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Russia's most popular minister has works his first year as defense minister

November 06, 2013, 10:43 UTC+3
Apart from dealing with direct responsibilities, the new minister consistently engages culture in the army
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Komsomolskaya Pravda daily summed up the results of the first year of work by Sergei Shoigu at the post of the Russian defense minister. Mostly important what he succeeded to do is to bring back to the army a worthy position in the state and give a clear idea to it about the prospects, the daily noted. The daily named the working style of the minister as sound pragmatism based on the opinion of professionals.

The new minister consistently engages the culture in the army. He has formed a specific department, stopped the sale of houses of officers and soldiers’ clubs, ordered to install shower rooms in each barrack and dreams about an Internet cafe in each military unit.

Shoigu brought back the professional officers, which were fired by the previous minister over their position of opposition (they opposed hasty decisions in the reforms), suspended the closure of several military academies and colleges, changed radically the basing system of airfields, abandoned outsourcing at the military exercises and now not a civil catering company, but military cooks will cook for soldiers at the field kitchens.

Komsomolskaya Pravda daily named the decision to give money to servicemen who are about to retire instead of flats as Shoigu’s most revolutionary idea. To put it more exactly, this is one-time monetary allowances. According to current rules and the pace of construction the queues for flats will be endless. Up to 15,000 people, who are entitled to have housing, retire from the army every year. They are added to the queue of those people who are waiting for flats for a long time.

Retired Major General, Hero of Russia, Ingushetia’s President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov noted that under the new defense minister large-scale strategic military exercises are being held. Former chairman of the Chamber of Accounts Sergei Stepashin believes that Sergei Shoigu regained the trust of officers and generals to the military service and restored the prestige of the military agency in general.

Moskovsky Komsomolets daily takes as the merits of the new defense minister the refusal from the sale of army property and commercial functions, revival of military medicine, education, culture, the challenging of the problems of domestic military industry and surprise drills of real combat capability of the army.

The daily noted that by the end of 2014 Sergei Shoigu plans to create a national centre of defense of the country - Supreme High Command General Headquarters.

According to the public opinion polls, Sergei Shoigu, who had worked as the minister of emergency situations for many years, remains the most popular Russian minister at the new post.

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