Babich on the Command Changes

Duma Deputy Mikhail Babich

United Russia Duma deputy, and deputy chair of the Duma’s Defense Committee, Mikhail Babich believes that those who don’t agree with reforms in the armed forces are being pushed out. reports on what Babich told Interfaks

Babich says: 

“Changing military commanders–this is not a planned rotation.  This is an attempt to stop the possibility of a leak of any objective information from the troops.  Former Ground Troops CINC [Army] General Boldyrev, being a sufficiently professional military commander and understanding the hopelessness of what’s occurring, calculated it was better for him to go out on his pension than to continue putting today’s reforms into practice.  This also goes for the dismissal of very promising, well trained, and organized General [-Colonel] Sergey Makarov, but it’s only tied to the fact that the SKVO commander correctly, but very professionally established his position in relation to the negative consequences of transferring the district’s troops to the so-called new profile.  Rotating military commanders, undoubtedly, will continue to the point when those who don’t agree (with the conduct of reforms) or who have their own point of view no longer remain at all in the armed forces.” 

Babich sees General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov appointing his SibVO loyalists to MD posts in these personnel changes. 

“The Genshtab chief is promoting people personally attached to him who owe him their military careers.  In this way, he’s trying to buy some time to cover up the negative consequences of the ongoing military reform, which are increasingly obvious today.” 

Babich said a just completed check of unit and formation combat readiness in the DVO “ended in complete failure.”   

“According to the results of the check, practically all units of the air-assault and motorized rifle brigades put on alert turned out to be not combat ready.  A complete zero–beginning from manning, ending with equipment readiness, its capability to exit the parking area, availability of mechanic-drivers and drivers, who are qualified to operate this equipment.  Despite the fact that they’ve already reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Medvedev] ten times about the fact that since 1 December 2009 all units and formations of the Russian Army have been transferred to the permanent combat readiness category and are fully combat ready, really not one of them is such.  The real situation is completely otherwise, but the Genshtab chief continues to mislead the Defense Minister and the country’s highest military-political leadership about the real state of affairs.” 

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