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Russian Officers Quit As Cutbacks Increase

Half the Russian army officers whose contracts expire in the next two years plan to resign due to poor living conditions and the declining state of the military, the Interfax news agency said Friday.

Col. Gen. Grigory Kasperovich, head of the Defense Ministry’s personnel department, said that 22 percent of the officers’ posts and 33 percent of non-commissioned officers’ jobs already were vacant, and the situation was expected to get worse, Interfax said.

Kasperovich said that 100,000 current officers don’t have proper housing, and 40 percent of the cadets were dropping out of military schools to choose other careers.

Russia’s army has been in decline since the 1991 Soviet collapse. With the economy in crisis, the armed forces have faced sharp cutbacks in funding. Top military officials regularly complain about poor conditions and low morale in the armed forces.

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North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

UPDATED: 5:42 p.m.

updated  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Saturday for the second time in a month, exchanging a huge bear hug and broad smiles in a surprise summit at a border village to discuss Kim’s potential meeting with President Donald Trump and ways to follow through on the peace initiatives of the rivals’ earlier summit.