her power and importance, but to fulfil her own potential in the professional military sphere,” she added.

Russia’s sole female Major General, Yelena Knyazeva, told the forum the status of women in the Armed Forces should be debated at national level. She recalled that some 800,000 Russian women in uniform took part in the fighting in World War II.

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