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Johnson's Russia List [list two]
16 August 1997
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Sovetskaya Rossiya: "Appeal to citizens of Russia by General
Lev Rokhlin and members of organizing committee of All-Russia Movement
for the Support of the Army, Servicemen, the Defense Industry, and
Military Science; We Shall Soon Lose the Right To Call Ourselves
Citizens of Russia."
2. Kuranty: Aleksandr Sadchikov, "Who Is Against a Way Out!
The Communists and the Generals Are the Main Opponents of the
President's Edicts on Reform of the Army."
3. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Interview with General Petr Deynekin,
Commander in Chief of the Air Force, on military reform.
4. Interfax: Official: Ties With CIS Arms Manufacturers Vital for
Text of Rokhlin Army Support Movement Appeal
August 14, 1997
[translation for personal use only]
"Appeal to citizens of Russia by General Lev Rokhlin and members
of organizing committee of All-Russia Movement for the Support of
the Army, Servicemen, the Defense Industry, and Military Science;
We Shall Soon Lose the Right To Call Ourselves Citizens of Russia" -
- passages between slantlines published in boldface
The reason for my first famous appeal to the supreme commander in
chief and servicemen, and for the decision to create a movement, was the
impasse in which I found myself when trying to tackle the country's defense
and security problems.
During our 18 months' work on the State Duma Defense Committee we, the
members of the committee, repeatedly arranged for issues concerning the
state of the Army and the country's security to be considered at
parliamentary hearings, to which we invited the country's leaders and
famous scientists and designers. With their help we evolved proposals to
solve the Army's problems and submitted them to the government and the
president. Unfortunately, nobody made use of our proposals. Indeed, they
pretended not to notice them.
A year ago, in June 1996, we asked the government for a short- and
long-term forecast of the country's economic development to enable us to
evolve a blueprint for the country's security on the basis of a realistic
assessment of the economic and financial conditions in which military
reform will take place, and of what we can expect. To this day we have not
received a reply.
Meanwhile, the situation has been developing as follows: The only
forces which now guarantee our country's security -- the strategic nuclear
forces -- have followed all the other forces and begun to collapse. Our
current missiles and their support systems are nearing the end of their
warranty period. Their wholesale decommissioning will start in 2005 and be
completed by 2009-2010. But the missile rearmament program is three years
behind schedule, and the chances of implementing it are decreasing by the
day.... China will not make any territorial claims against us until 2010.
The United States is prepared to respect the treaty on antiballistic
missile defense (ABM) until 2003. They are well aware of our problems.
And they are waiting patiently.
This spring designers and senior members of the Strategic Missile
Forces High Command gathered at the Moscow Thermotechnical Institute under
the leadership of the commander in chief of the Strategic Missile Forces
(the current defense minister). There was only one question: What is to
be done? It was decided to prepare parliamentary hearings on the problem
of the strategic nuclear forces. And, in order to prevent the country's
leadership from again brushing aside this problem of vital importance to
the state, they decided that the hearings must be conducted by the speaker
of one of the Federal Assembly chambers.
But it so happened that both Federation Council Chairman Ye.S. Stroyev
and State Duma Chairman G.N. Seleznev supported this initiative and jointly
signed an appeal to the president proposing to conduct parliamentary
hearings on this highly important problem of th country's security.
The president made no response to the speakers' appeal. And this was
the last straw, which convinced us of the executive's unwillingness to
consider highly important state problems. Then I made my appeal to the
president and servicemen. Then we started to create our movement.
/The power of public opinion is the only remaining source of support
to which we can turn./ And we have already found such support. More than
60 national organizations responded to our initiative and declared that
they were joining the movement. Only two weeks later, 300 of their
representatives gathered for a conference and set up the organizing
committee. Then the members of the organizing committee began to tour the
country to acquire a more detailed knowledge of the situation in the
provinces and to set up regional branches of the movement.
Let us admit that we were not expecting such wide support. But we
were even more struck by what we discovered from our meetings with city and
oblast leaders, the public, servicemen, and defense enterprise directors.
