Shurygin Critiques Military Reform (Part 2)

Continuing on with Reform or Lie, Shurygin describes today’s efforts against officers perceived as disloyal to the Defense Ministry leadership as comparable to Stalin’s repression of the officer corps.  Alluding to the FSB’s monitoring of the army, he says the constant search for leaks includes the use of wiretaps and the compilation of names of officers’ “undesirable” acquaintances and contacts.

In the SibVO, the officer corps has been cut in half.  4,000 dismissed outright, and 2,500 were placed outside the TO&E, i.e. left without a duty post.  According to Shurygin, they’ll get their base pay, but only for six months.  So there are 37,000 officers deprived of a way to make a living.  But he says some have been offered vacant sergeant positions.

Young officers coming out of VVUZy have also been surprised.  Military linguists from the Military University in 2009 were either put out of the service immediately or offered posts in the rear services.  Forty thousand of 142,000 warrant officers found a place in the ‘new profile’ and the rest were dismissed.

Shurygin suggests the High Command has been bought off by the Defense Minister.  He says “loyal” military district commanders are getting 300-400,000 rubles per month, deputy chiefs of the General Staff 500,000, and Makarov himself more than 800,000 rubles every month.

He believes Serdyukov and Makarov’s underlings have to deceive them about the real state of affairs, and report what they want to hear.  There are currently no structures to check up on the reformers, according to Shurygin.  Lapses and failures are presented like victories and successes.

He turns to the contract army.  There are so few contractees now, less than 79,000, that they barely cover the minimal need for them.  One-fourth are women.  The remainder barely cover a fourth of the manning needed for ‘new profile’ brigades.  So all services and branches are 75 percent manned by conscript soldiers.  Of the 300,000 men called up every six months, fully 100,000 are needed simply to cover the deficit in professional contractees.

The professional sergeants program was delayed because the majority of possible candidates couldn’t pass secondary school-style entrance exams.  When finally launched in one location–Ryazan, the sergeants’ training center has less than one-third the trainees intended.

Shurygin describes the closure of the 47th Independent Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment in Shatalovo.  According to him, they flew aircraft to their new base in Voronezh, and transported their engines back to Shatalovo, so that other aircraft could fly into Voronezh. 

Shurygin says Serdyukov has already signed off on a decision to scrap 1,000 aircraft requiring capital repairs.  This will shrink Russia’s aircraft inventory by one-third.  The tank inventory will be cut by a factor of four if only operational tanks are left in the force.  Shurygin asks what will happen in the next five years when another 1,000 aircraft use up their service lives.  Russia will have an air force about the size of Israel’s, according to him.  Only 70 future fixed-wing and helicopter pilots entered training in Krasnodar this year.

Shurygin criticizes Makarov for his less than savvy comments, for instance, about deploying the S-400 to the Far East against North Korean missiles or moving Bulava production to another factory.  He says the degradation of the army has continued for two years under Serdyukov, but he and Makarov don’t have to answer for anything.  They were forced to acknowledge that the infamous Order 400 on premium pay was a mistake that divided officers, and now they’ll be giving it to entire units.

In the future, officers from platoon to division will be earning 75,000-220,000 rubles per month and bonuses and supplements will disappear in favor of a higher pay scale.  But Shurygin complains that Serdyukov intends to ‘reform’ military pensions to decouple them from the new pay scale.

Lastly, Shurygin describes the Black Sea Fleet as on the verge of an explosion.  Officers have been put out.  They can’t keep their service apartments and they can’t get apartments in Russia.  They can’t work in Ukraine and live like bums.  And the situation gets worse every month.

The last part of Shurygin’s hasn’t been published.

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