Based on this Interfax report, Russia’s ability to combat Islamist separatism within its borders — not to mention in the “Near Abroad” — may be hampered by demographic trends within its own military forces:
Volga-Urals Military District Has More Muslims Than Orthodox
Yekaterinburg/Moscow, February 9, Interfax — Most believers in the troops of the Volga-Urals Military District are Muslims, a source in the military district headquarters told Interfax on Tuesday, citing recent polls.
“A survey indicates that about 50% of those in the military district’s troops are Muslims, 40% Orthodox and 10% Protestants. The Muslims’ preeminence over the Orthodox in the military district troops has never been reported before,” the source said.
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No religious conflicts have been reported in the Volga-Urals Military District, or instances when servicemen would refuse to take the military oath or to dodge service on religious grounds.
Deputy Defense Minister Pavel Pankov earlier said that most believers in the armed force are Orthodox Christians, about 13% Muslims, some 3% Buddhists and 4% profess other religions, according to polls.
“The situation in the Volga-Urals Military District indicates that the exterritorial principle is being fully observed when troops are being formed, ex-head of the Defense Ministry’s Personnel Department Yevgeny Vysotsky told Interfax.
Hat tip: Fjordman.