Russia: October 15, 2003


Many senior Russian officers attribute the low quality of their soldiers to the abolishment of mandatory military training for school children. This practice, which was abolished when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, taught 7th and 8th grade students how to march, wear uniforms, fire rifles and perform other basic military skills. Now the government is bringing back military training for the students. The government has also brought back the "political officers" for military units (but without the communist party affiliation.) While most Russians don't care one way or another about the political officers, many do object to the reintroduction of military training for children. Most Russians also oppose conscription, and the government is always looking for a way to have a professional military, and how to find the money to pay for it. 


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