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16 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 (https://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.

  9. Hello Mr. Russia Defence Policy,

    I’ve been writing about modern Russian weapon systems for some years now.

    Lately, I’ve been alarmed at the rabid speculation on social media about Putin’s absence from public view.

    In the worst case scenario where he is actually compelled to leave office, who do you think his enemies are?

    Are there any in the armed forces?


  10. Unfortunately, not something followed closely here…but, Putin’s worst potential enemies are the state oligarchs who’ve made a fortune from his policies over the last 15 years and Putin’s strong potential rivals inside his close Kremlin circle. Unless he just dies, he may not go quietly. At a minimum, he’ll want to live out his days in peace with the billions in wealth he’s amassed. Some people may not let him. But don’t look for the military to help oust him; it’s benefited from his reign. There may be a few officers though who question the rationale and cost of helping Russians kill their cousins in eastern Ukraine. Recommend you look at Mark Galeotti’s latest post — https://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/ and RFE RL — http://www.rferl.org/content/the-sick-man-of-moscow-putin-kadyrov-nemtsov/26898042.html and http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-succession-scenarios/26899859.html. You won’t get better than these short pieces.

  11. Also see Paul Goble’s reflection on the situation being even more dangerous in an immediate post-Putin era… http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-post-putin-russia-might-be-bad-news.html.

  12. Thanks Mr. Russian Defence Policy. I appreciate the perspective.

    Apparently, Mr Putin has come out from a week’s absence for a meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan.

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