27/7 Tass 182
MOSCOW, July 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Airborne Troops are not planned to be cut, disbanded or integrated in the Ground Troops. The numerical and combat strength of the Airborne Troops remains unchanged, at least until the reforms in the Russian Armed Forces are completed, Chief of the Airborne Troops Staff and Hero of Russia Lieut. Gen. Nikolai Ignatov told reporters on Wednesday.
“We are an independent arms of troops, the Airborne Troops are not planned to be disbanded or integrated into other troops, for instance, the Ground Troops,” Ignatov said ahead of Russia’s Day of Airborne Troops celebrated on August 2.
“The top brass of the Defence Ministry decided to leave the Airborne Troops in the same numerical and combat strength until the reforms in the Armed Forces are completed, and we will think about the development of the Airborne Troops under some concrete conditions provided,” the chief of the Airborne Troops staff said.
He recalled that the numerical strength of the Airborne Troops reached more than 150,000 servicemen in the Soviet times, but dwindled fivefold by now. “Today our arm of the service numbers up to 32,000 servicemen. The structure of the Airborne Troops remained unchanged. We have four divisions (two assault divisions and two landing divisions) and a separate brigade (an assault brigade) and the commandoes as before,” Ignatov noted.
“We will have the same numerical strength and structure according to the plans to develop the Airborne Troops. Currently there are no prerequisites that the Airborne Troops will be disbanded and the troops will lose its combat power. We preserved the same combat ability,” the general underlined.