The RF Ministry of Defense Releases Its Statistics

Shortly before New Year's Eve, Russia's Ministry of Defense published its official statistics envisaged in the Federal Statistics Plan .
It has turned out, however, that the released statistics are limited to the number of pensioners, including disabled persons, registered and receiving pensions at the RF Ministry of Defense, and that their number is much smaller than that previously announced by officials . According to the published data, as of 1 January 2011 the RF Ministry of Defense granted pensions to 1,118,475 persons, including 965,368 persons receiving service pensions. Also, 39,500 persons received disability pensions and 122,500 persons received survivors' pensions. Thus, in the course of five years since the previous statistical release in Krasnaia zvezda [The Red Star], the total number of persons receiving pensions from the RF Ministry of Defense has dropped by 24,000, while the number of military pensioners proper (receivers of service pensions) has increased by 45,000.

An analysis of the metadata file containing the RF Ministry of Defense's published statistics has revealed that it has existed in an electronic form for at least 12 years, and now, finally, it has been made available to the public. In this connection it can be noted that the file could have also contained data for the previous years (since 1998), which would then be a demonstration of a certain culture of keeping statistical records by the RF Ministry of Defense. No doubt, that publication can by no means be regarded as a gift on the part of the Ministry, but only the result of the Ministry's compliance with the RF President's Decree No 1063 of 10 August 2011 . However, the deadline for completing annual statistical reports is set for 21 July, so but for the Ministry's goodwill, we would have to wait for it until next summer.

By way of comparison, it can be pointed out that the RF Ministry of Internal Affairs, in spite of the ongoing ‘police reform' and a similar RF President's Decree (No 1060, also of 10 August 2011), has failed to publish any statistics on its website , including the number of pensioners; the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations, on the contrary, not only created on its website a special Statistics section (similarly to the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website ), put also published there all the statistical data as required by the plan of statistical reports, with the date and time of each publication (the details that, for some reason, the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs' publications do not contain). It is evident that, judging by the former website's structure, the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations has been publishing its statistics there since 2003, without any orders ‘from above' and plans ‘imposed from outside' - simply by acting professionally ...

As for the RF Ministry of Defense, one might expect something more from it - perhaps a release of military statistics at a level no lower than the level of such publications in France or the UK ; two pages seems to be too little for a country like Russia.

V. B. Zatsepin - Candidate of Military Sciences, Head of the Economics of the Military-Industrial Sector Department