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  Thursday, January 21, 2021
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The Russian Armed Forces were never planned to be all-volunteer
The Russian Armed Forces were never planned to be all-volunteer, the top general in charge of mobilization said Friday. "No such plans have ever been on the table. The history, economy and geography of our state, with its lengthy land borders, means that a mixed force is a necessity," Lt. Gen. Vladimir Konstantinov, head of the Mobilization Directorate, said. He said more than half the personnel should be conscripted. "The real challenge is to create military service conditions that would be competitive on the labor market. So far, they are not. Only 14-15% of volunteers extend their first contract," he said. Last year, 47,000 volunteers were enlisted and about as many discharged, he said. Konstantinov put the number of enlisted volunteers in today's fighting force at roughly 197,000. Under a new law adopted to speed up the transition to a volunteer force, those conscripted this year will serve 18 months, down from 24 months until 2006. As of 2008, those conscripted will serve only 12 months. While enlisted men's wages, depending on the armed service, can be from about 8,000 rubles ($300) in the Ground Forces to 13,000 rubles ($500) in the Navy per month, the average wage in the country was about 11,000 rubles ($430) last September, up 24.3%, year-on-year.
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