Anyway, we have conscription around here, and men must serve up to three years in the army between 18 and 27 years of age. However, there are some things which can postpone your visit to the military forces - if you are a university student, have a baby under three years of age or if you are the only parent, you don't have to go to the army when you are 18, or may even be freed from the obligatory service. Ha-ha-ha, here's the good news: it's all been cancelled recently, meaning that no matter what your family or educational status is, you still must go and shoot your gun. As well as that, from 2008 onwards all military service periods will be reduced to one year.
Also, Putin recently announced that each family will be paid 250,000 roubles (around $8800) if they give birth to one more child in their family.
Here's why our government decided to play this game...
Only 15-20% of all the people which are elegible to conscription go to the army every year, leaving 80-85% of the potential military force untrained, meaning that our country will be weak in military respect. The one-year service and getting rid of the factors that can postpone your service period are supposed to attract more people, thus producing more soldiers. Combine this with the increase in the amount of newborns, for which the government provides a good enough incentive (8800 bucks is really good if you live God knows where - and most people in Russia live exactly there) - and you get a huge boost in the country's military force, with a massive amount of cannon fodder at its disposal.
Why does Russia need such stron military force? Oil. Oil's resources are running out, meaning that Russia needs to find more oil to maintain its market position. And the only country that has enough oil is USA. It's pretty clear now, isn't it? Combine it with the fact that Rumsfeld recently included Russia in the "axis of evil", and another conflict between two super powers becomes even more likely.
If my prediction is wrong, I will be a very happy man.