"By the end of 2007, we must have an army 50 percent staffed by contract servicemen," Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov said at a government meeting today. After that, he said, the term of military service could be reduced to one year, by 2008.
According to Ivanov, experience shows that "material motivation is not enough to attract contract servicemen". "It is necessary to choose the best men for contract service," he added. The Defense Minister also stressed the need to pay more attention to educational work and discipline in the army. "These are key priorities for the army command," he stressed.
At the same time, Ivanov admitted that there were many difficulties. According to him, today's soldiers are poorly educated, and their physical and psychological health is also worsening.
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on remarks in the US media about failures in launching nuclear-capable missiles in Russia
The Buk system that shot down MH17 belonged to the 53rd SAM missile brigade of the Russian Ministry of Defense, investigators say after looking at a few pictures on the net
It has long been understood that the West has been trying to subject Russian borders to total control. We have not seen such activity even during the Cold War