Morale: Russia Refuses To Train Terrorists


July 23, 2012: Russia has made it official, it will no longer draft non-Russians from the Caucasus. For the last three years young men from the Caucasus (Dagestan in particular) have been complaining to the government that the army won't accept them as conscripts, or even as volunteers. The government insisted that those rejected had physical, psychological, or legal problems. But before long people down in the Caucasus figured out that their kids weren't being allowed in the military. Given the high unemployment down there, and the warrior ethos common in many parts of the Caucasus, this was becoming a major complaint. Instead of allowing young guys from the Caucasus in, the government admitted it did indeed have a ban. The main (unofficial) reason was not wanting to train future terrorists, rebels, and criminals and to reduce disciplinary problems in the army.

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 too many in an infantry company or platoon.

Russia is also planning to phase out conscription entirely, but in the meantime the rest of the country will have to provide more than 10,000 conscripts taken from the Caucasus each year, who will no longer be available. Eliminating conscription is mainly a matter of money and will have to wait for the price of oil to go over $110 a barrel (it's currently under $90).




Article Archive

Morale: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close