Russian military official believes that Russia should have sold more weapons to Iraq
The Russian army is destined to lose without the modernization of its arms. Saddam Hussein has had that experience on his own back. The army experiences rather hard times at present moment. Russia is hardly taken into consideration in the international politics nowadays. What should be done in order to raise the rating of the Russian army? State Duma deputy, Vice Admiral Valery Dorogin gave interview to PRAVDA.Ru and agreed to answer these questions.
Mr. Dorogin, as we can see, Russia's opinion is not taken into consideration in the international politics nowadays. The American administration feels free to do whatever it wants to. Do you think that such a position is normal, when the United States bombs who it wants and whenever it wants?
The first thing that we are supposed to understand is the fact that the United States of America tries to conquer the whole world. The gradual penetration of the ideology and destructive policy that the American administration runs with respect to Russia is clear to everyone. The country is being torn apart from within. People, who can not rule the country, manage to come to power, and I am talking about the Russian government here.
Just try to see the previous work experience of some members of the Russian government. The government is in need of the people, who are completely devoted to Russia, who understand that the future of our children and grandchildren depends on the current situation. Speaking of our army and navy: ask any officer, general, sergeant, which country he serves for, and what for. If a young man serves in the army, and his parents get a pension of about $100, who do we stand for then? We have to see the future. If we see our country's future, if we have plans for up-coming five or ten years, the young generation will realize, what it is going to happen in the future for them. We do not have anything of that now.
The most important thing for any army is its morale. Stepan Makarov wrote a wonderful book on the issue, titled "The Discussion of Naval Tactics." Three chapters of that book are devoted to upbringing, education and psychology. Education comes first, upbringing takes the second place and battle training comes third. It is extremely important for a soldier to know, what he fights for. In this case we will come to the realization of the army's essence .
For the time being, we debate the essence of the Russian army, trying to find out, whether it is supposed to exist on a contract or recruit basis. This is not the most important question in this respect. The question is - what are we to defend? I definitely stand for the contractual army, if we have good specialists. It is easier for a contract serviceman to master this or that profession during his serving years, because we have very complicated defense technology nowadays. On the other hand, seamen of the 1970s mastered very complicated defense technology too, because they were all educated very well. And now look at what we have done with modern schools. The current educational training can not be compared to the one that we had 15 years ago. All these gaps show influence on the situation in the army and in the navy. The economic situation in the country, the country's scientific potential, social problems - all those things affect the army. One can talk about the Russian army for ages, although we are supposed to know first, what kind of state we need. We will not be able to answer this question until we realize, what we serve for.
Is this mess in the army connected with plunder and corruption in the authorities? Marshal Shaposhnikov once said that each and everyone is free to earn the way they can. How can an army earn?
What can an officer think of in his military school, if his family counts four people, but he gets paid 5,000 rubles (less than $200) a month? An officer does not have a right to work in some commercial organization, but an officer is supposed to think of a way to maintain his family. Instead of going to school he goes to other organizations and even commits illegal actions at times just to get some money. A contractual soldier in the Russian army gets up to 5,000 rubles, and he does not have a right to work in other organizations. So, what is he left to do? I can say that out loud that he will be forced to deal with extortion, like our police officers do. As a result, there is no moral ground at all. Yes, there are criminals in the army, but this criminality appeared in the state and then came to the army.
Did you try, as a deputy, to make your colleagues pay their attention to these issues, and what responses did you get?
The current situation in the Russian parliament does not allow to talk about our society and our army in a more open democratic way. All draft laws of the government are considered to be the best, for some reason.
A lot of countries all over the world have Russian defense technology in their arsenals, while the situation in the Russian army is rather bad. Why does it happen?
A lot of Russian defense technology is sold abroad, in spite of the fact that the USA keeps winning more and more markets. Any country needs armed forces in order to have a strength. If a lot of countries purchased Russian weapons, this means that those were best and cheapest developments, which helped to improve the Russian economy. Nowadays, if the Iraqi army uses Russian defense technology, I think that we should have delivered more of it there, for Iraq is not capable of repulsing the American aggression. I personally believe that it is an aggression, because any country has a right to choose a way to go. No one can ever obtrude, dictating its will to that country. A nation can always elect their leader, who is worthy of their state.
What is the right way to run reforms?
Reforms are not supposed to be run in order to please a certain person. Armed Forces must run reforms in accordance with the goals of the High Command, but they do not let them do so.
Who does not let them do so?
To my mind, it goes about politicians, who do not work for the welfare of our state. A responsible person is supposed to stand behind every action. Who was responsible for the first Chechen war? Who was responsible for blowing up apartment buildings? We have our military structures, but we fight consequences, although we are supposed to fight reasons, which cause this or that action.
Last year you visited Baghdad. Do you think that the aggression would happen, if Russia sold up-to-date weapons to Saddam?
Of course it would not happen. They are wonderful people, who want to live, to raise their children, to develop their country, but they just won't let them. Russian weapons would become Iraq's independence.
Valery Dorogin was interviewed by Ilya Tarasov