Conscripts in the Russian armed forces will have a five-day working week and civil workers will be hired to cook food and clean, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
Following a series of incidents involving the deaths of military conscripts in the past few years, Russian authorities have moved to boost the safety of servicemen and improve the military's image.
"We want to introduce a five-day schedule in which a conscript undergoes physical training and combat drills and masters the use of the arms and equipment assigned to him. Saturday and Sunday will be days off," the minister said on Tuesday.
He said that cooks and cleaners will be employed to free soldiers from tasks unrelated to military service.
All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 are obliged by law to undertake one year of military service, but reports of military hazing and harsh conditions encourage people to evade conscription by bribing military officials and doctors for medical exemption certificates.
MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti)