Russia: January 11, 2001

The Russian Security Council has given final approval for the long-delayed reduction in Russian military forces. The current strength of 2.1 million people in uniform will be reduced by 470,000, while 130,000 of the 966,000 civilians working for the defense ministry will also be eliminated. The cuts are to be implemented over a five-year period. The cuts will include 180,000 from the Army, 50,000 from the Navy, 40,000 from the Air Force, 20,000 from the Interior Ministry, and 10,000 from the Railway Troops. Cuts will also be made in the Federal Border Guards, Federal Guards, and Civil Security Agency. The Strategic Rocket Forces will be absorbed by the Air Force, except for the Space Division which will come under control of the General Staff. The personnel cuts are intended to provide funds to buy new modern weapons.--Stephen V Cole

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