Staunton, February 24 – Unlike in some countries, women in Russia are not subject to the military draft, but some 40,000 currently serve on a contract basis and fill positions from private soldiers up to the rank of major general, according to Viktor Litovkin, a specialist on military affairs (ura.news/articles/1036279758).
According to a recent VTsIOM poll, only three percent of Russian women have served in the military, but “about 30 percent,” the survey center says, say that they would like their daughters to serve and gain the discipline military life provides, although nearly twice as many say they would not want them to make a career in the armed services.
Litovkin points out that women soldiers are restricted in what they can do in the military. They are not permitted to take part in combat and cannot go to hotspots except as nurses or communications experts. He says they must not be subject to such dangers because women are “a resource of the country.”
There are pluses and minuses of having women in the services, he says. Their presence requires the development of new infrastructure and that is sometimes a problem, but they also change the quality of service and often for the better. They enjoy the respect and attention of male soldiers and personally benefit from the predictability of the military.
Anna Fedorova, a political scientist, says that the appearance of women in the ranks is an inevitable part of the shift from a draft-based military to a professional, contract-based one. When people can choose whether to serve, some men will decide not to and some women will want in – and so over time the numbers of women in the Russian military will rise.