Russia: March 8, 2004


Despite promises to reform and rebuild the armed forces, corruption and incompetence are still more abundant than reform. While more weapons are being bought, the government is late with payments for weapons and equipment. The government demands rock bottom prices for new weapons, but in return helps the arms firms sell their equipment overseas. Draft dodging is rampant, with only about 30 percent of conscripts found physically, morally (not convicted of felonies) or mentally fit for duty. To counter this, more "volunteer" units are being established, using higher paid and better trained troops. But the generals still resist elimination of conscription.


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