Saturday, February 20, 2021

If Police and Russian Guard Can’t Control Protests, Army Must Be Ready Practically and Ideologically to Act, Perendzhiyev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 19 – “If the Russian Guard and police prove unable to cope with protest attitudes and the danger of an armed seizure of power in the country arises,” Aleksandr Perendzhiyev says, “then the army has the right to apply force for the suppression of extremist manifestations.”

            An instructor in political science at the Russian Economics University, he is also a member of the Experts’ Council of the All-Russian organization, The Officers of Russia, Perendzhiyev says that because the army must be prepared for that, talk about the army remaining “outside of politics” is dangerous (

            Indeed, he says, this slogan “which was born in the 1990s” is “harmful both for the country and for the Armed Services” because it encourages its officers and men to ignore what is happening inside the country. Had they not done so in 1991, Perendzhiyev continues, the USSR might very well have survived.

            “Therefore, when we speak about the tasks of the Armed Services at present,” he says, “the most important is to preserve the integrity and purity of the army.” To that end, the army must do everything it can to prevent “politicized groups” of draftees and others from entering its ranks and subverting its purposes. In short, ideological filtering and work is critical.

            “In the first instance,” the analyst says, “one must explain to soldiers, sergeants and officers that the task of all political manipulators which stand over the protest actions is not to bring into our society the values of democracy, justice and the defense of human rights.” They act under those slogans but are seeking the disintegration of the country just as in 1991.

            Those in uniform like all other Russians must understand that demonstrations “lead not to the improvement of the life of citizens but to the disintegration of the country and the impoverishment of the people. The example of Ukraine is in front of our eyes. But all this must be explained every day in the process of political work with young citizens of our country.”

            That isn’t happening either in society as a whole or in the military in particular, Perendzhiyev continues.

            The Chief Military-Political Administration of the Armed Forces exists, but it is too small to do what is needed. Instead, the military needs to restore officer assemblies like those which existed in Soviet times to ensure that the men in the ranks are adequately immunized against threats from outside.

            However strange it may seem, he points out, “today even military newspapers are subordinate not the Chief Military-Political Directorate but to the department of information and the media, something which means they are less involved with ideological work than they should be.

            Worse, he concludes, “the defense ministry does not have any links to the development of a political line and ideology.”  This is “a nonsense” that must be addressed, given the ideological threats presented by young people who dominate the uniformed services and do not have the experience of either Soviet times or the wild 1990s.

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