Here are just a few examples:
-- The population is dragging out a half-starved existence. At the
ship repair yard in Polyarnyy, Murmansk Oblast, officers have not been paid
for about 11 months. As in times seemingly consigned irrevocably to
history, people have learned how to prepare meals from goosefoot [plant:
Meanwhile, it is well known that some of our compatriots have managed
within the past few years to knock together fortunes rivaling the wealth of
the world's most famous names, which had taken centuries to accumulate.
-- Defense plants are standing idle. They have no state order, and
none is foreseeable. The sequestration of the budget's defense items will
have only one consequence: the total collapse of defense plants and
institutes. At the same time, they are not permitted to export their
output. Directors have lost heart. All their initiative gets no further
than the doors of Moscow officials. And the president has vetoed the law
"On Military-Technical Cooperation," which gave enterprises a chance to
bolster production by means of export.
-- Conversion, in other words, switching to civilian output, has not
been implemented at defense enterprises either, because of the failure of
the state conversion program.
Plants and scientific research institutes have made major staff cuts.
Many design schools have been lost, and the development of promising areas
of science has been halted.
-- The country is not producing munitions for its weapons. This
"achievement" is attributable partly to the privatization of small but very
important plants producing graphite elements, without which not a single
missile can be made. These plants are at a standstill, their equipment is
ruined. Production of powder [porokh] has stopped. Armor plate is not
-- Other surprising things are also happening. Following a major
overhaul, in which billions of rubles [R] have been invested, nuclear
submarines are being laid up and scrapped. Even ships with titanium hulls,
which could remain in service for over 100 years, are being prepared for
-- The president's promises to provide all the officers being
discharged with housing are flimflam. Governors, and it is they who have
been instructed to resolve no less than half of the servicemen's housing
problems, are amazed at these promises. They do not even have the money to
provide housing for those who were discharged a long time ago and have been
languishing expectantly in makeshift accommodations for many years. And
there are around 150,000 people like that in the country. They will soon
double in numbers.
The Vladimir Garrison's helicopter regiment has already been
downsized. Given the fact that there are 200 homeless families in the
military camp it is easy to imagine the situation that people have found
themselves in. If the authorities were unable to resolve their problems
when they were in service, now they are discharged they have lost even the
illusion that a solution is possible. And a similar fate awaits virtually
everyone who will be forced to quit the Army as a result of its downsizing.
The government's idea of obtaining money to resolve these problems by
selling the infrastructure being vacated by the Armed Forces has already
produced a result. A hostel on the books of the Directorate for Military
Trade has already been put up for auction in Moscow. And that means that
39 servicemen's families will soon be relieved of their cramped communal
living conditions and get a chance to breathe the fresh air of the city
streets to their heart's content.
B. Chubays received R7 trillion for the budget by privatizing the
whole country. How much can be obtained from the privatization (for that
read: sale) of a construction battalion's half-ruined barracks and
military trading establishments' squalid premises?
But it is not only the false promises to servicemen that are flimflam.
It is not only the country's defense potential that is being devastated.
Other highly important sectors of the economy are also being destroyed.
The whole nation is being duped. Specifically, the food complex is being
ruined. This is being done in a very sophisticated manner. St.
Petersburg, for instance, has been receiving humanitarian aid from abroad
in the form of powdered milk for a long time. People have gotten
accustomed to the "free" product. Demand for fresh milk has dried up.
Dairy farms were forced to reduce the number of cows. Whereupon the
humanitarian aid came to a stop. A new price for imported powdered milk
was announced, which soared rapidly.
The local poultry industry was wrecked in Pskov in the same way with
the help of cheap chicken drumsticks delivered from abroad. Grain
production is now being destroyed on a national scale. By flooding the
country with cheap imported grain foreign suppliers have created conditions
whereby consumers have begun to refuse to buy national producers' grain.
Today people in the localities are not delighted with the good harvest
expected this year. The granaries are still full of last year's grain.
If we cut back our grain production we will find ourselves dependent
once and for all on food shipments from abroad. And that means that in
time a change of authority in the country will be of no significance.
Since no authority will be able to manifest even the tokens of autonomy,
but will be forced to carry out suppliers' orders.
A hungry, duped people, utterly dependent on the wishes of those who
feed them, will not heed any arguments or the voice of reason and is the
best force against itself and its future.
