November 13, 2005:
Russia has organized a peacekeeping brigade, staffed with volunteer soldiers. The troops are equipped with the latest weapons, and trained for peacekeeping operations. Since the UN pays for peacekeeping troops, Russia is not going to go broke keeping this unit around. Moreover, Russian peacekeepers provide diplomatic and PR benefits. Russian "contract troops" (volunteers) are more capable and disciplined than the usual Russian conscripts. This means that the Russian peacekeepers will probably perform more effectively than a lot of the less well trained and equipped peacekeepers from other countries, making the Russian troops more desirable, and more respected, for peacekeeping operations. Initially, the Russian brigade will work within the NATO peacekeeping organization (still being formed), but UN assignments were mentioned as well.