based troops to maintain stability in their region, defend it against attempts by
the central authorities to reimpose control on the province, and possibly against
similar armed formations in neighboring regions. It is anyone's guess what will
happen to nuclear weapons, air defense and space troops, and the navy when
they are highly centralized but spread throughout the country. The classic system
of local warlords is unlikely to materialize in Russian conditions because the
military seem to be averse to the idea of adding the multiple and stark new
economic, social, political, legal, and other problems that would emerge in a
devastated and decentralized country to their own.
The second option is less probable than the first one. Though Russia is still
in the grip of severe crisis, there are signs that the decline is slowing. In some
sectors of the economy low-level stability has finally been established. There
are no indications that local authorities are more inclined to secede than they
were a year or two ago (while the August coup resulted in the breakup of the Soviet Union, the September 1993 crisis did not bring about the dissolution of Russia). President Yeltsin managed to dispose of the powerful opposition to his
policy in Parliament together with the Parliament and also gain reelection. A
more homogeneous and stable political leadership may be expected as a result
of future elections. In such conditions, option one is much more probable, leading to eventual consolidation of the armed forces and their stronger position
among state institutions.
General V. Serebriannikov, "Demilitarizatsiia obschestva" ( "Demilitarization of
society"), Mirovaia economika i mezhdunarodniie otnosheniia, no. 12 ( December 1992): 35.
Colonel V. Rodachin, "Armiia i politicheskaiia vlast" ( "Army and the political
power"), Voennaia misl, no. 5 ( May 1993): 13.
Two sets of arguments can be mentioned as an example. First, that the military
were lavishly represented in the state legislature--the Supreme Soviet, as well as lower-
level Soviets. The counterargument here is that all the Soviets were rather rubberstamping bodies with no real influence on the political process.
Second, the post of defense minister was held exclusively by the military; defense
ministers also used to sit in the highest decision-making body of the CPSU, the Politbureau. On the other hand, the armed forces were tightly controlled by a number of the
Communist/state institutions over which the army had no control, including several KGB
agencies (which pervaded the army); and the CPSU Central Committee, the chief political
department of the armed forces (GlavPUR), had the status of a Central Committee's
Krasnaia zvezda, 6 March 1992.
Krasnaia zvezda, 1 April 1992.
"Prioritet-sotsialnim problemam" [ "Priority to social problems"], interview with
General V. Vorobiev, chief of the Central Finance Department, in Krasnaia zvedza, 30 June 1992.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Political Role of the Military:An International Handbook.
Contributors: Constantine P. Danopoulos - Editor, Cynthia Watson - Editor.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 401.
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