The ethnic factor in the Soviet armed forces : preliminary findings

by S. Enders Wimbush, Alex Alexiev


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A preliminary effort to assess the effect of the ethnic factor on the Soviet armed forces from in-depth interviews with former Soviet servicemen. The study covers managing the ethnic factor in recruitment, general stationing guidelines and practices, the ethnic composition of conscripts, noncommissioned officers and the officer corps, the education and training of non-Russian servicemen, language problems, the relationship between religion and nationality, and inter-ethnic relations. The study concludes with a summary of trends and a set of force effectiveness hypotheses based on the interview data. Data from each research category indicate that Soviet military planners have many ethnic-related problems in the military that impede integration and may affect operational effectiveness and choice.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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