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Russian Military Targets Women in Recruitment Ad

Volunteers hand out contract service informational pamphlets. Pelagia Tikhonova / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s Defense Ministry has launched a recruitment campaign targeting women for roles as doctors, nurses and cooks in the military, with possible deployment in occupied Ukraine, independent media reported Thursday.

“Sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry in the same ranks as men,” read an advertisement in the western Siberian region of Omsk. 

The independent news website 7x7 said it called the hotline indicated in the recruitment ad, where it was told that women below the age of 50 are encouraged to sign one-year contracts with the military and that minimal professional training is required. 

Journalists were told that new recruits would serve in Russian regions, including the partially occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, which Moscow annexed in September 2022 following widely disputed referendums. 

					Recruitment ad targeting women in Omsk.
Recruitment ad targeting women in Omsk.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March that 1,100 women were involved in combat operations in Ukraine, one-third of whom have received state awards.

Overall, Russia’s Armed Forces have 39,000 women within its ranks, including nearly 5,000 officers.

The prisoners’ rights organization Russia Behind Bars and Ukrainian officials said in March that the Russian military had begun to recruit women for battlefield deployment.

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