MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) – Female officers will serve for the first time in air defense units stationed at a Russian military base in Abkhazia, the Southern Military District's press service said Thursday.
More than 50 recent graduates of military schools, including four female lieutenants, have arrived at a Russian base in Gudauta, a Black Sea town that is north of the capital, Sukhumi.
“It is the first time that female graduates have arrived to serve at the base,” the press service said in a statement, adding that the young officers, who had graduated from military school with honors, would command crews operating air defense systems.
Russia maintains a 3,500-person force in Abkhazia under a September 2009 agreement on military cooperation. The force’s headquarters is in Gudauta.
As of last year, about 50,000 women are serving as officers and petty officers in the Russian military, mostly in staff positions. About the same number are contracted by Russia’s armed forces as civilian personnel.