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Thread: The Russian Military: Declining or Better?

  1. #21
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default The Professional Army's Dead Souls

    By Alexander Golts, Moscow Times Commentary

    Jan. 1 was supposed to have been a defining moment for the armed forces. By this date, a federal program to switch a portion of the conscripted armed forces to professional contract duty was supposed to have been completed. The plan, which was initiated in 2003, emerged as a compromise between the Kremlin and the military's top brass.

    If what the military officials claim is true about the success of the new professional units, it might be possible to congratulate the armed forces on even the most modest steps taken toward building a new and improved army.

    Initial plans called for 144,000 sergeants and soldiers to switch to contract duty. Now the top brass are reporting only 100,000 soldiers on contract duty. At the same time, Colonel General Vasily Smirnov has said 20 percent of all sergeant and soldier positions needed for the new professional units remain "vacant."

    The larger problem, however, is not so much the inadequate number of professional contract soldiers, but the terribly low quality of their services. ...Colonel General Alexei Maslov, commander of the Ground Forces, acknowledged: "In some aspects, they are no better prepared than corresponding units of conscripts."

    ...many servicemen were forced into signing contracts through the use of deceit, fraud, psychological pressure and physical violence.

    In private conversations, high-ranking military officials admit that during the past year they have managed to recruit only enough new soldiers to replace those who have deserted.
    More at the link
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  2. #22
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post

    The Russians are above all about the operational level of war. There are few Armies that have ever matched, let alone surpassed the Russians' record of operational successes. The Russians were the first true masters of the Operational Art as they first developed it between the two World Wars. Even the Germans as a whole never really quite mastered Operational Art (although von Manstein himself was perhaps the ablest practitioner of the Operational Art of WWII).
    ...and they lost vast numbers of men doing it. The Russians may understand the Operational level, but they can only apply it at great cost. - millions of lives to defeat the Nazis.

    Unless they have numbers the Russians are, like the Chinese, and North Koreans, mostly sub-capable. Numbers is the only think on their side.

    "Talks Star Wars, Act Cave man"
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Numbers is the only think on their side.
    And nuclear weapons.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ...and they lost vast numbers of men doing it. The Russians may understand the Operational level, but they can only apply it at great cost. - millions of lives to defeat the Nazis.

    Unless they have numbers the Russians are, like the Chinese, and North Koreans, mostly sub-capable. Numbers is the only think on their side.

    "Talks Star Wars, Act Cave man"
    Too true Wilf, and your ending quote pretty much sums up the essence of Russian Military Theory and Practice.

  5. #25
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default So? Not that big a deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    And nuclear weapons.
    They just make a bigger bang, no more. Yes, there is radiation -- but there is also high cholestrerol; everybody's gonna die from something...

  6. #26
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    With its conventional forces Russia will be able to keep and increase its capability to
    operate on parts of the Eurasian land mass. It will thus develop a considerable regional
    power projection capability.
    http://www.foi.se/upload/rapporter/f...capability.pdf

  7. #27
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    Eurasia Daily Monitor, 17 Jan 08: Moscow Resumes May Parades to Demonstrate Military Strength
    Full-scale, Soviet-style military parades – with displays of tanks and other military hardware – will return to Red Square beginning May 9. The decision to resume this public display of military might was reportedly taken at a January 12 meeting of top Russian military leaders. The new Topol-M (SS-27) mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles will also roll past the reviewing stands near the Kremlin wall. The parade is timed to celebrate VE-Day, the end of the European portion of World War II.

    The planned high-profile parade will apparently coincide with the inauguration of the next Russian president, presumably Dmitry Medvedev, whom Vladimir Putin has designated as his successor. Medvedev’s election on March 2 is a near certainty, since elections are a mere formality in the framework of Russia's imitation democracy, and the new president must be inaugurated during the first half of May. A public display of Russian armor and nuclear might is clearly a grand way to welcome Medvedev and to commend Putin, who has agreed to serve alongside Medvedev as prime minister. Its easy to imagine them both – Putin and Medvedev – standing side-by-side atop the reviewing stand in front of Vladimir Lenin's tomb, as the tanks and ICBMs roll by and jet fighters scream overhead – symbolizing the restoration of mighty Russia.....