Is that not the main aim of the current regime's Western advisers?
Are this regime and its representatives not just a means of reaching the
point beyond which Russia will never again be able to call itself a Great
Being aware of all this and having such doubts can one trust in the
sincerity of those implementing the reform? Can we count on this reform's
being designed to strengthen the country's security?
/We do not trust in that We cannot count on that./
First, because all the disruption in the Army and in the country has
taken place under these authorities and they have not done anything to halt
it. There is no constructive business that the authorities could undertake
and that could be carried out to the benefit of the country and the people.
Second, because V.S. Chernomyrdin and A.B. Chubays, who have been
appointed to direct reform in the Army, have already demonstrated their
abilities. Two years ago the former was made responsible for reform. It
is well known what was achieved. The latter organized privatization in the
country and "delighted" the whole population with vouchers. The result is
also well known.
Third, because a blueprint for reform cannot be elaborated in a month.
And it cannot be the product of one man's deductions. In order to
elaborate a blueprint and program for military reform it is necessary to
take account of the country's economic potential and appreciate its
development prospects, it is necessary to evaluate the international
situation, obtain future forecasts, and assess the dangers that may arise
in the immediate future and the long term, what is needed is serious
legislative study of all reform issues, it is necessary to be aware of the
main options for the development of scientific-technical progress and on
that basis determine the breakthrough areas in science and technology.
Purposeful work by the whole state is required for all this along with the
expertise of thousands of scientists, designers, analysts, diplomats, and
servicemen. The United States spent 10 years carrying out its military
reform. Six of those years were spent on experiments and preparing the
legislative base. Yet an attempt is being made in our country to
accomplish overnight something that has only been talked about for six
Fourth, the fact that the whole discussion is about Army reform rather
than about the country's military reform in general confirms that the
authorities are satisfied with the state of the police forces, have no
intention of downsizing them, and are not about to highlight their area of
jurisdiction and responsibility.
After failing to solve the country's socioeconomic problems,
disappointing people's hopes, and forcing the people into an extremely
difficult position, the regime, in a desire to retain power, is trying to
secure itself against manifestations of popular discontent. The country's
security is of little concern to it.
Fifth, no reform can be carried out without adequate financial
backing. A blueprint for reform and calculations based on the country's
real economic potential are needed to validate it. However, in our country
everything is happening in reverse. There is still no blueprint, yet the
president is already announcing that no more than 3.5 percent of GDP will
be earmarked for defense. We know where that figure has come from. The
IMF has been insisting on that for over three years now.
A defense budget of R83.5 trillion is planned for 1998. Given
inflation of 50 percent a year in 1996 prices this figure will amount to
around R45 trillion. That is, notwithstanding the 50- percent downsizing
of the Army, the defense budget will be cut by a factor of three. And that
means that the Army's funding in 1998 will be worse than it was in 1996,
which was a most difficult year for it.
Can we believe the president's tale that after this downsizing our
Army will be stronger than the U.S. Army and stronger than the NATO armies?
/Based on the above we reached the following conclusions:/
-- There can be no prosperous Army and defense industry in a poor and
-- It is impossible to change the situation as regards the country's
defense and security without changing the leadership's political course in
-- It is impossible to achieve this change by nonpolitical methods.
-- The incumbent regime not only has no intention of agreeing to
compromises, but it is even reluctant to conduct dialogue with opponents.
It is preparing to use the full force of the police apparatus which it has
created and is making threats. Take the president's statement that he will
"remove the Rokhlins"! The regime has lost its sense of reality and has
forgotten democracy, statements of loyalty to which brought it to power.
The time for hypocrisy is over. The regime has removed its mask.
-- Political methods of struggle in these conditions will not bear
fruit either unless everyone who values Russia, who cares about its
people's future joins forces.
taking the experience of the United States, whose example we are
constantly being taught to follow. President Nixon's aide only tried to
look at the papers of the aide to the president's electoral rival.... And
the whole United States was up in arms demanding impeachment.
Simply no one in our country would pay attention to such pranks. But
far more serious and dangerous things are happening in the country:
-- The population is falling by 1.5 million a year. That is 7.5
million in five years -- that is the number that Germany lost in World War
II. Not only has the birth rate fallen but also people's life expectancy.
That is akin to genocide.
