Posts by Dmitry Gorenburg

Dmitry Gorenburg 06-14-2012
  Josh Tucker from The Monkey Cage asked me to comment on the Russian helicopters supposedly heading to Syria. Here’s what I wrote: Yesterday’s statement by Hillary Clinton that Russia is supplying Syria with attack helicopters has stirred up a great deal of controversy, providing more ammunition (so to speak) to US domestic opponents of the Obama administration’s policy of normalization of relations with Russia. This policy has already been damaged by...
Dmitry Gorenburg 06-12-2012
  For months, I’ve been arguing that the Russian military does not actually have the one million soldiers that it officially lists as serving in its ranks. A recent article by Aleksei Nikolskii in Vedomosti confirms my argument with official statistics. Nikolskii cites an official report by Nikolai Pankov, the MOD State Secretary, to Defense Minister Anatoly Serdiukov. According to this document, in April 2012 the total number of people serving in the...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 06-05-2012
  I just came across an article that reports the results of a survey of Russian soldiers, primarily junior officers. Unfortunately, the text is only available to subscribers. Here’s the citation for those with access to the right databases: СУРКОВА И.Ю. Удовлетворенность воинской службой в российской армии: факторы и прогнозы, Социологические исследования, 2012, #3. First, some demographic background: The survey was conducted in all four military...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 03-20-2012
  Various sensationalist media accounts yesterday and this morning have been reporting that Russia has sent some sort of anti-terror troops to Syria. The whole media frenzy seems to go back to this ABC News report, which in turn is based on what is almost certainly a misinterpretation of this report on the RIA-Novosti Arabic site. It seems pretty clear that this is a major exaggeration of what is actually happening in Tartus. Obviously, I don’t have...
Dmitry Gorenburg 03-19-2012
  In last Friday’s NVO, Ruslan Pukhov takes on the always controversial topic of how to reduce military expenditures. He notes that the plans set out by President Putin in his article on security issues require a high level of financing, which may not be available if the price for oil and natural gas declines or if Russian economic growth slows down. He mentions that the Ministry of Finance is discussing the option of reducing defense expenditures by as...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 03-13-2012
A few days ago, NVO published a lengthy interview by Viktor Litovkin with General Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of Russia’s airborne troops. Litovkin got answers to some questions that have long been circulating among observers of the Russian military. Maintaining the old organizational structure First of all, he addresses the issue of why the VDV was the only service (other than the strategic nuclear force) to retain a divisional...
Dmitry Gorenburg 03-31-2011
  Earlier this month, the Russian Government surprised many observers by going along with UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorized international enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya. Russia was initially expected to veto the resolution. Instead, Russia chose to abstain in order to ensure the protection of civilians, while its ambassador to the United Nations made statements expressing concern about how the resolution would be implemented....
Dmitry Gorenburg 11-23-2010
Originally published in the Atlantic Sentinel -- Even if youngsters in Tatarstan are becoming Islamic, the authorities in this Russian republic have little reason to fear a surge in religious extremism. Persecution of pious Muslims would in fact only spur violence, not prevent it. I recently came across an article that argues that Tatarstan is facing an Islamization scenario akin to what has already occurred in Ingushetia and Dagestan. It reports on a...

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