Russia military men celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Russia on May 7. Over 300,000 military men and countless units of weaponry returned to Russia from the Commonwealth of Independent States and other foreign countries within the period of only two years. Nowadays, the Russian Armed Forces make up a quarter of the entire defense organization of the nation.
Boris Yeltsin, the President of Russia, signed the decree about the establishment of the Armed Forced of Russia 15 years ago on May 7, 1992. The process started when the Russian troops previously deployed in the republics of the former USSR and other foreign countries were returned to the Russian national territory.
About 30 infantry, tank and airborne divisions, over 50 missile, artillery and anti-aircraft brigades, as well as over 60 aviation regiments returned to Russia during the following two years. Over 45,000 units of weaponry and almost four million tons of strategic reserves were taken back to Russia too. It became the largest military redeployment in history.
Former Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Ivanov, said that the Armed Forces of Russia currently count over one million of military men.
The Armed Forces of Russia have experienced quite a number of reforms, many of which are still underway. Sergei Ivanov said that almost 69,000 military men are in urgent need of habitation. However, the official added, it became possible to overcome the negative tendency: “The number of servicemen who have no permanent habitation has been decreasing for two years already,” Ivanov stated.
Significant changes took place in the Russian army. President Putin signed a new decree in March of the current year, which cut the service term from 24 to 18 months. The term will be cut further to one year only from January 1, 2008.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987