A belated post-script to the Colonel Krasov, Seltsy, SDR flare-up against Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov and his reforms . . . .
On the first of this month, Life.ru reported that officers of the now-disbanded Main Directorate of Combat Training and Troop Service (ГУБП or GUBP for short) established a public organization to oppose military reform.
The organizing assembly occurred right after the directorate furled its standard (marking the unit’s dissolution) on 26 November. Life.ru says 60 men attended. This new, as yet unnamed organization is apparently seeking official registration. It expects support from the LDPR faction in the Duma, and from large veterans organizations that have come out against reform.
Its executive secretary, Andrey Serdyuk, said:
“Ill-conceived reform has left the Russian Army without a central combat training methodology – that is, now no one knows what and how we teach soldiers and officers on the battlefield. Nevertheless, we intend to conduct meetings and demonstrations like our colleagues from the Union of Airborne Troops. We plan to achieve our goals in three ways – media appearances, organizing public monitoring over the course of reform, and cooperation with public veterans’ organizations.”
Retirees will be the backbone of this organization. It won’t accept serving military men out of concern for their welfare.
A former chief of the main directorate, General-Colonel Aleksandr Skorodumov will head the group. He retired in late 2004 after complaining publicly about personnel decisions and reorganizations that look minor compared with Serdyukov’s tenure. He created a mini-scandal by saying the army had collapsed at that time.
Viktor Ozerov – Chairman of Federation Council’s Defense Committee and an uncritical functionary – admitted:
“There was and undoubtedly will be resistance to reform. Remember when the General Staff apparatus was cut, how many dissatisfied people there were: people occupied specific duties, had pay, and then they’re deprived of all this. But in any instance, there are people standing behind every such decision and their legal rights should be guaranteed upon dismissal.”
Ozerov also said responsibility for combat training will go to the individual services and branches, and inter-service training will be supervised by the military districts / unified strategic commands (OSKs).
Serdyukov himself told the Defense Ministry’s official Public Council on Friday that combat training will be the purview of services, armies, and brigades, and operational training will be under the Genshtab, MDs, and brigades (but apparently not armies?).
The GUBP’s fate was decided in June and sealed in September. See Moskovskiy komsomolets, Argumenty.ru, and Gazeta.ru for more. They claim former Moscow MD Commander, General-Colonel Valeriy Gerasimov – newly retooled as a deputy chief of the General Staff – will oversee inter-service training for the Genshtab. And, by 1 February, a new Directorate of Troop Service and Military Service Security will stand up. This will actually be a new / old directorate. It existed several years ago and supervised safety issues, and grappled with crime and dedovshchina among the troops.
MK presented two opposing opinions on GUBP’s fate.
Leonid Ivashov said:
“The most experienced officers and generals serve in the GUBP, they develop and monitor combat training. The Genshtab has several other functions – strategic ones. No one there will take evaluation trips to far-off garrisons. Especially since the Genstab’s combat training directorate will be a very truncated version. Its elimination means our troops won’t be prepared for combat actions.
A Genshtab source gave this view:
“This is simply the latest course of reform which we have going on. The information about the GUBP’s elimination appeared long ago. The directorate has a highly inflated number of personnel, and its work has been evaluated as, to put it mildly, ineffective. No new methods, no training ground equipment, no simulators in recent decades.