The Russian Air Force will begin training female military pilots for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.
“There are so many young women who want to become military pilots. We receive hundreds of letters [from them],” Shoigu told journalists.
“Therefore, we decided that this year we’ll recruit the first group of women to the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School,” he added.
Fifteen female cadets will begin their training program to become military pilots on October 1, Shoigu said.
“There will not be many of them… but given the number of applications received to the Air Force, we can’t ignore those requests,” he said.
Shoigu, who was attending the celebrations of the Russian Air Force at Patriot Park outside Moscow on Saturday, expressed hope that the female graduates “will show off their skills at a similar event” in five years’ time.
If the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School cadets fulfil the minister’s expectations, they’ll join a long lineage of female Russian pilots.