Friday, March 12, 2021

Russian Army Less Riven by ‘Dedovshchina’ but More Corrupt, Government Investigators Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 10 – The military department of the Russian Investigative Committee says that in 2020 there was a marked decline in the amount of dedovshchina in the armed services, that is of attacks by one group of those in uniform on another, but a significant rise in corruption.

            Both of these problems have long plagued the Russian military, but in recent years, the defense ministry has devoted particular energy to combatting the former, viewing it as threatening unit cohesion and the ability of the armed forces to carry out their mission and to play an integrative role in Russian society.

            The ministry has devoted somewhat less attention to corruption both because that is a problem endemic to Russian life rather than a uniquely military difficulty, and the Russian media and political class have followed it, expressing horror at cases of soldiers attacking other soldiers than at the exposure of corrupt actions by soldiers and more often officers.

            The new report, available at and summarized at, may change that, although it is possible it will only cause many to assume that dedovshchina is no longer a problem.

            The investigators’ report says that in 2020 , there was a significant decline in the number of crimes by uniformed personnel against other members of the armed services but that the amount of corruption rose by more than 30 percent and involved some 6.4 billion rubles (90 million US dollars).

            Already on the day of the report’s release, other media outlets in addition to Rosbalt have summarized its findings (e.g., and, with most focusing on the deteriorating situation regarding corruption rather than the improving situation regarding dedovshchina.


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