  8. #28
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    Putin had become convinced during the Second Chechen War that an army based on mass conscription was completely ineffective for the defense of the country. “To effectively respond to terrorists we would need to assemble a force of at least 65,000 men. But of all the military land forces, only 55,000 were in battle-ready condition,” recalled Putin, referring to the level of federal forces in 2006. “The Army has 1.4 million personnel, but none of them can fight. So they sent unseasoned kids into battle.”
    It would appear that the number of military service members in contract units hovers somewhere around 50,000.
    http://russophobe.blogspot.com/2008/...ion-golts.html

  9. #29
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    Russia's Security Policy Grows "Muscular": Should the West Be Worried?

    http://www.upi-fiia.fi/eng/events/ev...nce_policies/#

  10. #30
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    Resurgent Russia? A Still-Faltering Military

    Still, despite the recent infusions of resources, Russia’s army remains a pale shadow of its former self. If it is, indeed, on the road to recovery, it has a very long way to go considering its present condition, confusion about its future direction, and the enormous advances the U.S. armed forces have made since the Cold War.
    http://www.hoover.org/publications/p.../14830596.html

  11. #31
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    Russia Profile, 5 Jun 08: Hunting Conscripts
    Russia’s Ministry of Defense is desperately searching for new conscripts, as the Russian army faces difficulty in drafting enough soldiers for the next year. The problem is that beginning in 2009, a sharp decrease in the number of eligible conscripts is expected, since exactly 18 years ago, in 1991, Russia experienced a sharp birthrate decline. In Russia, young men can be drafted into the army starting at the age of 18.

    This decline was connected to the economic difficulties caused by price liberalization, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and other forms of turmoil that Russia underwent during that epoch. Starting in 2000, the economic and demographic trends improved, but the military commissariats all over Russia presently face problems, since the army currently needs young and preferably educated people now, and not in 18 years. The army’s problems are aggravated by the recent cut in the term of military service, which reduced the time of obligatory service from two years to one.

    Thus the military seems to have opted for a radical solution - to grab high school graduates immediately following their graduation in late May, before they manage to enter universities in June and July. According to Russia’s law “On Military Duties and Service,” students cannot be drafted into the army.....

  12. #32
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default The New Russia

    Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, is making the rounds to explain Russia's role and expectations in the 21st century. Appearing today on Fareed Zakaria's 360, he spoke in depth on democracy, capitalism, Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan.

    In his words...

    Go Russia!

    Achieving leadership by relying on oil and gas markets is impossible. We must understand and appreciate the complexity of our problems. We must frankly discuss them in order to act. In the end, commodity exchanges must not determine Russia’s fate; our own ideas about ourselves, our history and future must do so. Our intellect, honest self-assessment, strength, dignity and enterprise must be the decisive factors.

    My starting point while setting out five priorities for technological development, offering specific measures for the modernisation of the political system, as well as measures to strengthen the judiciary and fight corruption, is my views on Russia’s future. And for the sake of our future it is necessary to liberate our country from persistent social ills that inhibit its creative energy and restrict our common progress. These ills include:

    1. Centuries of economic backwardness and the habit of relying on the export of raw materials, actually exchanging them for finished products. Peter the Great, the last tsars and the Bolsheviks all created – and not unsuccessfully -- elements of an innovative system. But the price of their successes was too high. As a rule, it was done by making extreme efforts, by using all the levers of a totalitarian state machine.

