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More than half of all Russians support professional army - poll

Moscow, 22 October: One-third of all Russians (34 per cent) are in favour of retaining universal military service and conscription in the country, while the majority of those questioned by pollsters (57 per cent) have called for a switch to an army manned on the contract basis.

These figures were given to Interfax on Monday (22 October) at the Levada Centre following a nationwide survey carried out in mid-October.

The poll showed that 54 per cent of respondents agreed with the idea of reducing the term of service on conscription in return for the abolition of most deferrals while 37 per cent are against it and one in 10 is unable to say what is better.

If any of the respondents' family members were subject to conscription, 45 per cent of them said they would not object while 42 per cent would look for ways to dodge army service, and the rest were unable to answer, the Levada Centre survey demonstrated.