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    NO CHANGES IN RUSSIAN AIRBORNE FORCES

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    PARIS, march 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Ministry of Defence plans no changes in the personnel of airborne forces, Acting Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov stated.

    "Being an important component of the country's constant alert troops, Russian airborne forces will neither increase nor decline in number," the official said.

    The main task is constant and extensive combat training, Ivanov remarked. "We are planning to check their mobility this year. The training operations will include the redeployment of forces within boundaries of the Russian Federation and operations in small groups in unfamiliar localities," the head of the Russian Defence Minister reported.

    For the time being one fourth of the airborne forces' personnel have been converted to contract, Ivanov underlined.

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