Writing in Yezhednevnyy zhurnal, Aleksandr Golts says the age limit story for Boldyrev, et al, doesn’t hold water. These guys were honored for their performance in the five-day war, and then tossed out. Surovikin obviously got demoted. It was a general pogrom.
The brief Georgian war was not great victory, but the leadership couldn’t punish the general incompetence then. First, it had to give out medals, and wait a year before firing them.
Another possibility is the retired generals were being repaid for their unsuccessful implementation of Serdyukov’s reforms. They bore the hard burden of cutting tens of thousands of officers. Then they lost their jobs because the process didn’t go as well as Genshtab chief Makarov has claimed. Why were they fired if they’ve just been honored as great military leaders?
This takes Golts back to the issue of honor. The Defense Ministry leadership is worried about the morale of officer corps. It wants this new honor code to become corporate rules of conduct officers operating as members of the same caste from lieutenant to general. But Golts concludes the new code won’t change the reality that junior officers are crap, they’re serfs. Does a new code mean anything when generals get awards they don’t deserve, then they’re forced out? Does it mean anything if officers are dismissed after 10-15 years of service and don’t get their benefits. Getting officers to request dismissal or putting them outside the TO&E seems so brilliant as a bureaucratic move, but it’s disastrous for morale. ‘Effective management’ like this only infects the new generation of officers with cynicism, and no honor code will remedy that.