Russia: May 10, 2003


 Attempts to reform the military have been encouraged by the spectacular victory of American and British troops in Iraq. This was another example of the superiority of well equipped, professional troops. Many Russians see the Iraqi armed forces, largely equipped with Russian weapons, as a miniature version of their own forces. But reform in the Russian military is still blocked by lack of money, and too many corrupt officers who steal a lot of the money that is available. The government is looking at a massive purge of the officer corps in order to find sufficient honest and reform minded officers to carry out the needed changes. Faced with the loss of their jobs, the many corrupt officers are scrambling to avoid the axe. 


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