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Ironduke
25 Dec 03,, 08:38
Tom
ACIG Team

Joined: Jan 20, 2002
Posts: 3166
From: Vienna, Austria
Posted: 2003-06-19 19:15

Gents,
I think this is a true "hot topic", we somehow forgot to discuss so far.

Newest reports about the condition and status of the Russian military are getting even worse than only few years back.

Fighter pilots, just for example, do not get even 20 hours average flying time annually, but only 14. Most of the other pilots do not get even this. The RuAF is not receiving even 1/5th of the fuel it should be receiving.

Murder claims up to 600 troops per year (this is, just for example, something like 20 times more than in the US military); additional 400 to 600 soldiers - foremost draftees - commit suicide each year.

Different problems - like bad weather, fires, lack of spares etc. - knock out whole military communication systems for days, weeks, and sometimes even longer (this includes even those ground stations used for satellite communication).

Commanders are sometimes forced to seize local electricity plants to prevent the loss of power to their bases - especially those with ICBMs.

In the Navy, thieves - almost all are officers - are stripping ships of valuable equipment and selling this to criminals.

Alcoholism is more widespread than ever before, and family life of all too many officers completely destroyed: desperation and loss of orientation are endemic.

Troops are poorely equipped and supplied: cases of malnutrition are known. Draft is hated, and increasingly avoided by all possible means: barely 12% of all men in draft-age are indeed entering military service, as all the others avoid it. In turn, this means that the military is getting only 2nd class recruits: 30% of these are actually ill, the health condition of many is such that the regulations have to be relaxed for them...

Realistic training is non-existing, and what is left of even the basic training is obviously not worth much: Russian troops are known to be rather ready to risk injury than wear outmoded or non-functional protective gear. The US per-troop expenditure meanwhile exceeds that of the Russian by something like 50 times.

The basic structures of the military are increasingly breaking apart: the provisions and equipment are of extremely poor quality, and 95% of existing units are unable to even properly survive every-day existance, not to talk about undertaking every-day training on schedule, and certainly almost none are capable of conduct of military operations of any kind.

Kremlin is promising to tackle these problems since years, but I don't see anything really important, influential, being done, and certainly the situation is not improving.

So, was anything done at all to improve the situation? Was there a reduction in manpower and the size of fielded forces Putin promised already three years back - and if: any idea about which units were disbanded? Is the Russian military to become an all-professional force soon, as some experts suggested it should? Is there any serious hope for even a slightest improvement of the situation in the next five to ten years?

_________________
Tom Cooper
Editor, ACIG.org

Officer of Engineers
25 Dec 03,, 12:42
The Chechen War conctadicts most, if not all, these allegations.

Lunatock
25 Dec 03,, 16:30
Originally posted by Officer of Engineers
The Chechen War conctadicts most, if not all, these allegations.

Could you expand on that sentence OOE?

Officer of Engineers
25 Dec 03,, 17:27
Tom is an extremely good researcher. I enjoyed his book on the Iran-Iraq War very well but he lacks understanding of the basic tenets of combat, namely the entire military does not fight on one battlefield or even one front.

The 2nd Chechen War saw the Russians re-org themselves into a co-herant fighting force, starting from scratch inside of 6 months. Obviously with a lot of lessons learned from the 1st Chechen War. However, these weren't the same soldiers who fought in the 1st one. The officers and some sr sgts probably were but by and large, these were fresh recruits.

Also, you have to take into the fact that these are conscript troops. They're training is nowhere near on par with ours, even during the Cold War. They reherse. They don't train. They reherse right, it's gravy. They reherse wrong, it's graveyard.

Well, obviously, they rehersed right during the 2nd Chechen War. By the way, that invasion is just as every bit as impressive as OIF from an OP POV. From militia to full invasion within 6 months with 100,000 troops and all the while, a complete shooting war.

Their equipment obviously are working. The Chechen countryside ain't a tank junkyard. There's one thing about Russian equipment. They can be rusting for a long time but they also can be brought back to working order in a relatively short time (not the high tech stuff but guns are relatively easy to fix). The 2nd Battle of Grozny saw the Russians willing and able to take and make the fight as bloody as the Chechens wanted. That gave the lie that GI Russkie is starving and weak.

Even the insurection today tells that the Russians ain't as poor as Tom portrays. They're still mounting battalion sized operations and they're not losing any ground. The casualties are well within tolerable ranges and though sensational, military irrevelent.

It may well all mean that the Russians are pouring their best into Chechnya while letting the rest of the army starve but the presence of the 1st Moscow and the 16 Guards says that they're gradually shifting monies to a few good units while retaining bulk that could be used elsewhere. For whatever reasons, Russian generals like bulk over precision though they're not willing to lose that either.

TopHatter
25 Dec 03,, 17:32
I agree with the Colonel. The Russian fighting man is still a force to be reckoned with and historically has been underestimated by many a would-be conqueror.