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No. 116: Military Reform

Author(s): Bettina Renz, Rod Thornton

Editor(s): Stephen Aris, Aglaya Snetkov, Matthias Neumann, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perovic, Heiko Pleines, Hans-Henning Schröder

Series: Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)

Issue: 116

Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich; Research Centre for East European Studies, University of Bremen; Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University

Publication Year: 2012


The first article of this issue analyzes attempts to modernize the Russian military. The authors suggest that the Russian-Georgian War in 2008 acted as a catalyst for launching reforms aimed at developing a more modern and flexible military, but that in spite of these efforts there remain significant limitations to modernization. The second article considers the debate regarding changes to the conscription regulations, outlining that although attempts have been made to create greater incentives to join the army, there is an insufficient number of volunteers, leaving the Russian army with a shortfall of personnel. As a result, the conscription issue is a difficult one for Russian politicians, whereby there is popular support to further reduce or end conscription, but at the same time military experts argue that conscription is necessary to maintain the Russian army.

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