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In Soviet Russia...

Here's something that seems to not be getting noticed: Russia's doing a peacetime draft.

This would be more worrisome if Russia's army was worth the guns in their arsenal, but they're poorly disciplined and even more poorly equipped; in a real war, they'd get decimated away from home (and no, Ossetia doesn't count). What gets me here is that the country seems to be going back to pre-Perestroika USSR roots. This is strange, because the old USSR was based around Communism, and modern Russia is about as far from Communism as you can get. Before, it was about the party; modern Russia is run as an Oligarchy with one central leader ("And now, I'm going to drink water while Dimitri speaks!").

I don't know what to make of this New Russia. It's obvious that Putin is a quality leader, amoral as he is. However, I wonder if this empire they've built - where the main influence in the country is a few rich men, and the KGB - is built on cards.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
We have some friends from Russia who now have dual-citizenship with Canada. They wanted dual citizenship so that they could still travel back and forth from Russia where they wanted to start a Bible college, but because they're also Canadian citizens now, the Russian army can't force him back in. :)

Well, not legally anyway... :/

As for Putin, I see him as a sort of Stalin Lite™. Yes, he can and has brought the country together in a way it hasn't been since well before the fall of the USSR. But what sort of country is he stitching together from the fabric? The pictures he paints aren't particuarlly comforting.
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
I think I understand where they are coming from though. Simply collapsing randomly was an embarrassing end to the Soviet Union. ;__; Their desire to form a garrison state and re-exert influence in Central Asia is understandable. Well, you probably knew that. XD;;

I wouldn't call it discomforting...their internal totalitarianism doesn't do us any harm.
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
It's not their internal totalitarianism that worries me, it's their external bullying. Blowing the shit out of Ossetia. Threatening a nuclear attack against the Ukraine. The coordinated cyber-attack against Georgia that was ordered and lead by a youth group tied to the Kremlin. It's not just their way of clamping down on internal dissent - they're allied to China in more than just name! - it's the way they're throwing their weight around in their region as well. That, their close ties to China, and their willingness to deal with Iran is what's frightening.

Internal strife, that doesn't matter in the long run; we think it's horrible, but in the end, it doesn't affect us, and depending on the chances of a coup, it could benefit us.
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Why do they pay such shitty wages for being in the Army? If they really want a chauvinistically patriotic, all encompassing and internationally respectable/infamous military force, they should go the Pakistani way; make it a good option economically due in large part to massive corruption and the parceling out of land to officers. Then they wouldn't have to get people to enlist, people would be competing to get into their military academies!:D
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
How many military coups has Pakistan had? XD
Mar. 31st, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Well, I would say that it had two major ones: the first in the 60s, the other in the late 70's. Musharraf's came at a point where it was barely a coup; by that time every civilian leader knew that they were power-sharing with the Army anyways and that they couldn't piss them off. But in the 60's, Pakistan had a real, if corrupt, civilian government, and it did in the 70's as well. Since then, not so much.
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
The Russian army is has decent training but it's their tactics that are outdated, they're still in a sort of WWIII/Cold War run-over-Germany-with-lots-of-tanks-and-fuck-the-casualties sort of style.

As for equipment? It's a patchwork of Cold War equipment (Get rid of that fucking T-72 and it's derivatives!) and high tech gear (No nation, NO NATION has better anti-air equipment that Russia).

Their navy is fucked though.
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
If you had a large, wealthy, belligerent China sitting on your back porch, wouldn't you be a little nervous, too? :-| I mean, Putin's a KGB spook, sure, and he's sitting on top of a corrupt, venal government, but I'll give him points for being a (rather Bismarckian) realist. His approach is 'hold it together any way I can, no compromising'.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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