contracted recruits for the next 10-15 years, President Dmitry Medvedev
said on Monday.
Russia is in the process of reforming its armed forces by shifting the
focus away from a largely inefficient body of conscripted soldiers
toward a smaller professional army.
The current length of military service for draftees is one year, while
the shortest term of a military service contract is three years.
“I believe that in the next 10-15 years, our recruiting system should
combine both conscription and contracting,” Medvedev said at a meeting
with paratroopers at a military base near Moscow.
“We should do everything possible to make contract service attractive and prestigious.”
He said the monthly salary for an entry-level military specialist may be doubled to around 30,000 rubles ($1,000).
In line with the reform, the armed forces will be downsized to 1 million
personnel by 2016. Deputy Chief of the General Staff Vasily Smirnov
said on Saturday the reformed forces would be made up of 220,000
officers, 425,000 contract servicemen and 300,000 conscript soldiers.
Medvedev also stressed the importance of pre-conscription training for young draftees at “patriotic clubs.”
“It is a useful undertaking…because young people should be in good
physical shape and realize what they are expected to do while serving in
the military,” the president said.