The Russian Defense Ministry will submit concrete plans for the switch of the Russian armed forces to a contract system in 2004, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters on Wednesday. Full switchover to the new system "will require hundreds of billions of roubles", he warned. The chief of the defense establishment also said that he cannot give a precise timeframe of the switch. "It will be a rather lengthy process", he stressed.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23