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OTHER ITA SITES:
Russian Military. Quick Look At Russian Army
The author of this story used to be close to the army, in other words saw everything with his own eyes and felt with his hands if I can say so :-) What a foreigner usually calls Russian military and what we proudly call Russian Army…? The written below is just a personal view or an opinion and doesn’t pretend to be taken as a gospel.
What does the Russian military look like? Shortly and simply, it consists of naval forces, land forces, air-force and space forces. You may guess the “prescription” of each from the name, maybe with the only exception for the space forces. You should apply to Mr Lucas (Hollywood) in case of the space war. Naval forces consist of ships and submarines. Air-forces consist of bomber force and fighters (there is also the transport aircraft) Land forces are: infantry, artillery, telecommunication, sappers and others. Frontier troops and internal forces are under the MVD and FSB jurisdiction and fulfill specific tasks that won’t be covered or spoken about in this article.
The modern Russian army was formed in 20ies of the previous century, after the Revolution in 1917 and the ruling party – the communists – spent a lot of efforts to form the idea content of the soviet army. The general liability for military service was declared. All young men at the age of 18 and had no health problems was obliged to serve in the army. Speaking the elevated language of ideologists “holy and honorable duty” , at least posters with such content decorated all of the military units.
A young man was called up for the certain period of time and the most unfortunate one serve in the naval forces. The naval service lasted almost twice longer than in any other forces of the Russian army. Nonetheless the military service remains one of the most peculiar event in the life of all men. Romantic people say: “those who didn’t serve – will do, those who didn't – will never forget” and the pessimists say: “who served in the army never laugh in circus”
The author is trying to avoid accurately all negative sides and sharp angles and won’t draw any conclusions. Take it simple as just a mere narration. Using the rubber stamp, the Russian military is the reflection of the society with all the follow ups. For those who are interested I’d recommend to read the book written by Anna Politkovskaya - “Putin’s Russia” and find what he is searching in the first part of the book. This book was already translated into most languages.
So, what the Russian army starts with for a young man? With the prescribed YSC – the young soldier’s course which lasts about a month when you are taught a new view to most things in life and when officers knock the nonsense out of your head. After the course you are given the arm (usually the souvenir from Mr Kalashnikov) and attested. Military oath! Such a bright and responsible day! On this day you sign your death sentence in case you quisle (betray your Motherland) and of course you are given a day off (in spite of all maybe faults) All of the relatives come with the huge bags loaded with food to see the recruits and congratulate them on that festive day. In St Petersburg, for example, the recruits of some military colleges take the oath on the field of Mars. This is the scene – I should confess. You’d remember this for the rest of life.
The Russian army – as the rest of military forces on this earth – has officership and the ranks, may the praporshiks and warrant officers forgive me! The backbone of the Russian army is carved out in special military colleges and institutes of the Military ministry. Since 70ies of the previous century almost of the colleges became institutes and universities and provide high civil education along with the military. I should say that there was huge number of such institutes across USSR. However there were (and still are) actual reasons for that, firstly connected with the large country area and its geopolitical situation. I should mention that military institutes were really good at preparing commander’s specialists who become really experienced after the first year of service being constantly on guard and duties.
Russian military couldn’t be regarded without taking into account the geographical position. The huge area of the former USSR lasts from the Polar circle to subtropics. The military forces are supplied with arms and weapons that could be used in all temperatures (up to 50 degrees C above/below zero) and with the uniform that could be used during the operations in gusts of northern lights.
Usually the desire of the recruit of where to serve is not taken into account by the military superiors. So, the young man could be sent to the mountains of Pamir, sands of Karakum, Far east Islands and the battle readiness should be at the top level in all climate conditions and calamities.
The Russian army is international. Most recruits don’t know Russian language, are bad-educated and not well-developed physically. Here the military service takes active part in the development of the personality :-) A young man from a far mountain village can acquire a civil profession, get good education, sometimes even have good nourishment and finally at the end of the service become a well-educated and well-developed young person.
The Russian army has both simple and reliable and complex equipment, such as Kalashnikov and Topol missile. The author won’t pay much attention to that aspect and speak about the 5th generation planes, nuclear submarines and intercontinental missiles. There is a lot of information about Russian arms that is also exported to other countries.
I’m absolutely confident that Russia has a lot of talented people working in Tula, Ural and Moscow engineering departments who can follow the tradition and won’t compromise the name of Russian armourers.
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Travel Part B