-- We are losing our future. The number of homeless children today is
greater than it was after the Civil and Great Patriotic Wars.
-- Industrial production has fallen by 70-90 percent. During the
Great Patriotic War, having sent men to the front, putting women and
children to work at the machines, and moving plants from European territory
to the Urals and Siberia, Russia only lost 30 percent of its industrial
-- Tens of thousands of people died in Chechnya. For what interests?
Whose fault was this?
/We, Russian citizens, are fully entitled to call to account the
authorities' representatives, the president included, for all this, and
demand their resignation. Six years is more than enough to stop trying to
put the blame on one's predecessors' mistakes. Six years is enough to have
the right to demand results. We can see what these results are from our
lives and the life of the whole country.
/We demand that a government of people's trust [pravitelstvo narodnogo
doveriya] be formed and conditions prepared for new free elections.
/We insist on everyone's being provided with equal rights to use the
mass media to express their position./ It is time to stop duping people
and presenting obvious failures as achievements. It is time for the
handful of privileged journalists who have been given complete supremacy in
the country's major television companies, which have been bought with money
stolen from the people, to stop serving the interests of the financial
The movement which we have created is striving to unite
representatives of the most diverse organizations. The range of their
political views wavers between extreme left and right, including the middle
ground. We are not setting any conditions for those who support us. We
will only reject those who advocate the ideology of fascism and aggressive
The movement's organizers are not setting themselves the tasks of
coming to power. We want just one thing -- we want the people to be given
another chance to make their choice. We hope that they will be able to
learn from bitter experience and make the right choice, which they will not
We are prepared to go to all lengths with our intentions regardless of
the most violent opposition. We are ready for dialogue with any opponents
and are prepared to take account of any viewpoint if it is constructive.
We accept any criticism provided if it is well-founded.
Our movement's defense thrust should not perturb anyone. A strong
Army is not the end in itself, but an idea, which can only be achieved in a
prosperous, strong country, populated by an intelligent, proud people.
/The honor and glory of the motherland and the tranquillity and well-being
of the people are the only goal, to attaining which all efforts and, if
necessary, life itself can be given./
We urge all patriots to moderate their political ambitions and stop
coming to blows with one another. We urge all citizens to awaken from
their lethargy and apathy. If we do not join forces in order to save the
Fatherland we will very shortly lose the right not only to our own
political views but also the right to be called citizens of Russia.
Opponents of Military Reform Viewed
Kuranty, no. 31
August 6-12, 1997
[translation for personal use only]
Article by Aleksandr Sadchikov: "Who Is Against a
Way Out! The Communists and the Generals Are the Main Opponents
of the President"s Edicts on Reform of the Army"
Boris Yeltsin was not about to wait until the end of the public
discussion on the future of the Russian Army, which has been going
on for several years now. He signed four edicts devoted to this
painful subject. In turn, the Ministry of Defense made a pledge
to present to the head of the state, by the end of September, a
concrete program for reform of the Armed Forces.
Naturally, it is hard to judge unequivocally, from the edicts
signed by Boris Yeltsin, what the Russian Army will become in, let
us say, 10 to 15 years. In the opinion of specialists, however,
the coming structural changes will make our Armed Forces more battle-ready
and up to date. For example, the high command of the Ground Forces
will disappear — it will be replaced by a different structure,
smaller in number. It will partially combine the missilemen with
the anti-aircraft defense troops, and the construction and road
directorates, as well as the commissaries, will be removed from
the composition of the Ministry of Defense. This is by no means
a complete list of the coming changes. All these changes are important,
of course, but they are, let us say, of an intra-army, corporative
nature. The way the coming numerical cutback in the domestic Armed
Forces will impact the country is much more important.
There are 1,700,000 servicemen under arms in today"s
Russia. By 1 January 1999, the army should number 1,200,000 individuals.
It is not difficult to determine, through a simple arithmetical
operation, that in the course of one-and-a-half years, almost every
third "man with a rifle" will have to find himself a place in civilian
life. The reduction will of course take place primarily at the expense
of conscripts, but 120,000 fully specific officers and warrant officers,
who actually have no civilian specialty, will also be transferred
to the reserve. If you further add to this all the officers"
children and household members, it becomes clear: as a result of
the cutback in the army, new problems will arise for the state.
