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Russia To Raise Military Wages, Have More Officers

MOSCOW (AP) - The Kremlin says it will nearly double the military wages and increase the number of military officers.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday police and other law enforcement agencies will also get wage hikes starting next January.

Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that an army lieutenant will get an average monthly wage of 50,000 rubles (about $1,700), about twice as much as the current salary.

He also said that the military will also increase the number of officers. Over the past two years the number of officers was reduced from 355,000 to 150,000.

Serdyukov was quoted by news agencies as saying Wednesday that the armed forces will now need 70,000 more officers because of the plans to form additional units.