2006 was the penultimate year in the program for the transition of the units of permanent readiness to the absolutely voluntary enlistment of citizens for military service under contracts. Therefore, there exists a legitimate interest to the results achieved within the framework of the corresponding federal target program (FTP) and to the quality of its implementation.
Let us start with analyzing the achievements. The number of military units and formations of permanent readiness, manned exclusively on the contractual basis, continues to grow in the armed forces. Also significant is the fact that the persons conducting their service as draftees no longer serve in the hot spots. According to the assurances of the head of the GOMU, draft has been completely abolished in Chechnya, and now only Chechens serve there under contracts. Thus, the prob lem of switching over to voluntary principle of manning the armed forces has been reputedly solved not only on the scale of the military units included in the category of permanent readiness, but also on the scale of one of the regions of Russia. How ever, the question as to whether the creation of purely ethnic military units is beneficial can hardly be answered in a positive way.
So far as a more detailed analysis of the quality of implementing the federal target program is concerned, the assessment of the results achieved in a number of military units inspires no optimism. It is not by chance that the FTP adopted in August 2003 was repeatedly altered last year with the latest amendments having been introduced by the RF Government’s Decree No. 549, of 7 September 2006.
As a result of these adjustments, the list of military units being switched over to the system of contracting has become updated, a period of probation for assessing the servicemen’s fitness for service has been introduced, and material sanctions have been established for those violating the terms of a contract. The summary fig ures of the FTP have also been changed. Judging from these figures, it becomes apparent that the expenditures on the program have increased, while the number of servicemen being switched over to the contractual system has been decreased.
Instead of the previous 147,578 posts, only 138,722 posts in Russia’s military es tablishment are planned to be held by persons serving under contracts, including 125,359 posts in the RF Armed Forces. The rest of the posts are in the Internal Forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and in the Frontier Service of the FSB. And RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks it should be noted as an especially positive fact that it has been announced that, starting from the year 2008, this service should be completely manned by persons serving under contracts. A similar announcement has been made with regard to engineering units as well.
The assessments of what is going on considerably differ – the minister char acterizes it with optimism, while his subordinates, in particular the officers of the GOMU of the General Staff, are more pessimistic. The testimony to this is a number of publications in the mass media. The reasons for such pessimistic assess ments, one of which is formulated in the title of the publication we are referring to, are very real – in fact, they have been initially programmed by the General Staff it self. And the collapse of the contract system is near not because the funds ini tially planned for the realization of the FTP,and then additionally allocated for the purpose of its implementation, were not spent on increasing the attractiveness of military service under contract. These funds are being spent on the infrastructure of military camps, combat training and other undoubtedly useful initiatives. Such expenditures are certainly necessary under any system of manning the armed forces, but their financing should be carried out under appropriate items of expen diture, not related to the FTP.
The other reasons for the stalling of the FTP have been exposed by the Com mittees of Soldiers’ Mothers. It turned out that under conditions of unpopularity of voluntary service the army had resorted to the widespread practice of forcing the soldiers serving on the basis of conscription to sigh contracts. Also, in a number of military units, privates and noncommissioned officers are subjected to extortion, and their commanders violate their rights, as evidenced by a large number of facts included in the official report of human rights organizations or published in the mass media. Military registration and enlistment offices also encounter difficulties in finding appropriate personnel for the armed forces, which are caused by the fact that the average wage is growing in the majority of the regions, and it is impossible to find anybody who would agree to serve for a lower pay offered for military labor involving a lot of hardships.
Money allowance. The personnel policy of the Ministry of Defense and the other power establishments is reflected in the size of money allowance (MA) of the servicemen,which should be the major factor capable of ensuring the attractive ness of voluntary military service. The size of a MA depends on the status of a ser Mukhin, V. Krakh kontraktnoi armii (The collapse of the contractual army) // Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 24.08.2006.
Vorob’ev, E., Tsymbal, V. Krakh kontraktnoi armii zaprogramirovan (The collapse of the contrac tual army has been programmed) // Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie (The independent military re view), 27.10–2.11.06.
Vakhnina, L. V. “Lishnii soldat: Nezakonnoe ispol’zovanie truda voennosluzhashchikh po prizyvu v tseliakh, ne obuslovlennykh ispolneniem obiazannostei voennoi sluzhby” (A redundant soldier: The illegal use of labor of servicemen enlisted by conscription, for purposes not determined by the im plementation of the duties of military service). A report. Moscow: Vserossiiskaia koalitsiia “Za de mokraticheskuiu AGS” (The All Russian Coalition “For a Democratic Alternative Civil Service”, 2006.
Section Institutional Problems viceman, on the character of functional responsibilities, and numerous other indi cators. Until recently, the functional dependence of MA on these indicators had been determined by numerous documents issued at different times, and had been open to different interpretations and subsequent abuse. Therefore Order of the RF Minister of Defense, of 30 June 2006, No. 200, “On the Approving of the Procedure for the Provision of Servicemen of the RF Armed Forces with Money Allowance” (hereinafter – the Procedure for MA), which was published in late September and came into force from 1 October 2006, is undoubtedly a very positive act.
The clarification of the Procedure for MA has not been altered in its previously established fundamental principles. The calculation of MA remains unchanged:
MA=MRMA + APi.
In this expression, the first summand is the monthly rate of money allowance MRMA = RPMR + RPMP, which consists of the rate of pay for military rank (RPMR), related to the twenty positions of the scale of military ranks, and the rate of pay for military post (RPMP), related to the fifty so – called “tariff classes”. The second summand is the sum of additions to the MRMA.
