Army Pay to Soar Under 3-Year Plan

Military officers' pay will soar under a three-year modernization plan, said Nikolai Makarov, the head of the General Staff.

"If we optimize, we can exponentially increase pay, which is very low for officers and contract soldiers serving in our army," Makarov said in interviews Saturday with Interfax and Vesti-24 television.

Makarov said a lieutenant would earn at least 70,000 rubles ($2,700) per month within three years after the number of officers in the army is halved.

Most officers receive salaries below the national average of about 16,000 rubles per month.

The armed forces will have no more than 1 million servicemen by the end of the three-year reform, including 150,000 officers, or half the current number, Makarov said in the interviews.

Analysts say the reform, which was unveiled last week and aims to turn the top-heavy, bloated army into a more compact force, will face resistance from generals who stand to lose their jobs.