Russia to downsize armed forces by 2012

October 14th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Oct 14 (RIA Novosti) Russia will downsize its armed forces to one million service personnel by 2012, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Tuesday.The armed forces have already been trimmed to 1.2 million personnel, including 310,000 officers, from 4.5 million of the Soviet time.

“By 2012, we will have a one-million strong army with 150,000 officers who will constitute 15 percent of the total numbers,” Anatoly Serdyukov told a news conference in Moscow.

Serdyukov said his ministry would also reduce the number of personnel at central headquarters and high-level command structures by 60 percent from 22,000 to 8,500 by 2012.

In the near future the strategic and operational-level command-and-control structures of the Russian armed forces, which currently comprises military districts, armies, divisions and regiments will undergo drastic changes, the minister said.

“We are planning to have military districts, operational command units, and brigades to improve the effectiveness of all operational-level command structures in the armed forces,” Serdyukov said.

In addition, each military district will have an airborne brigade as a quick-reaction operational-level unit.

Based on the experience of a recent five-day military conflict with Georgia, these units will be used to accomplish operational-level tasks with high precision and in a matter of several hours, the defence minister said.

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