More Women Want to Join Russia's Military, Defense Ministry Says

Russia's military has been undergoing a modernization in recent years that includes a push to increase the number of well-trained contract soldiers and decrease the proportion of conscripts.

The Defense Ministry says there is significantly more interest among women in joining Russia's armed forces, state news agency TASS reported Monday.

Colonel-General Viktor Goremykin, who is in charge of staffing issues at the Defense Ministry, told TASS that there is an increasing number of women in Russian military schools and a growing number of women want to serve as contract personnel in military branches that allow female staff, including the airborne troops and aerospace defense forces.

Other popular areas for women in the military are communications and medical services, the general said.

Goremykin also said there are nearly 1,000 new contract soldiers from Crimea. The region, which has hosted Russian naval forces since the late 1700s, was annexed by Russia from Ukraine last year.

Russia's military has been undergoing a modernization in recent years that includes a push to increase the number of well-trained contract soldiers and decrease the proportion of conscripts.

Goremykin told TASS that there are already more contract soldiers than conscripts in Russia's military and that he expects there to be 300,000 more contract forces in the near future due in part to special programs that offer them improved social benefits, including housing for their families.

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