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.



Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



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