Not only social (every person transferred to the reserve is offered
a separate apartment and a one-time payment of 20 months of salary),
but also political: the outcome of the coming Duma elections, and
after that, the presidential elections, will in many ways depend
on how the former servicemen are installed in civilian life (in
the opinion of sociologists, military reform will actually affect
from 1.5 to 2 million people — taking account of the members
of the families of those transferred to the reserve). At the same
time, we must not forget that people who know how to handle weapons
and when necessary (if the need arises), are capable of solving
their own social problems, to put it mildly, with illegal methods,
will be leaving the army. The reservists and members of their families
may simply turn out to be petty cash in the hands of certain political
Incidentally, political haggling about the coming cutback
in the army has already begun. The representatives of the opposition,
as always, reacted quickly to President Yeltsin"s edicts.
General Valentin Varennikov and Stanislav Terekhov, leader of the
"Officer"s Union," feel that "under the guise of cutting
back, Yeltsin simply wants to destroy the army." For the time being,
these are only words, but communists are more and more often turning
words into deeds. At a recent briefing, Igor Shabdurasulov, chief
of the Department of Culture and Information of the Government staff,
stated that in one of the military units in Novosibirsk Oblast,
immediately after the appearance of the presidential edicts, "red
agitators" from the CPRF [RF Communist Party] were observed
to be actually inciting the soldiers and officers to unconstitutional
actions — to come out decisively against the cutbacks in
the army and against the Supreme High Command, which in our country,
as we know, is the president. Another case of the communists"
violating the legislation in force (political agitation and propaganda
are forbidden in the army) was thus recorded. Right now, the "red
agitators" are treated coolly in the units and formations, and they
themselves do not display a great deal of activity, but how will
the situation develop after the real cutback in the Armed Forces
In addition to the fully specific political forces, army reform
has other opponents. As we know, the cutback will affect not only
the young officers, but also the generals. Right now the Russian
Army has two to three generals aspiring to each of the 1,700 positions
of general. Some of them are content with the quite comfortable
and profitable position of colonel, while others are fighting for
the creation of new posts, corresponding to their knowledge. Still
others are quietly waiting for the retirement of the chief, in order
to take his place. In general, because of the fact that in our country
generals do not exist for the army, but rather the army exists for
the generals, everyone got used to this long ago. In the course
of a recent meeting between Boris Yeltsin and Igor Sergeyev, minister
of Defense, it was decided: there should be no more than 2,300 of
these highest military officers in the reformed army. The rest will
have to seek a place for themselves in civilian life. It will undoubtedly
be much easier for thousands of generals to do this than it will
be for the 120,000 lieutenants and captains, for after all, many
of the generals have already succeeded in creating a solid "material
base" for this, in the form of ostentatious dachas and expensive
motor vehicles. Nevertheless, the opposition to military reform
on their part will be, if not open, still the toughest. Igor Sergeyev,
the minister of Defense, recently acknowledged: "The greatest obstacle
to military reform will prove to come from those who are directly
affected by the cutback." In his words, "There have already been
attempts to substitute for the decisions already made." These diplomatic
utterances from the head of the defense department, translated to
standard language, mean that stiff confrontation is now taking place
in the building on Arbat Square among those who want to reform the
army and those who would like to keep their jobs. Which side will
gain the upper hand — we will find out in the near future.
Incidentally, opponents of military reform are not restricting
themselves only to "undercover opposition." They are making attempts
to consolidate their efforts. Immediately after the demarche of
Lev Rokhlin, chairman of the Duma Committee on Defense, an All-Russian
Movement To Support the Army, Servicemen, Military Science and the
Defense Industry began to be created. People as varied, it seemed,
as Stanislav Terekhov and Igor Rodionov, Valentin Varennikov and
Lev Rokhlin himself found a place for themselves in this association.
A great deal that was true and fair was said at the conference of
the new movement — the army was actually not battle-ready,
the officers had not received any wages for six months, etc., etc.
