The Russian Army on the Verge of Collapse

Paul Goble reports:

Faced with a declining number of men in the prime draft age group and increasing resistance even among them, the Russian defense ministry is calling for extending the length of time during which the spring draft will take place, drafting men as old as 30, reducing the number of deferments and bringing to justice those who illegally avoid service.

If these measures are adopted, the Russian military might be able to fill its draft quota this time around but only at the cost of increasing disruptions in the economy and especially in the lives of young men and of worsening public attitudes toward the military, activists and experts warn.

Russia’s spring draft began on April 1 and was slated to last until July 15, but the problems the military has been having with securing enough draftees this time around have been so severe that the General Staff this week offered a series of proposals so that it can reach its quota.

First, Col. Gen. Vasily Smirnov, the Staff’s deputy head, called for extending the draft to August 31 to give the system a chance to round up more people. He said that last year, 100,000 individuals refused to serve and that now “10,000 [potential] draftees do not want to receive” draft notices. “At the same time,” “Stoletiye” reported, Army General Nikolay Makarov, the chief of the General Staff said that approximately 200,000 people are seeking to avoid service and that the military wants to force prosecutors to bring those who are refusing to fulfill their military obligation to justice.

Second, the defense ministry announced that it wants to increase the upper age limit for draftees from 27 to 30, thereby increasing the size of the draft pool, at least this time around.

And third, the ministry “proposed reducing by 70 percent the number of higher educational institutions of Russia whose students are deferred from service.”

All these measures would require parliamentary action. Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the defense and security committee of the Federation Council, said that he supported some but not all of these proposals. And Anatoly Kucherena, a member of the Social Chamber, said that the proposals should be subject to the widest possible public discussion. But if these two are at least willing to consider the military’s proposals, others, especially in the activist community, are appalled by what the General Staff has suggested. Valentina Melnikova, the head of the Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers, said she was shocked by what commanders want.

In an interview with Svobodnaya Pressa, Melnikova said that the proposals represented “a putsch by the generals” and even recalls “August 1991.” That is because, she continued, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had met with her group only nine days ago and told its members that he had no plans of this kind. Serdyukov was either dishonest, something she doesn’t believe, or he didn’t know what his generals were planning, Melnikova added. If he is in charge, she suggested, the defense minister needs to impose order and dismiss those generals who are acting on their own. If he isn’t, of course, there is a bigger problem than the arrangements of the current draft cycle.

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30 responses to “The Russian Army on the Verge of Collapse

  1. Psalomschick

    Again, thanks to Paul Goble!
    With all the terrible information which has been made public, about the severe mental/physical abuse of young Russian conscripts, not to mention, them being used as cannon-fodder in useless military adventures of the Kremlin gang, in invading and supressing and butchering local
    populations, is it any wonder that so many young Russian boys & men, seek to avoid this?
    And too, if they survive complusory military ‘service’, what help do they get from their grateful (?) government, as veterans?….virtually, none.
    And, how can anyone, fight and maybe die, for such a corrupt government, as V. Putin’s???

  2. Voice of Reason

    The Russian Army on the Verge of Collapse? Great news! That means that Saakashvili can attack Ossetia again, and this time he will easily defeat the collapsing Russian army, bringing on his bayonetes the Western-style peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity to the eagerly-awaiting Ossetian people.

    • Voice of ‘reason’ wrote;

      The Russian army on the Verge of Collapse? Great news! That means that Saakashvili can attack Ossetia again, and this time he will easily defeat the collapsing Russian army, bringing on his bayonetes the Western-style peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity to the eagerly-awaiting Ossetian people.

      comment;

      What a pathological hatreat for Mr. Saakashvili on the part of Mr. Putin [I personally thing it has slightly sexual reason']

      Whenever there is a serious question asked, as in this case, the inevitable demise of the Russian army – all KGB bloggers – trivialised it – it really means that the problem is beyond control and beyond solution; good news indeed…

      Taking about Ossetia – NOBODY but Russians have access to the so called ‘independent Ossetia’ – what horrors must be taking place in this isolated place – how many, out of 70,000 Ossetians, have been already slaughtered by the Russians or deporte – the Russians called it ‘providing jobs for the Ossetians in the different part of Russia. Good old soviet union is back; alive and kicking – the next step will be to reopen the goulags – just a question of opening gates……

      • Why do you call it South Ossetia at all? Don’t you know there’s no such region? Go ask some Georgians.

  3. If freaking Rasha did not want overflow its stinking swamp to pollute Europe, this draft would not be necessary.

    Mostly inductees to put down ethnic regions whom do not want Moscali commiting atrocities on their country, and will rebel in the end anyway.

    Moscal Army will not be much good if inductees decide not to show up, or the army decides to just go AWOL when demoralized.

    There could be those KGB machine gunners in the rear as an historic inducement, but that will not stop a general revolt of the armed forces.

    Low moral, complaining and grumbling eventually looks for the opportunity, just as it did in WWI. Even Moscali will finally get the idea that they have the sh!t end of the stick.

    • Thanks God in 2008 brave Georgians had shown them panicking Russians the true might of the really free people.

  4. I hope these reports of military problems are true.

    The developing “special relationship” with Germany is worrisome. Hopefully Poland’s shale gas will make things difficult for Nordstream.

    • Sure. Poland is going to be a superpower. From sea to sea. From Odessa to Kiel.

      • Dimatry wrote;

        Sure. Poland is going to be a superpower. From sea to sea. From Odessa to Kiel.

        comment;

        Dimasha,

        We appreciate your sarcasm – Poland always wanted to be and, IS FREE , independent, democratic state that uses its natural resources [ it will include shale gas, of course] to trade not to blackmail like Russia.

