Friday, August 24, 2007

Russian Ground Forces

The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. While the Russian Ground Forces in their present form are only fourteen years old, Russian officials trace their antecedents' history during the Imperial Russian era back to the time of Kievan Rus. Since 1992 the Ground Forces have had to withdraw thousands of troops from former Soviet garrisons abroad, while being extensively committed to the Chechen wars and peacekeeping and other operations in the Soviet successor states.

Since 1991 inability to allow the new strategic circumstances, a crippling lack of funds, and the wasting away of the Russian people's belief in the Armed Forces have led to a steady decline in forces capacity. Professionalisation is now steadily taking place, but there is little hope for a rapid grows in effectiveness. Alexander Golts, a long-time Russian military columnist, describes the problems: "Since 1999 the defense budget has grown more than three times—rising from 109 billion rubles to 346 billion. However, no encouraging changes have come about: the level of combat readiness and discipline is just as low as it was few years ago.


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