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IStories: Russian PMC starts recruiting women as snipers, drone operators

by Martin Fornusek October 23, 2023 11:14 PM 2 min read
Russian female officers march during the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat on June 24, 2020 at Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Illustrative purposes only. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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The Borz Batallion of the Russian Defense Ministry-controlled "Private Military Company Redut" had begun recruiting women into its ranks as combat specialists, according to an investigation by the IStories outlet published on Oct. 23.

"Initially, we did not have women, only men. Now, we have decided to try out a female sniper squad and a female drone operator squad because women can do it too," the battalion's recruiter with the call sign "Vesta" told an IStories journalist, who was posing as a potential recruit.

"My task as a detachment commander is to prove that women are created not only for soups and children."

An advertisement for a six-month contract with the battalion was posted on the Russian social network Vkontakte, offering a salary of 220,000 rubles ($2,300), IStories discovered.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March that 1,100 women were involved in Moscow's war against Ukraine. Over 39,000 women in total serve in the Russian Armed Forces, almost 5,000 of whom are officers, the minister claimed.

However, women are more usually assigned non-combat roles in the military, such as doctors or cooks, IStories noted.

Russian independent media reported in July that the Russian Defense Ministry had launched a recruitment campaign to attract women for military service as doctors, nurses, and cooks.

There were some exceptions to this rule, as Moscow has reportedly recruited female prisoners also for battlefield deployment, the Russian NGO "Russia Behind Bars" told IStories in March.

Read Also: How Russia’s liberal tech companies became the foundation of Putin’s war effort

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