On Wednesday, Russian Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin and for the first time Sergei Shoigu in the capacity of the defence minister held a meeting of the Russian Defence Ministry board. “The army is ordered not to take flip and flop steps,” the Kommersant daily and the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily published the articles with the same headlines on Thursday. Putin urged to reform the army “without constant flip and flop steps” and “endless reviews of the previous decisions,” Shoigu criticized the decisions, which his predecessor Anatoly Serdyukov has taken.
“Not all the decisions taken for the reforms of the Armed Forces justified themselves. The army should be improved not up to the stereotypes, but also without constant flip and flop steps and without endless reviews of the previous decisions,” the Kommersant daily quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying. “Now we are about to reach the stage, when just a subtle attuning of all mechanisms of the military machine is needed,” Putin said.
The president urged to finalize the formation of full-fledged army units on all strategic directions so that military units would be in the state of permanent readiness and finalize the staffing of the armed forces with soldiers and junior officers for 2013-2014. “The term of military service remains unchanged of 12 months,” he noted.
General Shoigu focused on the criticism of Anatoly Serduykov. “It is absolutely obvious that the decision to cut the number of military townships to 192 was mistaken,” he stated. He added that by 2017 the number of military townships will reach 495, a plan of certification of all military townships will be made soon.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted that officials from the Russian presidential administration, the government, the Federal Assembly, the chief law enforcers and the heads of public organizations and even Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill were invited for the meeting. All this shows that the problems of the army became the problems of the country, the newspaper noted.
Shoigu criticized the novelties in the management system, which were introduced under his predecessor. Their imperfection was exposed during this inspection, as without a reliable management there cannot be any permanent combat readiness, “The practice made us to consider a three-level management system in another way,” the defence minister said. “The artificial elimination of several links of management in the Armed Forces brought down its efficiency. We made sure of this a week ago during an extraordinary inspection of combat readiness,” Shoigu underlined.