The "leftist leanings" of this structure are obvious, however. The
question of which army the members of the new movement are planning
to support — the past or the future — therefore
It goes without saying that the present status-quo might be
preserved for some time yet, but this runs counter to common sense.
We know that today 70 percent of the budget of the Ministry of Defense
is spent merely to maintain the army, that is, to pay out monetary
allowances to the officers, the wages of civilian personnel and
the food for the soldiers. If the military continues to eat up two-thirds
of its money (or rather, the state"s, that is yours and
ours), the idle talk about military reform will have to go on for
any number of years more.
Deynekin Discusses Military Reform
August 3, 1997
[translation for personal use only]
Interview with General of the Army Petr Deynekin,
commander in chief of the air force of the Russian Federation, by
Aleksandr Budberg; place and date not given: "Who Has Long Been
Loading Up the Work?"
The army is an integral part of any state. As is the state,
so is the army. This is true of Napoleon"s France, the
Kaiser"s Germany, the USSR, and the United States. In 1991
the Soviet Union ceased to exist, but its army remained. It no longer
harmonized, naturally, with a good or bad, but a different, new
Russia. Like the defense enterprises, which have thus far been awaiting
a return of the government work contract, the generals assumed,
as it were, that everything could be turned back. There were no
changes. There were only the consumption of stores and thoughts
about what needed to be done. It would seem that Russia has finally
changed to such an extent that it now desires in earnest to alter
its armed forces. In addition, there is no longer anything left
for the armed forces to consume.
So reforms began. They gave rise to many arguments. The reform
of the Russian Army of the last century also gave rise to tremendous
debate. Veterans said that without military settlements and recruiting
drives, the country would be deprived of defenses. The intellectuals
were demanding something very modern and incomprehensible. Nonetheless,
the result was achieved. The country recovered from the Sevastopol
defeat. Will a result be achieved in our case?... I would very much
like to believe so, in any event. General of the Army Petr Stepanovich
Deynekin, commander in chief of the air force of the Russian Federation,
is considered a general who long since advocated the start of reforms.
Proposals for the unification of the air force and air defense have
been heard for several years, in any event. Executing the order
of Commander in Chief Boris Yeltsin, Petr Deynekin agreed to talk
about his views on military reform and to respond to its ill-wishers.
[Budberg] Petr Stepanovich, the new Defense Minister Sergeyev,
when speaking about his fellow-thinkers, mentioned, inter alia,
your name also. Is this the case?
[Deynekin] It is not the done thing in the army to define
one"s position—whether a sympathizer or not—in
relation to a senior commanding officer. If you find yourself in
opposition and cannot carry out orders, fill out your request and
leave the armed forces. If a minister considers his deputies and
commanders in chief fellow-thinkers, this is very good.
[Budberg] A principal charge leveled at the authors of the
reforms is the fact that the reforms have not been prepared, the
concepts have not been put before the court of the general public,
and that everything is being done from voluntarist considerations.
Do you have anything to say against this?
[Deynekin] Yes. It is wrong to think that there have been
no reforms at all in the past six years. There was an intensive
accumulation of ideas, thoughts, and scenarios of reform of the
armed forces as a whole and of the air force in particular. Studies,
in which various reform options were drafted, were conducted. For
example, in the Air Force Main Command a number of generals and
officers developed and successfully defended dissertations for
degrees and doctorates devoted to the organizational development
and reform of the air force, the development of promising AT &
V [expansion unidentified] models, an improvement in flight-training
methods under the conditions of the drastic limits on the supply
of fuel, and other problem areas. Many of the conclusions and
of the studies are being put into practice.
[Budberg] We have, as they say, "loaded up" real military
reform for so long that we have brought the situation to the extreme:
There is little time left. How do you evaluate this time period?
[Deynekin] Military reform is not a one-time activity. It
should be pursued constantly owing to the fact that the world situation,
Russia"s geopolitical interests, and economic conditions
are changing. Military reform cannot for this reason be confined
to a timeframe: Begin with sunrise and end with the onset of darkness,
If we are speaking of the air force, we can be combat-ready
in terms of the established quantity and quality of the aircraft
up to roughly the year 2005. And it is necessary to organize the
work of defense industry such that we can make good the decommissioning
of aircraft that have become old and worn.
