Friday, October 27, 2023

PMC Controlled by Russian Defense Ministry Now Recruiting Women for Combat Roles

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 24 – The Borz Battalion, a Chechen PMC under the control of the Russian defense ministry, is now recruiting women for combat roles, a reflection of Russia’s demographic difficulties and a possible indication of where the Russian army is headed as a whole as Putin’s war in Ukraine grinds on.

            Up to now, Russian women have been recruited into military formations primarily in traditional “women’s roles,” that is as nurses or cooks, but not as combat soldiers (

            Now, however, the Borz Battalion, which is part of the Redut PMC and uner the command of the GRU, has become accepting Russian women to take part directly in combat (

            Given the declining size of the draft-age cohort of Russian males, it is perhaps no surprise that some in Moscow may see the use of women in combat roles as a solution; but if so, such use of women in combat will change the nature of the Russian military, by challenging the dominance of men in senior positions whose attitudes are anything but progressive on this point.

            And that in turn will create yet more fracture lines not only within the military but also between the high command and the Kremlin, developments that may keep this innovation from spreading lest it split the military and the political elite.    

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