Staunton, February 26 – The total number of women in the Russian military remains relatively small – under 45,000 – but they are growing in importance both because many women see a military career as a good one and because the country’s demographic situation is such that Moscow has no choice but to use women as the draft age cohort declines in size.
And for the first time since World War II, they are being used in combat – and being decorated for their contribution to Moscow’s military efforts.
The Defense Ministry this week has put out an infographic that captures some of their role (мультимедиа.минобороны.рф/multimedia/infographics/gallery.htm via snob.ru/selected/entry/134563). Among its most important statistics are the following:
· 44,921 women now serve in the Russian military, but overwhelmingly they are soldiers (32,064) rather than senior officers (1056). They form 7.1 percent of those in uniform.
· The largest numbers serve in the Eastern Military District and the Southern Military District; the smallest in the Northern Fleet.
· The largest share of them are in military training groups; the smallest in the central command.
· 1034 have taken part in combat operations, and 882 have been decorated for that.
· Their main military specialties are communications, medicine, and instruction.