Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 71

The chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s planning and mobilization directorate said April 9 that more than 200,000 draftees are expected to enter the Russian armed forces this spring, raising manning levels to 85 percent of statutory strength. Although Lt. General Vyacheslav Zherebtsov complained of chronic manning shortages due to the wide variety of deferments still available to draftees, the 85 percent figure represents a significant increase. In mid-1993, for example, the Defense Ministry reported manning levels of just over 50 percent.

According to Zherebtsov, 65 percent of this spring’s total draft contingent will go the armed forces, with the rest being sent to the border troops, the Interior Ministry, and the railroad troops. He also said that only 21 percent of those actually eligible for service will be drafted and that about 31,000 draft dodgers were registered last year. There are currently 270,000 contract soldiers in the army, 100,000 of whom are women. (Interfax, April 9) According to Zherebtsov, Russian units deployed in Chechnya will soon be staffed entirely by volunteers on contract. Currently only 50 percent have that status.

Duma Defends pro-USSR Resolution, Backs Yeltsin Moves.