        I keep repeating that V. Putin is god sent – he is taking russia back to 18 century – he is restoring russia’s ‘glory of the past’ – the price the russians pay? – 100 year gap between Europe and Russia. Let’s don’t even try compare US with Russia – it would be simply not only ridiculous but also obscene.

        The example – the standard of living in Lituania during the deepest crises was 58% higher than that of Konigsberg – I cannot imagine how these Russian slaves live…..

  5. Thank you LR! for printing Paul Goble’s article.

    What an eye opener this article is.

    The unrest of the plebs in Putalin’s fascist Russia seems to be raising to the surface slowly. I wish them all the success should they rise to the occasion.

    Down with tyranny, the enemy of all free and decent nations.

    • What weed do you smoke there in Australia, dear Ukrainian nationalist?

      • Dah! Dimi dimwit, the truth of the matter you ‘weed’ is – I don’t smoke! PERIOD. So try another, but different, lie. Remember ‘nashi’ you’ve just got to stop lying, or one day you’ll go blind in your ghetto land, a serious consequence for you dear ruSSian fascist?

    • Bohdan wrote;

      Thank you LR! for printing Paul Goble’s article.

      What an eye opener this article is.

      The unrest of the plebs in Putalin’s fascist Russia seems to be raising to the surface slowly. I wish them all the success should they rise to the occasion.

      Down with tyranny, the enemy of all free and decent nations.

      comment;

      Even for Russian slaves there is a limit, but before Russia becomes free she has to go through the painful process of desintegration; losing half o its present territory – look at the perpheric wars Russia is fighting- Georgia, North Caucasus, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine – the list is long indeed – but Russia will never stop trying to regain [nsuccessfully] its imperial past – instead of recreate the old empire Russia will reach the status of Mongolia…..

  6. Dumbitry wrote;

    You are taking your country to the XVII century.

    comment;

    dumatry,

    You showed a map of Commenwealth of Kingdom of Poland and Dutchy of Lithuania – the multiracial, multicultural and multireligious country that survived over 300 years and then collapsed as Russian empire is rotting away in front of our eyes – what was the point???

    • Only one message copying your way of throwing accusations caused such a reaction?

      Did they close the nearest Prozac POS, buddy?

  7. The Russian army is an awful rag tag outfit, none of their uniforms match and no one seems to be wearing any body armour. They even steal and wear US Marine uniforms and drive off with HMMVVEs

    • Warrren, did you ever asked yourself why is that 1) none of these “Russian soldiers” bears Russian flag on their uniform, and 2) How can one steal equipment, even if it’s US-made, from an enemy during a war?

      • Because moron, the Hummers belonged to the US government, and had been awaiting loading for return to the US after the completion of exercises.

        You really are a retard

        • Oh, sorry, buddy. We just thought what Georgians used for their excersises was Georgian. BTW, it seems there were no US instructors there, how comes they leave their weaponry and transport behinh, isn’t this against every rule of behavior?

          But did you file for a compensation for your communication equipment from those captured Hummers to the Russian military? I am sure you’ll be quick to receive some.

  8. The Russian Army not content with abusing Russia’s neighbours and minorities. The Russian military abuse and exploit their own as well. With Russian soldiers being sold into sex slavery.

    Russian soldiers ‘used for sex’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6356707.stm

    • Allegations made long before, say, the scandal over Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons in Europe. Got anything new?

  9. Despite the “victory” over lowly Georgia, the August 2008 war exposed many shortcomings of the Russian military. Its non-existent communications capability, at one stage the Russians tried to use the GPS to guide their units and resorted to using mobile phones for their generals to talk to each other. Poor performance of their antiquated Soviet equipment, poorly trained and motivated soldiers.

    You can read a comprehensive assessment of Russia’s performance in the August 2008 war at this link below.

    Russia’s Conventional Armed Forces and the Georgian War
    ROGER N. McDERMOTT

    http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/09spring/mcdermott.pdf

  10. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    “…the Russian defense ministry is calling for extending the length of time during which the spring draft will take place, drafting men as old as 30, reducing the number of deferments and bringing to justice those who illegally avoid service.

    Perhaps that Russians learned these tricks to prolong a man’s time in uniform from another major world power, which instituted the “stop loss” policy in order to keep its soldiers in combat even after some of them had passed the end of their terms of enlistment.

    The U.S. Army does not have a draft, although the idea keeps resurfacing every time the nation has a major ground-forces commitment – but the maximum age for enlistment in the U.S. Army is 42.

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/enlage.htm

    • The key word is “enlistment.” These people sign up voluntarily and do it professionally. As opposed to Russian Army where the service is under the threat of imprisonment.

      Ever thought why Russians have such hard time filing up their recruitment quota? Perhaps because their army is a variation of prison, and of course hundreds of thousands try to evade being sent there

      • Voice of Reason

        RV,

        Why is the US Army having such hard time filing up its recruitment quota? You would expect that if American teenagers shared your warmongering goals, they would flock to die in god-forsaken places like Iraq or Afghanistan, or better yet in Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  11. U.S. Army has its own problems which are off topic here. Why are you trying to change the subject? If you think you beloved Red Army or whatever it is called these days is good and decent institution, state so, and explain why you think that. Many people here are sick and tired of your histreonics.

    Whatever the U.S. Army’s problems are , wide spread hazing half to death (or sometimes literally to death) is not one of them

    • I like this offtopic theme’s sound. Think we can call this tune, with all variations, “an impotent’s theme”.

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