Attrition: Your Kind Are Not Welcome In The Russian Army


February 16, 2012: The Russian military, despite a severe manpower shortage, refuses to accept recruits from the Caucasus (especially Chechnya and Dagestan). It's been this way since the 1990s. While few Chechens want to join the army, young men from neighboring Dagestan have been complaining to the government that the army won't even accept them as conscripts. While the army has been complaining of rampant draft dodging ever since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, they also have reasons for not wanting recruits from the Caucasus. Even before 1991, the Russian-dominated army warned company (units of about a hundred troops) commanders to not allow more than ten Chechens (Chechnya is adjacent to Dagestan) in their unit. Experience had shown that ten or more Chechens (or other men from the Caucasus) would form a very tight, tough, and disciplined clique that would prey on the other troops in the company and cause all manner of discipline and crime problems. If you find yourself with more than ten Chechens try and transfer some of them out.

While the Chechens were the worst in this respect the other Caucasus nationalities came close. But these days, the young men want to join the army and get a few years military experience so they can qualify to become a "contract" soldier. These troops are paid a lot more and are considered "professional troops." Commanders actually prefer contract soldiers from the Caucasus, although many will admit that it's still not wise to have more than ten of them in an infantry company. But because Islamic radicalism has become so popular in the Caucasus over the last two decades the army doesn't want to make any changes to their policy on Chechens in combat units.