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Russian Defense Ministry launches large-scale draft campaign to enlarge contract army

May 12, 2014, 13:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At present, the Russian armed forces have 74 draft stations for servicemen drafted on a contract basis

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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

MOSCOW, May 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Defense minister Sergei Shoigu has instructed to draft volunteers, who wish to serve in the army on a contract basis, drafting servicemen to the Airborne troops first, the press and information department of the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

The servicemen will be drafted on a competitive basis in areas where the airborne troops are traditionally stationed - in the cities of Ivanovo, Novorossiysk, Pskov and Tula. Movable draft stations will be established where volunteers are to be interviewed and tested if they are fit for the military service in the airborne troops. A first mass draft event to select servicemen for a professional army will be held on May 17, the defense ministry said.

In the next leg the volunteers who pass a preliminary test will be invited to airborne troops' units to test physical fitness of the potential conscripts. As a result of these tests potential conscripts will be issued corresponding certificates showing the results of the preliminary tests.

In the framework of the draft campaign concerts programs have been prepared with the participation of paratroopers who are to demonstrate their skills in martial arts fighting. The concerts and paratroopers' shows will be held in central squares of regional centers, where alongside with the show programs exhibitions of weapons and military hardware will be held and photographs devoted to the history of the Airborne troops will be displayed.

At present, the Russian armed forces have 74 draft stations for servicemen drafted on a contract basis. In July 2014 two more draft stations for “contract” servicemen will open in Crimea - in Sevastopol and Simferopol; on December 1, 2014 new draft stations are scheduled to open in the Moscow region and in the capital of Khakasia, Abakan.

In 2014 the Defense Ministry is planning to recruit more than 237,000 servicemen to a contract army. The number of “contract” servicemen in the Russian army is planned to reach half a million by 2017.

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