Putin in Surprising Move: Russia recruiting female snipers

Written by Jeppe W

Oct.30 - 2023 12:47 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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In an unprecedented shift in military dynamics, the Russian Federation has taken a significant step towards diversifying its combat forces by actively recruiting women for combat roles within its private military companies (PMCs).

Confirmed by the British Ministry of Defence, this move marks a historical change in the Russian military's approach to women in active combat, particularly in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

European Pravda reports that ads have surfaced on various social media platforms, explicitly calling upon women to join the ranks of the Borz battalion, a unit operating under the Russian Redut PMC. The roles in question are notably high-skill positions, including snipers and unmanned aerial vehicle operators.

Analysts from the British Ministry of Defence believe that the Redut PMC operates with direct financial support from the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia, now known as the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation.

This connection underscores the state-backed nature of this recruitment effort, as PMCs play an increasingly significant role in Russia’s military strategy.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu acknowledged in March 2023 that approximately 1100 women were actively participating in combat roles in Ukraine, comprising about 0.3% of the Russian Armed Forces’ personnel. Despite this seemingly small percentage, the active recruitment of women for specialized combat roles marks a substantial shift in military policy.

Historically, Russian women have rarely been seen on the front lines in Ukraine. However, during World War II, the Soviet forces had a robust tradition of incorporating female snipers and other women’s units into their combat forces. These women proved to be invaluable assets, with many becoming decorated heroes of the Soviet Union.

The recent recruitment drive raises questions about whether the official Russian Armed Forces will take cues from their PMC counterparts and expand combat opportunities for women within their ranks. As the world watches, Russia’s latest military tactic unveils a new chapter in women’s participation in combat, potentially reigniting a legacy of female warriors from the past.