Army is a school of life? Poll
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, disputes about the benefits or uselessness of service in the Russian Army as a call began to arise more and more often. Over the past twenty years, an entire generation of citizens has managed to appear in Russia, who not only do not wish to go through an army school, but generally consider serving in the army as an occupation for the poor strata of our population. If we make, so to speak, a slice of the Russian army today, we can see that the majority of soldiers serving in conscription are either residents of the Russian provinces, or children from incomplete families, or sons of those parents whose incomes can be called more than modest. It is safe to say that in the modern Russian army there are children by no means all politicians, businessmen, officials of various levels (if they serve at all). Such people here, as we know, are considered white bone. So, for some, different from the traditional laws, they have the right to full exemption from military service. To do this, a certificate of disrepair for medical reasons can be concocted, or simply buy a ready-made military ID card with all the consequences.
However, public opinion, judging by the recently published research, still suggests that the status of our army is a little, but it comes out of a steep peak. If even 10-12 years ago, the overwhelming number of respondents believed that service in the Russian army was a lost time for a young man, but today there are fewer people like that. According to a survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, about a third of respondents believe that serving in the army has a positive effect on a young person. About 48% of citizens believe that there are positive and negative features in military service, which is difficult to disagree with.
In Soviet times, sociological polls of this kind could be perceived by the public as odd, since the vast majority of the population considered the army to be the real school of life for a young man. However, new political, economic and military realities are evident, and therefore the number of “doubters” of the expediency of serving as an appeal in Russia sometimes increases or decreases. If we talk about the prerequisites for the emergence of numerous deviators from the military service, then experts call such conflicts 80's. Afghan war has done its job. Many eighteen-year-old boys frankly did not understand why they were forced to fight in the territory of a foreign state whose people are clearly not happy with their presence. The ideals of "international military assistance" were already seriously shaken. The local conflicts of the nineties added fuel to the fire of disbelief in the high ideals of serving the Motherland. With all the desire, such ideals became less and less common when, during the Chechen campaign, the soldiers saw with their own eyes how their commanders did not at all disdain to work closely with the militants, selling weapon and reporting plans. Among other things, the army was torn apart from the inside by hazing, the scale of which in the nineties reached incredible heights. These reasons for the negative attitude towards the Russian army can not be written off.
However, time changes. The Russians understand that the army needs real modernization, and without young, educated and ambitious servicemen (whether contract soldiers or draftees) this problem cannot be solved.
No one, I think, will argue, if we say that the modern Russian army is not the scattered horde of the mid-nineties, when it was impossible to assemble several combat-ready units from all over the country. Of course, there are enough problems today, but to deny that the army has become better with both food and uniforms for draftees is pointless. Of course, there are such units in our country where the “fathers-commanders” continue to put the soldiers in decommissioned form and feed them with expired canned food, but this is still not an all-Russian tendency.
If we talk about how our compatriots began to respond to the army, the number of positive responses increased by 9% compared to the previous survey of the 1998 year. The only thing that is alarming is the increase in the number of people who believe that the number of cases of non-statutory relations in the Russian army is not decreasing, but even increasing. Earlier, non-statutory relations arose between the so-called old-timers and the young conscription, but today the “warrior-non-steward” has moved to a new track. In this case, “hazing” refers to the relationship of contract soldiers and draftees, officers and soldiers. In other words, a decrease in service life has led to the transformation of hazing. She is still afraid of young people who have to go on military service.
The overwhelming majority of Russians, according to the results of the same survey, state that for young students it would be worth leaving a deferment. About 8% of respondents said that the postponement of military service is generally contrary to the Constitution, because it violates the equality of all people before the law. But as we know, there will always be people who are “more equal” than others, whether the delay will be canceled or not.
The results of the POF poll eloquently testify to the attitude of society towards the Russian army. It is encouraging that this attitude, albeit slowly, but in general, is changing for the better. Well, there is still a lot of work for military reformers!
- Alexey Volodin
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