Russia: March 6, 2002


Six percent of the officers in the Russian armed forces are women. These women serve in combat support positions. The average age of these career officers in the army is 33, in the navy, 36. Russia expects more women to serve as the armed forces switch to an all-volunteer system. This will take a while, because it costs about $32 million to convert each division from conscript to all volunteer. Currently, most Russian combat divisions are at reduced strength (under 10,000 troops, usually only 75 percent or less of full strength). A lot of money has to be spent to improve housing and amenities for volunteers (otherwise they will leave, or not join in the first place.) 


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