07MOSCOW10, DEFENSE REFORM: IVANOV ANNOUNCES TWO INITIATIVES

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07MOSCOW10.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW10 2007-01-08 14:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1979
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0010 0081439
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081439Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6206
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000010 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2016 
TAGS: PREL PARM PGOV PINR RS
SUBJECT: DEFENSE REFORM: IVANOV ANNOUNCES TWO INITIATIVES 
 
Classified By: Pol MinCouns Alice G. Wells reasons 1.4 b and d. 
 
1. (SBU) Spurred by public concern over the widespread abuse 
of conscripts, Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov outlined two 
initiatives to improve the quality of life in the military 
when he met November 16 with senior commanders of the Armed 
Forces.  Ivanov called for the creation of Parents' 
Committees, whose members would be allowed to visit soldiers 
at their military facilities.  Ivanov also signed an order 
for the establishment of a "Public Chamber" attached to the 
Ministry of Defense (MOD) that would increase transparency 
over MOD policy.  The MOD Public Chamber, which will include 
public figures such as Union of Soldiers' Mothers' Committee 
Chairman Valentina Melnikova, movie director Nikita 
Mikhalkov, and Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov, will offer 
policy recommendations to senior MOD officials. 
 
2. (C)  Melnikova told us that since the late 1980's her 
organization had regularly proposed both initiatives.  She 
reminded us that Ivanov had singled out conscripts' mothers 
as the most "agitating and uncompromising" segment of 
society.  She hypothesized that Ivanov's initiative intended 
to co-opt conscripts' mothers and mitigate their criticism of 
MOD policies.  Melnikova also noted that invitations to join 
Parents' Committees would originate in the MOD, with 
membership likely restricted to parents whose sons were 
current conscripts, a move that would effectively block her 
organization's leadership from participation.  Nonetheless, 
Melnikova said her organization was ready to work with the 
MOD on the Parents' Committees. 
 
3. (C)  Aleksandr Sharavin of the Institute for Political and 
Military Analysis challenged the feasibility of the Parents' 
Committees concept.  He noted that the MOD has neither the 
resources nor the desire to support groups of parents 
traveling to military facilities to check on their sons' 
welfare.  Although parents would be expected to bear the cost 
of travel and other expenses to visit their sons, the program 
would still require considerable logistical support from 
local commanders.  Sharavin said, at best, parents would 
visit Potemkin Villages.  Sharavin predicted that the MOD 
would only give lip service to the Public Chamber, since 
there are no legal mechanisms to force the MOD to act on 
Public Chamber recommendations.  Sharavin emphasized, as he 
has done with us on several occasions, that Ivanov's actions 
and statements must be seen in the context of his 
presidential ambitions.  He added that Ivanov had announced 
these initiatives during a meeting with senior military 
commanders, who are averse to change and philosophically 
opposed to their implementation. 
 
4. (C)  COMMENT: Ivanov's record in following through on such 
initiatives is uneven at best.  Last March, for example, he 
ordered the creation of military police units to combat 
hazing, but the MOD still has not implemented his directive. 
Ivanov has displayed little inclination to confront senior 
military officers.  Nonetheless, Ivanov's proposals reflect 
the fact that the MOD must improve the situation of 
conscripts and the military in general, or, given demographic 
trends, it will face the prospect of being unable to fill the 
ranks. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: