Russian President Vladimir Putin has purportedly initiated a controversial shift in strategy by involving women in combat roles within the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as reported by the German newspaper, Bild. This marks a significant departure from established practices, signaling the entry of female personnel into combat missions.
The media has conveyed that Russia has commenced the recruitment of women to bolster their combat forces for the very first time since the inception of the war. These women are being enlisted into the Borz battalion, a unit affiliated with the private military company (PMK) Redut, which operates under the aegis of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Their roles encompass snipers and drone operators, underscoring the evolving landscape of warfare. According to credible sources, these female soldiers are offered six-month contracts, which include a competitive monthly salary of approximately 2,200 euros.
Moreover, in the unfortunate event of an injury, a substantial bonus of 30,000 euros is promised, with a more significant compensation of around 50,000 euros for the families in case of fatality. Notably, the recruitment advertisements indicate a preference for candidates with prior weapons experience, although provisions for a month's training are available in the partially occupied Donetsk region of Ukraine for those who lack this expertise before being deployed to the combat zone.
A spokesperson from the Borz battalion, identified as "Vesta," emphasized the rationale behind this decision, stating, "In the beginning, we didn't have women; there were only men. Now, we decided to try to introduce a female sniper squad and a female UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) department because women can do it too." This move is perceived as a testament to the capabilities and resilience of women in challenging roles traditionally dominated by men.
Furthermore, "Vesta" elucidated her role as a squad commander by emphasizing the need to challenge stereotypes, saying, "My task as a squad commander is to prove that women are not just made for making soups and children." This underscores the desire to break gender stereotypes and exhibit that women can excel in combat roles as well.
This development reflects in the pursuit of their objectives
Media reports have also highlighted the public acknowledgment of two women, Julia Sherement from Donetsk and Natalia Nikonorova from the Russian Urals, who have been recruited to serve in the Borz battalion.
Their participation signals a tangible shift in the dynamics of the ongoing conflict. It is essential to note that while the Redut is portrayed as an independent, private military company, it is allegedly covertly controlled and funded by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, as disclosed by Russian dissident Vladimir Osechkin to Newsweek.
This revelation challenges the facade of independence and underscores its connection to the Russian military establishment, as opposed to being a genuinely private entity. In conclusion, the involvement of women in combat roles within the context of the Ukrainian conflict signifies a significant change in strategy, challenging gender norms and the perception of women in combat.
This development reflects the evolving nature of warfare and the adaptability of military forces in the pursuit of their objectives.