RUSSIAN SOCIETY HAS NO SINGLE OPINION ON HOW TO FORM ARMY

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MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russian society has no single opinion on how the army is to be formed - by conscription or on the contractual basis. This is evident from a survey conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Study Fund (VTsIOM) before the start of the fall conscription.

By the center's data, there is no single opinion in the issue of the principle of formation of the Russian army. Society has divided into two almost equal parts: 46% of the polled Russians spoke for conscription, and 48% for a contract-based army.

The army remains in the public opinion one of the institutions enjoying "considerably high confidence of the population." In the opinion of the VTsIOM experts, Russians in their choice, on the one hand, are guided by alleviation of military service, and on the other, they fear the weakening of the armed forces.

By the poll data, 31% of Russians believe it necessary to reduce the service term to 18 or 12 months. 35% believe that the term shouldn't be reduced. Some 16% of Russians believe the term must be less than a year - from 9 to 6 months.

The poll results give VTsIOM specialists grounds to believe that public opinion perceives rather positively the possible reduction of the number of deferments in case the term of service is reduced to 1 year in 2008. 39% of Russians assess such changes as positive, while 29% of those polled are of the opposite opinion. Some 30% said they didn't know.

The center polled 1,541 people. The survey was conducted on September 18-19 on the basis of an all-Russian selection in the country's 39 regions.

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