A leaner, meaner Russian army
As I mentioned in the Morning Brief today, the Russian army is planning to fire an astonishing 35,000 officers this year as part of an effort launched under Vladimir Putin to cut the force down below 1 million by 2012. But it’s not just the junior level officers who are getting the boot. RIA-Novosti reports ...
As I mentioned in the Morning Brief today, the Russian army is planning to fire an astonishing 35,000 officers this year as part of an effort launched under Vladimir Putin to cut the force down below 1 million by 2012. But it’s not just the junior level officers who are getting the boot.
We are not going to keep officers who are not fit for their positions,” Gen. Pankov told journalists, as reports indicated around one-fifth of officers had failed the military aptitude test.
“The Defense Ministry took a decision to carry out unplanned tests among officers and NCOs. A considerable number of senior officers have proved inapt and will be dismissed from the Armed Forces,” he added.
Russia’s military arms buildup has raised alarm lately, but its staffing slimdown might actually turn out to be more consequential. Despite their military victory over the must smaller Georgian forces, last year’s August War exposed the Russian military as poorly equipped and badly organized. The Kremlin has evidently decided that smaller and smarter is the way to go.
Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images
Joshua Keating is a former associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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