[Budberg] Those same critics of the reforms maintain that
in the restructuring process a defense industry deprived of government
work contracts will die....
[Deynekin] Reform of the armed forces, military reform, cannot
be conducted, of course, without revising the principles of the
operation of defense industry. It is clear even now that only enterprises
that harmonize with market relations can survive. Russia has returned
to the ranks of the leading arms exporters because it has begun
to offer the most modern means of armed combat. Our legendary Su-27
fighter, for example, has in practice gained a victory on world
The defense industry is undoubtedly in need of restructuring.
This is being tackled by the Ministry of Economy in conjunction
with other entities. It is obvious that much fails to correspond
to requirements and is simply beyond our economy"s capabilities.
[Budberg] But the armed forces are barely feeding themselves
on the money that they are allocated by the treasury currently.
If funding is reduced to 3.5 percent of the GDP, will this not be
devastating for the army?
[Deynekin] I don"t believe so. The structure of the
armed forces will be improved and expenditure will diminish. If
this is approached intelligently, substantial funds may be found
both for combat training and for the procurement of new military
equipment and arms.
I have for many years, for example, observed how at the Kremlin
reception in honor of graduates of higher military training institutions
24 academy commanding officers are introduced to the President.
They include artillery specialists, engineers, chemical engineers,
pilots, and missile operators. No army any longer has such a broad
set of military training institutions. We have this year had increased
competition for the military schools, thank God. But all the same,
a situation where there are dozens of unfilled training institutions,
frequently intersecting one another, is absurd.
Sailors, incidentally, have just one academy—it trains
submariners, minemen, naval aviators, and other specialists. And
the navy is a premier service of the armed forces. It would be expedient
to undertake this universalization of the training of military personnel
in other services of the armed forces also, switching from a five-
to a four- and then a three-service organizational structure (land,
I absolutely fail to understand the purpose of creating special
flying schools for border guards or other power agencies. I am sure
that they could learn to fly in the flying schools (air force) which
have been in existence for many decades and which we are being forced
to close. The price of this issue is many, many billions of rubles.
And we have touched on just one sphere of military education.
[Budberg] Petr Stepanovich, many people maintain that disbandment
of the Ground Forces Main Command is contrary to the traditional
landmass doctrine of the Russian Army, according to which other
services of the armed forces should render the ground troops support,
in the main. What can you say about this?
[Deynekin] The ground forces were and remain the main service
of the armed forces of Russia intended for military operations in
continental theaters. Russia is the world"s biggest continental
power. As far as the decision to abolish the Ground Forces Main
Command is concerned, it was made by the country"s top
military leadership, and it would be improper for me, as commander
in chief of the air force, to discuss it.
The experience of foregoing military organizational development,
the experience of wars, the Great Patriotic War included, shows
that during a conventional war, a large-scale war particularly,
overall command and control of military operations is exercised
by the Supreme High Command via the Armed Forces General Staff.
Thus during the Great Patriotic War there was no Ground Forces Main
Command in our country.
[Budberg] Will it be possible to preserve the uniform standard
of combat training in different military districts in the absence
of the Main Command?
[Deynekin] There are no uniform standards of combat training;
there are combat training methods (courses) for different arms of
the service, for aviation arms included. They are being upgraded
constantly and checked out at exercises of varying scale. Their
purpose is to teach the officers and men what is needed in war.
This permeates all methods of the combat training of artillery gunners,
tank drivers, missile launcher crews, helicopter pilots, signal
[Budberg] What can you say about the transfer of big powers
to the military districts?
[Deynekin] The powers of the military districts (operational-strategic
formations) will be determined (specified) by decision of the supreme
commander in chief of the armed forces of Russia.
[Budberg] To speak of the unification of the flying units
of air defense and the air force, can this decision be considered
[Deynekin] There is the edict of the President of Russia of
16 July 1997, according to which the air force and all-Russia air
defense shall be converted into one service of the armed forces—the
air force. A great deal of painstaking work on implementation of
this edict lies ahead.
