Foreign observers join discussion of army reform

The military attaches of several foreign nations are taking part in discussions here, with the leadership of the 76th Paratroop Division, on the transformation of the Russian army into a fully contract force. Taking part in a briefing at the press center of the regional administration, attended by a The Pskov division has been taking part in an experiment on the transformation since September 1, 2002. Despite the great difficulties faced by the division leadership in selecting candidates for contract service, some 80% of the division is now on a contract basis.

According to Aleksandr Trushkin, the pay of contract recruits is two to three times greater than ordinary recruits. He expressed confidence that material support for the army would continue to grow in that the experiment in transforming the army into a contract service is under the control of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The contract troops live in a military village. Part of their barracks are equipped dormitory-style, and soldiers who have families may obtain permission to live at home. Foreign military attaches from Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Israel, India, Korea, Nigeria, Mexico and Finland arrived in Pskovsk on August 15.

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