Take a few minutes and read two posts from Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia —Russian Commander Appeals to Mufti to Help Restore Order in His Unit and Russian General Staff to Experiment with ‘Mono-Ethnic’ and ‘Mono-Religious’ Units.
Goble reviews recent problems with insubordination and violence by conscripts from Dagestan at an air base in Perm. The situation is similar to others written about on these pages. The second article reports on rumors the army is ready to entertain the idea of single-nationality units to forestall some of these problems.
Not long ago Tatar parents actually argued for monoethnic units to protect their conscript sons from ‘dedovshchina on nationality grounds.’ Once again, conscripts from Dagestan were the perpetrators of the violence in many cases.
The possibility of ethnic units to control zemlyachestvo in the army runs counter to the Defense Ministry’s current policy of letting more conscripts serve closer to home if possible. Presumably a unit of men from Dagestan wouldn’t serve anywhere near their homes. At the same time, such a unit could be the source of many problems with the locals in a predominantly Russian area.