    2. Centuries of corruption have debilitated Russia from time immemorial. Until today this corrosion has been due to the excessive government presence in many significant aspects of economic and other social activities. But it is not limited to governmental excess -- business is also not without fault. Many entrepreneurs are not worried about finding talented inventors, introducing unique technologies, creating and marketing new products, but rather with bribing officials for the sake of ‘controlling the flows’ of property redistribution.

    3. Paternalistic attitudes are widespread in our society, such as the conviction that all problems should be resolved by the government. Or by someone else, but never by the person who is actually there. The desire to make a career from scratch, to achieve personal success step by step is not one of our national habits. This is reflected in a lack of initiative, lack of new ideas, outstanding unresolved issues, the poor quality of public debate, including criticism. Public acceptance and support is usually expressed in silence. Objections are very often emotional, scathing, but superficial and irresponsible. Well, this is not the first century that Russia has had to confront these phenomena.

    People tell us that we cannot completely cure chronic social diseases. Those traditions are steadfast, and history tends to repeat itself. But at one point serfdom and rampant illiteracy seemed insurmountable. However, we overcame them all the same.

    Of course traditions have a considerable influence. But they nevertheless fit in with each new era and undergo changes. Some simply disappear, and not all of them are useful. For me, only unquestionable values which must be preserved may be regarded as traditions. They include interethnic and interfaith peace, military valour, faithfulness to one’s duty, hospitality and the kindness inherent in our people. Bribery, theft, intellectual and spiritual laziness, and drunkenness, on the other hand, are vices that offend our traditions. We should get rid of them by using the strongest terms.

    Of course today’s Russia will not repeat its past. Our time is truly new. And not just because it is moving forward, as time does, but also because it opens up before our country and each one of us tremendous opportunities. Opportunities of which there was no trace twenty, thirty, or much less a hundred or three hundred years ago.

    The impressive legacy of the two greatest modernisations in our country’s history – that of Peter the Great (imperial) and the Soviet one -- unleashed ruin, humiliation and resulted in the deaths of millions of our countrymen. It is not for us to judge our predecessors. But we must recognize that the preservation of human life was not, euphemistically speaking, a government priority in those years. Unfortunately, this is a fact. Today is the first time in our history that we have a chance to prove to ourselves and the world that Russia can develop in a democratic way. That a transition to the next, higher stage of civilization is possible. And this will be accomplished through non-violent methods. Not by coercion, but by persuasion. Not through suppression, but rather the development of the creative potential of every individual. Not through intimidation, but through interest. Not through confrontation, but by harmonising the interests of the individual, society and government.

    We really live in a unique time. We have a chance to build a new, free, prosperous and strong Russia. As President I am obliged to do everything in my power to make sure that we fully take advantage of this opportunity.
    v/r

    Mike

  13. #33
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What the President says and

    What does the Prime Minister, Mr Putin, say?

    That is the key question as most reports I've seen and bothered to read on Russia think that Mr Putin wants to be president again.

    davidbfpo

  14. #34
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    What does the Prime Minister, Mr Putin, say?

    That is the key question as most reports I've seen and bothered to read on Russia think that Mr Putin wants to be president again.

    davidbfpo
    Very true. I'm sure many will be pessimistic by the President's remarks. We'll have to wait and see.

    v/r

    Mike

  15. #35
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Well he says the right things. But I wonder if he actually means it, seeing as how he is an integral part of a government that does a pretty good mafia imitation. Nothing will matter anyway unless they can defuse their demographic time bomb.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  16. #36
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    Behind the golden doors.

    Mr Medvedev’s article evoked memories of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika speeches in the 1980s; he said this week that what went wrong with Mr Gorbachev was that he began but failed to complete his reforms. Mr Medvedev, however, has not ever started. But cynics also saw an echo of Mr Putin’s first state-of-the-nation address as president in July 2000. Mr Putin talked then of a shrinking population, a backward economy and the importance of freedom of speech and human rights.

