We can understand the fact that the state was separated from the church, although it is currently getting back to it. An official, who does not go to church or say something publicly, is considered to be a bad official now. But let’s be honest here: when the church was going back to the state, the state de facto separated itself from its own sanctuary –the defense industry.
It has been said and written a lot about huge debts of the Russian defense branch. The workers of the industry were fed up with pickets and meetings, attracting press and television to those actions of protest, but they seemed to grasp the idea of post-perestroika Russia: a good, properly arranged document, submitted to a proper official on a proper moment can do a lot more than meetings or pickets. The deputies of two committees of the Russian State Duma (the committee for North Affairs and the committee for Defense) are racking their brains over a very strict letter from the trade union of the dockyard Zvyozdochka (Little Star), which repaired nuclear submarines of the Russian Northern Navy.
At present moment the enterprise is finishing the repairs of the ballistic cruiser Ekaterinburg (on the picture). When President Putin visited the construction of such a sub, he said that those submarines would become the major constituent of the Russian nuclear navy. The situation with the Ekaterinburg sub is as follows: all the works are being performed on top level, but the biggest part of the costs is being done by the factory itself. There is another good example to prove the fact that the state separated itself from the defense industry: the Defense Ministry still owes 500 million rubles to Sevmashpredpriyatiye (SevMash Enterprise) for the construction of Gepard submarine (Cheetah), although the submarine has been in operation for six months already. When the Gepard sub was launched, Vladimir Putin was also there at the ceremony to cut the red ribbon, he was the prime minister at that time.
Defense industry workers addressed to the parliament, asking for help and support in connection with the problems, which the Russian Naval Command was creating “when forming the spending on labor payment for pricing state defense orders.” The point of the problem is as follows: pursuant to the decision of the Naval Commander Vladimir Kuroyedov of April 30, 2002, ordering departments of the Russian Navy and military departments of the Defense Ministry were recommended to fix the limiting level of labor costs when forming a month pricing normative on defense production for the year 2002 – not more than 4500 rubles.
Last year the normative was 3500 rubles. The situation is a paradox: the factory is supposed to pay the mentioned sum to all workers and engineers that work on the Ekaterinburg or Gepard subs at its own expense. This work requires very high skills and abilities, so one may assume that the state is supposed to take care of that, but the state can give very little. The average salary at the enterprise is somewhere around a hundred dollars.
Defense industry workers wrote in their address to the State Duma that the Defense Ministry was actually getting loans at the expense of workers’ wages. It was said that the ministry did not take account of any other aspects, like the costs for replenishment of circulating assets, technical re-equipment, maintaining the basic assets, etc. Maybe, this is because the Defense Ministry does not have any responsibility for the situation of defense enterprises at all?
Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969