Women want to serve their country, says deputy defence minister Nikolai Pankov.
Students of various Siberian universities at Miss Kemerovo 2013 beauty contest. Picture: Yevgeny Zolotukhin
Women want to serve their country, says deputy defence minister Nikolai Pankov. The aim is to recruit more women as professional soldiers, he told a meeting of students from Siberian universities in Novosibirsk.
'My personal opinion is that we should see more women in the military ranks serving as officers, generals, sergeants, and privates,' he said, according to RIA Novosti. Some 200 women became cadets at various military education establishments in Russia last year, and their number was expected to grow in 2014.
Women are now admitted to the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School with an 'enormous' number of applications, he said.
'This goes to show that there is demand for the military profession among women and we should not ignore it.'
Around 11,000 women are currently doing military service under contract, down from 30,000 five years ago due to army staff cuts under ongoing military reforms.
'They serve as officers and petty officers mainly in staff positions, including as specialists in medical and financial services, or in communications units,' explained RIA Novosti.