The minimum value of the RPMR is 659.54 roubles / month; a marshal’s maximum of the RPMR is 2,170.05 roubles / month; the spread of nominal values is 1,710.51 roubles / month; the spread of realitive values is 4.72. Correspondingly, the spread of values regarding the officers’ ranks only amounts to 1,416.91 rou bles, or 2.88 times.
The spread of nominal values of the RPMP is 4,352.87 roubles / month, while that of relative values is 4.41. Correspondingly, the spread of values regarding the officers’ posts amounts to 3,586.97 roubles / month or 2.76 times.
The spread of both the values of these rates of pay and their amounts corre spond to the RF servicemen’s traditional notions of “justice”.
There is no rigid correspondence between military ranks and “tariff classes” related to military posts, and no such correspondence can ever exist. In the Proce dure for MA, only the ranks and posts of the officer’s contingent are set apart from the ranks and posts of the contingent of privates and noncommissioned officers (PNOC). As far as the Army and Navy warrant officers are concerned, some docu ments (and even laws) consider them to be in one category with the officers, some consider them separately, and some – as belonging to the category of the PNOC.
Nevertheless, for purposes of a comparison analysis of the MRMA and MA, some tentative correspondence between the ranks and posts is possible – for example, as is shown in Table 29.
Table MR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 8; 12; 14; 16– 19– 24– 31– 35– 47– R 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10 11 49 9 13 15 18 22 30 34 46 The upper row contains the consecutive numbers in the list of military ranks – from the private to the marshal. The second row contains the values and value ranges of the posts – related “tariff classes” approximately corresponding to them.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks They were used in the further calculations of the tentative sizes of MRMAs and the additional payments related to them.
As is seen from Table 20, the scales of military ranks and “tariff classes” have different density: only 9 tariff classes correspond to the 8 ranks of the PNOC, while 41 tariff classes correspond to the 12 officer ranks. They are equally different in density as regards the officer ranks: approximately 5 tariff classes correspond to the four ranks of junior officers, approximately 15 tariff classes – to three ranks of senior officers, and 20 tariff classes – to the four general’s and one marshal’s rank taken together. Especially large is the scale of tariff classes for colonels, major generals and lieutenant generals. It can be assumed that this situation is deter mined not so mush by the existence of the so called wage bracket categories as by the influence exerted on the distribution of tariff classes by those officials who serve in the Central Apparatus (CA) of the Ministry of Defense, because it is pre cisely their posts that a considerable proportion of the tariff classes relates to.
If we compare the scale of military posts with the corresponding scale of civil ian civil servants, we will find an approximate correspondence between the duties and working conditions stipulated for the top echelons of officials (of ministries and agencies), and at the same time will note the apparent underestimation of the role and importance of the private (or sailor), sergeant (or petty officer) and the junior officer. The fact that their service can be much more dangerous and difficult than the corresponding civilian civil service is not reflected at all in the tariff classes ac corded to them.
However, at the present time, the basic part of a MA is determined not by the size of the MRMA but by the various bonuses.
It is not by chance that the long service bonus is placed first on the list of all the forty bonuses. In the past it was also considered to be the most justified, and therefore was both substantial and regular. It is mentioned in a federal law of the RF. And the step – like dependence of its coefficient on time in service, established by a decree of the RF Government, characterizes the former financial policy, which reflected the need to stimulate the upward promotion, in particular, of the lower echelons of the military hierarchy. As the time in service grows, the relative value of this bonus lags behind. The accounting of the long – service bonus is a matter of fact for all present day and former servicemen. The sum of the MRMA and the first bonus represents the so called basic monthly rate of pay (BMP). As in the case with calculating the MRMA, our assessments are based on the rated (conventional) size of this bonus, because no precise coordination between the time in service and the posts can be achieved. The BMP is especially important for military pen sioners, for the size of their pensions directly depends, first of all, on the BMP.
Our analysis shows that the size of servicemen’s BMP differs approximately by 11,436 roubles / month, or by 7.3 times. And this does not contradict the tradi tional notions of what is just (shared by the servicemen), either.
As regards the most recent bonuses, it is clear that they have most radically changed the situation. The results of the MA analysis, which takes into account the major new bonuses, are shown in Figure 18. Plotted on the X axis are the tariff Section Institutional Problems classes, while MA (in roubles / month) are plotted on the Y axis. The graphs char acterize the discrete growth of MA with a number of bonuses taken into account.
The two lower graphs illustrate the MRMA – Row 1, the BMP – Row 2.
The upper graphs characterize the MA with allowance made for the social bo nuses granted to all servicemen, which are calculated in proportion to the size of a corresponding MRMA (Row 3), the MA with allowance made for the universal 100% bonus, which is proportional to the size of a corresponding MRMA (Row 4), and also the MA with allowance made for a more considerable bonus, which is granted only to the officers and warrant officers of the Central Apparatus (CA) of the Ministry of Defense (Row 5).
Especially important for the reform of the system of recruitment are the bo nuses introduced for the servicemen of permanent readiness units in connection with their switching – over to the contractual system. For the whole of Russia, they are characterized by the graph denoted as Row 6, while for Chechnya – by the graph denoted as Row 7.
It should be noted that it is precisely the difference in the size of MA, illus trated by the three latter graphs (as listed in the text), that most strongly dissatis fies the servicemen. And the case in point is not only the fact that the size of MA for the top brass (close to the 50th tariff class) has increased dramatically, but also that a warrant officer serving in the CA (the 8th tariff class) receives the same MA as his “equal in rank” in Chechnya, and his MA is larger than that received by many offi cers in regular forces (up to the 16th tariff class). The dissatisfaction among the ser vicemen has become known to the leadership. It is not by chance that the Army’s mass media have published the information that the minister of defense has al ready instructed military financiers to start developing a new regulation concerning MA.