In 2007, 70 thousand women were serving and working in the Ukrainian army system. Today’s stats are 50,000. Most positions are, of course, “peaceful”. Medical service, liaison, accounting are top 3 vectors. Many women are in technical operation & maintenance, administrative and paperwork, civil connections, translation, supplies, transportation, cynology.
119 girls are studying at military institutions of Ukraine. Under the Soviet Union, civil universities, in addition to professional education, gave basic military training and reserve ranks to the youth of both sexes. Many secondary schools still have defense lessons, both for boys and girls.
18,000 women are in the actual service (80% on contract, 12.6% warrant officers, 6.4% officers, among them 4 colonels). All branches are represented; prevalently, land troups (7,000 women) and air forces (6,500 women). Every day 300 Ukrainian ladies are on duty in air defense. In many divisions, instructors for operating / shooting / driving all sorts of equipment are female.
Soldier Yelena (Dnipropetrovsk), a radiop, has made 47 skydives from IL-76.
The flight records of Senior Lieutenants Tatiana (Vinnitsya) and Victoria (Kharkiv) are 200 and 160 hours on search & rescue missions.
Another Victoria, would-be graduate from Kharkiv Air Force University, can boast almost 40 training hours on fighter jets.
IT engineer SL Lyudmila is the author of corps-to- brigade / platoon headquarters communication software.
In the Command Centre of Ukrainian Navy, Captain-Lieutenant Natalia is senior aide to the duty officer, and Marta, Captain III rank, heads the Chief Command Information Station. Ukraine has a civil vessel captain lady, too. She’s navigated all over the world.
Within the past 15 years, Ukraine’s peacemaking operations have involved 27 women. The first of them, SL Valeria Parada, was awarded a medal of the UNO. Women are recognized as better snipers, some of them became legendary. And if we explored the women’s part in the Soviet Army and the World War II, then Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Baltic feats and stories alone would take a book.
Physical training is ruthless, but relations are mainly friendly. Though all kinds of men’s attitudes are there: from soaring morale and impersonal chivalrous help, to marriages – or to unreturned love scandals, self-damage, and violence; from sexist “welcome” to male-style camaraderie; from disciplining the girly girls, terrifyingly or comically, – to well-grounded respect for competence. How about private life? “Amazons” don’t care; traditional ladies face same caution and admiration as any Slavic woman in a power suit.
Of 1,130,000 Russian military, 8.5% are women. If we take all power departments, women make 12.5% of 4,000,000 staff. The distribution of positions is similar to that described above, with an emphasis on strategic rockets. Beauty and skill contests publicize the image of girls in the uniform.
This survey also shows, that to 54% women, who have chosen the army path, it was no call of heart or kindred, but a way to get employed and to (help) sustain their families, the chance owed to the deficit of manning in the decayed system of defense. 53% respondents are living in closed military settlements. Of these ladies, most are officers and/or wives of officers, who protect them from injustices on the labor and personal fronts, and understand the demands of their work. More vulnerable are sergeants and privates. 40% of them are divorced, many are raising 2-3 children, and therefore agree to low-paying jobs with harsh work conditions. Anyway, the State provides more salaries and bonuses to the army than to its budget-funded civil education and healthcare.
On the other hand, a Russian journalist found it nearly impossible to become a “soldier Jana”. Not everywoman, not everywhere, not every year, can get admitted to armed forces. Military training makes it easier for the bold, though there is a secret decree precluding female enrolment to military academies. Per whole country, once glorified by its war pilot heroines, there is now only one woman on MIG-29, one on “Black Shark”, and one air assault unit of women.
But here are lots of photos! Army girls in the uniforms of various countries of the world, and Soviet women in the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi. Sorry if the download gets whimsical, – just click refresh.
© Comrade Natalia
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