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Women Could Gain the Right to Join the Army

Russian women will be given the right to serve in the armed forces if they wish, according to the amendments proposed by the left-leaning Just Russia party, Izvestia reported Tuesday.

According to the proposal, which has been submitted to the State Duma, women aged 18 to 27 will be allowed to join the Armed Service "if they are willing to do so."

"This is based on gender equality and the right of a woman to serve in the armed forces," said Just Russia deputy Tatyana Moskalkova, herself a former police major-general.

At present, there are around 50,000 women serving in the Armed Forces of 800,000 soldiers and officers. The draft-based army is experiencing personnel shortages as many are unwilling to serve because of hazing and harsh conditions.

The majority of them are technical and supporting specialists who do not take part in combat.

During Word War II, some women went into combat out of patriotic feelings and became part of the famous pilot group known as the "Night Witches".

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