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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Will Lose 130,000 Soldiers

The country will cut its military personnel by 130,000, 10 percent, over the next three years, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said late last week.

The armed forces now have 1,340,000 personnel, Pankov said.

The navy's submarine fleet will be manned with professional soldiers beginning next year, Pankov said. The rest of the military will become professional in 2008, Interfax reported.

For now, the military relies on conscripts, but the number of conscripts is expected to decrease as so-called permanent combat readiness units are staffed with professional soldiers. These professional soldiers would be required to serve for three years. The term of compulsory service for conscripts will drop to one year from two years in 2008.

Pankov's comments came while addressing Moscow students.