Russia Stabs its Heroes in the Heart
Russia is firing 200,000 of its military officers, having suddenly discovered they are superfluous. Why? Because the government has run out of money to pay and house them, much less all the enlisted men they would supposedly manage.
Yet, to avoid a mass insurrection by destitute military men who know how to use guns, Russia has promised each of them a $400/month pension and a free apartment. That pension alone would cost the Kremlin nearly a billion dollars each year to pay, with another gigantic sum being tacked on in monthly rent. It makes no sense, of course, for the Kremlin to make such a claim when the reason for the firings in the first place was lack of funds, but sense has never been an obstacle to the Russian government.
So the officers are being relegated to tiny, moldy, disgusting trailer parks along with their families.
The Associated Press reports:
I feel very disappointed and bitter,” said retired Col. Vyaslav Solyakov, 51, chainsmoking on the porch of the trailer his family has been living in since 2002. The trailer sits at the edge of a parking lot and is home to 12 families, who share two bathrooms and one kitchen. It was supposed to be temporary housing, but seven years later, they are still there.
And the young officers who remain in the ranks are little better off, earning a paltry $250/month salary, hardly enough to sustain a family. They will become virtual slaves of the Kremlin, unable to leave because the Kremlin cannot afford to lose them.
They are well off compared to the draftees, though. These even younger men, forced into the army against their will, suffer the brutal humiliation and torture of dedovshchina hazing, many of them driven to suicide by it. They live in slum conditions ruled by corrupt officers desperate to eke out some kind of living from their miserable conditions, officers who often sell the raw recruits into slavery.
How can Russia, with such an army, dare to strut and pose like a mighty power, menacing and threatening the NATO nations who can crush it with ease by buzzing them with nuclear bombers and taunting them with submarines? This is the crazed suicidal policy of the USSR, and it can lead to no better result.
A nation that stabs its heroes in the heart does not deserve one.