Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Russian Military No Longer Able to Defend Itself Against Criminal World, Pryanikov Says

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 8 – In order to prevent the armed forces from being able to prevent the kind of penetration by others that could prevent them from being involved in a coup, the Kremlin has left the Russian military incapable of defending itself against criminal groups, further reducing unit cohesion and effectiveness, Pavel Pryanikov says.

            The Russian commentator who blogs under the screen name Tolkovatel says that in one unit, all the soldiers were forced to pay protection money to the local criminal group and that some who had served in Syria had been forced to do the same on pain of death if they didn’t (

            According to the commentator, this is no isolated incident. “As far as I understand,” he writes, “in the poorest regions – and this at a minimum is half of Russia, this has already for a long time been established practice.” And what is especially bad is that the military lacks the capacity or the freedom of action to block such extortion.

            Pryanikov cites three other cases that have come to the attention of the media in Moscow (новости-россииновости/умудрились-обложить-данью-даже-военнослужащих-контрактников-из-рвсн-россии/, and

            Most of these cases, he points out, concern military units in the Urals or further east, likely because “on these territories, there are no authorities in the customary understanding of the term. This is another all-too-common case of the shrinking of Russia,” at least as far as the de facto control of territory is concerned.

            The “main conclusion,” Pryanikov says is dispiriting: “the army already is not part of Russia and cannot on its own defend itself. It cannot apply force against the criminal world, a situation that is the consequence of an already long-running campaign to deprive the army of controlling itself” because of Kremlin “fears about a coup.”

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