On the Implementation of the Social Development Strategy of the RF Armed Forces

The “Social Development Strategy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation till 2020” (hereinafter referred to a Strategy) was developed in order to meet social needs of the military personnel, civil staff, military pensioners and members of their families. The Strategy was approved on 28 March 2008 by the decision of the Board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. It was planned to implement the Strategy in three stages. First stage embraces the period 2008-2012.

The Russian leadership pays special attention to the social development of the Armed Forces of Russia. That is why, it seemed that all which is done within the Strategy should be known not only to all military personnel but to the whole society. Nevertheless, the text of the Strategy was published in a secondary publication (see Military Railway Man. 2008, №19 and №20). The site of the Ministry of Defense offers solely the name of the document. Civil specialists may find it on a specialized site or on the site of KonsultantPlus which posted the order of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation of 28.04.2008 № 241.

At that, the Strategy provides for a solution of a number of paramount tasks in various spheres of social policy in the following order:
1)    culture and leisure, physical culture and sports, information and trade and residential services;
2)    military education;
3)    health care;
4)    raising the security of the military service;
5)    solution of the housing problem;
6)    raising of the money allowances and pensions;
7)    ensure social safety net.

To our mind, the order of problems solution in the above mentioned spheres should be different. The money allowance plays the major role in the improvements of material wellbeing of the military personnel. However, development of the managerial solutions on the money allowance is delayed. Increase of money allowance should have been followed by an increase in military pensions. However, changes in this sphere are still more problematic and thus are been put off.

Main conclusions regarding the improvement of money allowance issue of the military personnel and military pensions come to the following:
  • At present the issue of deserved money allowance has been solved only for the military staff of the Central apparatus of the Ministry of Defense and, selectively, for a minority part of the officers of the active armed forces;
  • The issue of raising money allowance for the majority of the military personnel has not been solved so far. It may remain unsolved before the deadline set for its resolution;
  • There are two scenarios under review regarding military pensions. One opts for the cut of its level compared with money allowance of the military personnel, and the other calls for putting it in line with the pensions of the majority of the Russian population.

Provision of housing for the military personnel represents the second most urgent issue for the military personnel. This aspect boasts of the following results:
  • Unprecedented number of flats have been offered to the families of the military personnel and military pensioners over the last years (up to 100 thousand annually);
  • The official site of the Ministry of Defense posted a section “Housing for the Military Personnel”. This section provides information on the finished and under construction housing by regions, legislative and normative acts relating to the provision of the military personnel with housing. The section provides a Single registry of the military personnel who have been recognized as in need of housing;
  • Provision the military personnel and their families with flats should be viewed as a paramount government action, which has “double (military and civil)” purpose, which contributes to the prosperity of the whole nation;
  • Housing provision of the military personnel, which is very attractive for corrupt individuals may become a platform for the development of a number of efficient mechanisms for the introduction of the public control needed for the fight with corruption.
Other social spheres related to the military personnel also boast of certain achievements and problems. However, in comparison with the two above mentioned ones they go to the background.

Е.V. Trofimova – Candidate of Sciences (History), senior research fellow, Military Economics Department

Please see “Political and Economic Situation in Russia in February 2011”