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Nearly 400,000 contractors serve in Russian army

Since 2012, the number of contractors has nearly doubled, according to the defense minister

MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Nearly 400,000 contractors currently serve in the Russian Armed Forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Monday during a session of the Russian State Duma’s (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee.

"Since 2012, the number of contractors has nearly doubled, currently reaching 394,000 people," the minister said.

According to him, in every regiment and brigade, two battalions are formed by contractors, while one is formed by recruits, who are not involved in combat missions.

"Currently, there are 136 tactical battalion groups in the armed forces formed by contractors, ready to carry out any mission put forward to them," the minister continued.

Shoigu added that the total staffing level of the Russian army is currently at 95-100%.