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12 responses to “About

  1. Good morning,

    the piece ‘Military prestige’ you posted on 22 septembre is very interesting. It is interesting to see how the prestige of the military has declined so much the last years. Especially because I am doing research in exactly this subject: the prestige of military service in Russia.
    is it possbible that I call you this week to ask more about this subject?
    you can e-mail me at: michelle.salomons@student.hu.nl.

    I hope to hear from you.

    Best regards, Michelle

  2. Okay, thanks. What is, do you think, the main cause, why the prestige of militants has declined that much the last years? And (how) is it possible to uplift the prestige?

  3. Remember Michelle that this is a public blog. We are not getting a classified perspective of Russia in relation to their defense policy. Things could be very different on the inside and it’s not like Putin’s intelligence agencies are going to be running about telling everything about what their defense policies really are.

  4. You’re right, this isn’t based on classified intelligence reports. In this particular example, it’s understandable every military in the world has its own closely-held internal assessment of the state of its morale. But this author believes if you picked either intel reporting or media reporting, the latter would get you a more accurate picture of what’s happening inside the Defense Ministry. In Cold War days, we had intel and official media. We often disregarded intel that said they were doing poorly. Run this out to its logical conclusion, and that’s how we failed to provide strategic analytical warning of the USSR’s impending collapse. Read correctly (kind of like tea leaves), the official media could tell us about macro changes in defense trends.Today we have large and largely independent Russian (commercial and social) media which can tell us a tremendous amount about what’s happening in the military and elsewhere. And it’s harder (not impossible) for the regime to keep things secret. Don’t take this the wrong way, really good intel reporting can still be a game-changer. But there probably isn’t enough of it to provide a full picture of Russia’s military.

  5. Morale is a complex issue and vitally important. But the state of it should never be ultimately judged/evaluated by the participants themselves and any such evaluations must be objective in extremis.
    And for a bad report do not shoot the messenger, he deserves rewarding (if he got it right). Don’t interview the officers, listen to the grunts and foot-sloggers.

  6. Can anyone explain why this site is blocked in Kazakhstan?

  7. Dear Sir or Madam,

    I’m writing on behalf of a professor who would like to republish an image from this site (http://russiandefpolicy.wordpress.com/vice-admiral-burtsev/) in an upcoming case study. Could you kindly indicate where I should direct our copyright permission request?

    Best regards,

  8. Nick, really sorry but not sure on that one. Probably an uncited one (stolen from somewhere else) on Yandex.ru. Have tried to give credit for all photos where possible, but this one escaped somehow. There are lots of pics available from Mil.ru (which can basically be regarded as public domain) but not of Burtsev specifically. Glad to help if there’s anything else that comes up.

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