If, though, we are speaking of the flying base, the unification
of several hundred Su-27s that air defense has and the hundreds
of aircraft that the air force has and the hundreds of MiG-31s that
air defense has and our MiG-29s constitute a most powerful aviation
grouping, which can be transferred from east to west or in another
strategic direction literally within a matter of hours. Having an
identical troop density throughout our vast country is impossible.
And this mobility of a most powerful aviation strike force would
seem very important in supporting our motherland"s national
security in the military sphere.
Figuratively speaking, air defense is the shield, the air
force, the sword. But they are effective only when they are in the
hands of one warrior. This is a lesson of history.
[Budberg] Could you touch on the social price of the reforms?
[Deynekin] This is a very important issue. I myself ended
up being discharged at the time of the army downsizing at the end
of the 1950s and the start of the 1960s. I had to switch from the
air force to Aeroflot. But we young officers were treated solicitously
to a certain extent at that time, and attempts were made to do everything
to ensure that we found work in our specialty. But the elderly officers
were treated simply ruthlessly. Even if there were just several
months to go to retirement, a person was pushed out of the armed
forces without a pension, and it was suggested that he begin anew
in civilian life.
Such a thing is absolutely impermissible now. We are simply
duty bound to preserve the officer corps. It is very important,
therefore, first, to build the promised 100,000 apartments for those
who have no roofs over their heads at all! I believe that this is
realistic. Of course, an Su-27 pilot, who earns R1.5 million (and
that was his last pay packet—for April)—this is
intolerable. Equipment valued at $40 million is entrusted to him!
Such pay simply does not correspond to the responsibility that he
bears or to the professional qualities for which it is essential
that he strive. For this reason an increase in pay and allowances
for officers in the structural reorganization of the armed forces
should be a principal objective also.
The issue of privileges, for servicemen included, is being
hotly debated in the Duma at this time. Concerning privileges for
servicemen, I would like to emphasize the need for their retention.
Our officers are living literally on the verge of indigence as it
is. To deprive them of their privileges would be a very nasty way
of saying "thank you" to the people in shoulder boards.
Naturally, we cannot fail to take account of the economic
state of the country. But this is why we are grateful to the supreme
commander in chief, who has directed that the reductions be carried
out only after the corresponding line items in the budget have been
completed. Spending them to good advantage is one of the main tasks.
But it is no less important here to ensure that the social rights
of the military be reliably protected.
[Budberg] Petr Stepanovich, the President summoned you during
his vacation. You spent more than one hour and a half talking with
him. What are your impressions of this interview?
[Deynekin] The supreme commander in chief is very much aware
of the problems of military reform and the ways of tackling it.
He is undoubtedly in command of the situation.
Official: Ties With CIS Arms Manufacturers Vital for Russia
MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Interfax) -- Russia, which according to official
reports last year regained its status as the second largest arms exporter
after the United States, would have been unable to fulfill contracts worth
billions of dollars without business links with arms manufacturers in other
CIS countries, Russia's deputy foreign trade minister said.
"The relations of cooperation that exist or are emerging between
enterprises in the defense industries of Russia and Commonwealth states are
very important for the Russian Federation," Deputy Foreign Economic
Relations and Trade Minister Vladimir Pakhomov told Interfax.
"Moscow highly values its extensive cooperation links with Ukraine,
Uzbekistan, Belarus and Kazakhstan in armaments manufacture. We cannot see
ourselves separate from the military industrial complex enterprises that
remained in those republics (after the disintegration of the Soviet Union).
"There are practically no problems between the enterprises of the
Russian defense industry and their partners in CIS countries. We always
come to terms both in settling accounts and in setting delivery deadlines."
Russia's cooperation with Ukraine is developing particularly rapidly,
Pakhomov said. "The Russian Federation has many international projects
with Ukraine, especially in aviation."
Ukrainian enterprises are to take part in the MAKS '97 international
aerospace show in Zhukovskiy, near Moscow, between August 12 and 24, the
deputy minister said.
"Russia will show at that exhibition more than 90 of its latest models
of military aircraft and air defense systems, he said. Russian
manufacturers and exporters "expect that the number of foreign buyers will
seriously increase due to MAKS '97."
Russia made $3.5 billion by selling weapons abroad in 1996, according
to official estimates.