    So it is not surprising that many Russians were unimpressed. As one website visitor commented: “Mr President, your mostly correct words have nothing in common with what is happening in the country of which you are the leader. I don’t believe you. Do something first, something that would illustrate your readiness to modernise the country and move it forward. Fire the government or let Khodorkovsky out. At least do something!”

    The problem, argues Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, is that the economy cannot become dynamic and progressive if the political system is not fair and free. But Mr Medvedev’s liberalism is virtual not real. In 18 months of his presidency, the Russian media has not become any freer. Political opponents have not gained access to television. The number of murders and attacks on human-rights activists has gone up. And the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once one of the country’s wealthiest oligarchs, has turned into a showpiece of political repression.
    As Mr Medvedev’s letter to Mr Yushchenko shows, he fits in with the Kremlin’s policy of confrontation and the search for enemies, particularly at times of crisis. The tension at the top of the government does not seem to make Russia any friendlier towards the West. Although his article said that Russian foreign policy should be defined by the goal of modernisation, Mr Medvedev shook hands with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez on an arms deal (see article). “We will supply Venezuela with the types of arms it asks for, acting in compliance with our international obligations. We will certainly deliver tanks too, why not? We have good tanks.”

    On September 14th, at a conference on global security in Yaroslavl, Mr Medvedev again lambasted America for causing the global crisis. He also called for a new European security architecture that would give Russia greater influence, particularly in the former Soviet space.
    http://www.economist.com/world/europ...ry_id=14460297

    The Vladimir and Dmirty show.

    TO SEE Russia’s two leaders in quick succession is instructive. The more so if the issue is which should run for president in 2012, when Dmitry Medvedev’s current term expires. Vladimir Putin, tanned and muscular, positively twinkled as he told the Valdai club of foreign academics and commentators over lunch on September 11th that “we will reach an agreement. We understand each other. We are people of one blood, with the same political views…We will look at economic and political factors, and at the position of the United Russia party, which I head, and then decide.”
    http://www.economist.com/world/europ...ry_id=14460354

  17. #37
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default I think...

    Tom put it best:

    Vision v/s rhetoric...

    That will be the challenge of the next generation. Facta non Verba- putting actions/deeds with words...

    It will be interesting.

    v/r

    Mike

  18. #38
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default Strange Russian reform goals

    http://russiamil.wordpress.com/2010/...eorganization/
    (...)
    The goal of all these transformations is to reduce the number of layers of command from sixteen to three, hopefully thereby increasing the speed and accuracy of military decision-making. The idea is that with this new simplified command system and improvements in communication equipment, “the chief of the general staff will be able to call any company or platoon commander” and vice-versa. (...)
    Ouch. 16 to 3 is incredible (and I doubt that it's accurate), but a direct comm link from Moscow to a platoon at the Chinese border isn't exactly an improvement in my opinion.

  19. #39
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    Russian Military Reform Goal #37: No more beating young conscripts to death and then selling their organs on the Chinese Black Market


    Is the Russian Army Bullying Its Soldiers to Death?, by Carl Schreck. Time Magazine, June 21, 2010
    Russians have become so familiar with stories of military suicides that Suslov's death might have warranted little more than a brief mention in the press had it not been for the disturbing video posted on YouTube on June 2 showing his body in an open casket. In the video, Suslov's shirt is opened to reveal a line of enormous stitches running from his neck to his abdomen, evoking images of the leather laces on an antique basketball. His mother hovers over his body while the mother of a solider who allegedly committed suicide in 2003 gives a harrowing narration of the apparent injuries to Suslov's body. The woman, Alma Bukharbayeva, claims her son Marat was murdered during his mandatory service in Bikin and that his organs were removed and sold on the black market in China. The crude stitches and various bruises and abrasions on Suslov's body, she alleges in the video, indicate his organs may also have been removed to be sold for transplant surgeries.

  20. #40
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    Default This Week at War: A Leaner, Cleaner Russian Army

    This Week at War: A Leaner, Cleaner Russian Army

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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