The Ethnic Factor in the Soviet Armed Forces

Historical Experience, Current Practices, and Implications for the Future — An Executive Summary

by Alex Alexiev, S. Enders Wimbush


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The study summarized here represents the first major, multidimensional effort to address the ethnic factor in the Soviet armed forces. It examines the historical context and experience of the multinational Red Army, analyzes in detail present practices designed to deal with ethnicity, and posits the implications of demographic changes and the options available to the Soviet authorities. It also hints at some of the ramifications of the ethnic factor for force effectiveness and at some potential Soviet vulnerabilities.

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