According to Russian law, all male citizens aged 18-27 are obliged to serve in the military for one year. Exceptions are allowed for people with health problems, single providers with pensioner parents or small children, and a few other groups.
Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s human rights activist believes Russian women should not be an exception:
“Maybe I will not get support from everyone here, but I think that our girls’ right for conscription service as privates is infringed. They cannot get permission for this and this is wrong.”
The Defense Ministry commented on the ombudsman’s words on Thursday, stating that the manning of forces is currently accomplished with conscripted recruits and contract servicemen, and that women’s rights were not being infringed upon.
Moreover, the ministry stated that conscription for men is a duty, not a right, while women can join the forces voluntarily and reach any rank – from private soldier to general.
In addition, the ministry said that Russia currently has about 45,000 females in the military (out of total 830,000 active military servicemen), most of whom serve in communications troops, logistics units, and in military schools.