Russian women sue over not being allowed to be snipers
© Sputnik/Maksim Blinov
The demand for contract service with the National Guard among Russian women is so high that some rejected applicants even go to court after failing to get recruited as snipers or special forces troops.

20,000 females are currently serving under contract in the force, according to Major General Igor Virukhin, who oversees recruitment to the National Guard.

"The demand is very high," he pointed out, adding that a recent court hearing in the southern city of Saratov was another proof to that.

"Eight women there sued Russia's Defense Ministry and National Guard for not being allowed to serve as privates or Special Forces troops," Virukhin said.

The officer explained that the ladies had dreamt of becoming snipers. However, the major general asserted that "it's not a female position."

Sniper activity isn't included on the list of substitutable military professions that can be carried out by both men and women, such as communications officer, process engineer or cook, Virukhin said.

Female snipers made a major contribution to Russia's victory in the Great Patriotic War (WWII) in 1941-45, becoming a true nightmare for the Nazis and eliminating thousands of invading troops.

Lyudmila Pavlichenkova is the most decorated of them all, killing 309 Nazis, including 39 enemy snipers, during the battle for the Black Sea port cities of Sevastopol and Odessa.

Last year, Russia's Defense Ministry had resumed training female military pilots for the first time since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, after receiving hundreds of letters from young women dreaming of a career in the sky.