The Russian Armed Forces--celebrating its third anniversary amidst turmoil, uncertainty, and
internal war--is an institution increasingly defined by the high levels of military criminality and
corruption embedded within it at every level. Military crime is now directly associated with the
Russian Ministry of Defense, General Staff, and other senior staffs; transportation, construction,
and logistic organizations; combined arms units and commands; technically oriented and highly
trained strategic strike and air defense formations; military research organizations; and
military-educational components. Individual military criminals range from general- and
field-grade officers to the newest conscripts.(1)
The largely unbridled criminal penetration of the Russian military establishment is profoundly
affecting its cohesiveness, reliability, and combat effectiveness. In addition, it raises troubling
questions about the Russian Army's ability to provide a security environment suitable for
sustained democratic reforms within Russia, and to serve as a reliable international partner in
security agreements, programs, and joint activities.
This paper will examine the multifaceted and often complex activities and relationships
associated with crime in the Russian Armed Forces. But before addressing these issues, and the
regional and international context in which they have developed, it is also instructive to initially
note organized crime's challenges to political, economic and security institutions throughout the
post-Cold War world, and to underscore that these growing challenges are far from unique to
Russia or isolated in a single region.
At the mid-point of the 1990s, the explosion of more virulent forms of organized criminal
activity in most regions of the world has moved crime from an issue of "public safety" to one of
"national security" in those areas most affected. These organized criminal activities--increasingly
linked regionally and internationally--are characterized by arms and drug trafficking, the
smuggling of profitable contraband of all types to include strategic materials, extortion and
robbery, hostage taking for ransom, and a host of sophisticated financial crimes, among many
other criminal forms. Encouraged by disarray and fueled by huge profits, criminal organizations
have targeted those state institutions and individuals whose responsibilities and access best
further their goals.
State officials and organizations--including law enforcement, security forces, and
judiciaries--have often been innovative and aggressive participants themselves, with state
corruption becoming endemic in some nations and regions. In that regard, the more visible
appearance of state institutions whose policies and actions are heavily influenced by criminal
agendas, increasingly raises questions about the motivation, intentions, and legitimacy of the
states they represent. That is, the merging of state and criminal agendas has been one prominent
feature of the growth of international organized crime for a number of states in which existing
institutions either have been unable to meet basic national and individual needs, or to resist
strong, aggressive criminal enterprise. In such instances, the question of what is criminal--and
what is not--has become blurred or distorted within these states, as have issues of sovereignty
Increased levels of crime have always been associated with conflict and political or social
disarray. When the old order dies or weakens, and when ethnic antagonisms or national
aspirations and tensions become acute, "banditry" and other forms of criminality appear, either as
traditional types or altered to reflect new realities or technologies.(2) But this association has
extraordinarily increased in the post-Cold War period, where the sudden appearance of many
new states, the resurfacing of dormant antagonisms, unprecedented levels of individual global
mobility, near universal access to modern communications means, and the potential for
enormous profits, have provided ready opportunities and incentives for combatants and criminals
to interact in pursuit of their own agendas. As a consequence, substantial criminal content has
appeared in most dimensions of conflict in the 1990s.
Criminal enterprise, then, to perhaps a greater extent than in the past, is intertwined with
insurgencies, terrorism, and ethno-national conflict. Indeed, new or reinvigorated centers of
inter-ethnic conflict, insurgency, and various forms of terrorism have acquired an organized
crime content that in many cases blurs the distinction between political and criminal agendas in
and out of governments. In addition, heightened levels of political, criminal, and random
violence which are beyond the capabilities or desires of conventional law enforcement to handle,
have made the crime problem a greater daily concern for citizens in a number of nations around
Organized crime is a particularly acute problem for fragile democracies--or "proto-democracies"
as some transitional states have been termed--which are facing or emerging from periods of civil
war or conflict.(3) This is as true for newly constituted governments such as those established in
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (FSU), as it is for states in Latin America, Asia, and
Africa. Institutions in these kinds of states especially, are affected in multiple ways by criminal
enterprise. Examples from around the world are numerous and diverse and provide some larger
context for criminal developments in the former "Soviet bloc." They include:
- the heightened levels of organized and random crime in El Salvador following the 1992
Peace Accords, which threaten continuing progress in establishing a stable society;(4)
- threats to institutional integrity in Guatemala where efforts to end the weakened
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) insurgency and begin a process of national
reconciliation have been complicated by violent crime, drug trafficking, corruption, and human
- continuing coca production and processing in Peru, joined by the cultivation of opium
poppies and soaring levels of general crime, despite the serious setbacks dealt to Sendero
Luminoso and the virtual destruction Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA);(6)
- widespread crime problems of all types in South Africa following the end of apartheid,
successful national elections, the establishment of a new government, and initially promising
efforts to create new security institutions;(7)
- the intermixing of drug trafficking and other crime, political activity, insurgency, and the
economy in Mexico, to the point of making criminal and other agendas indistinguishable from
one another, and the issues of institutional corruption a major concern;(8) and
- invigorated alliances of organized criminals and terrorists in many regions of India, which
have been identified by the Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao recently as a growing threat to
Allegations of institutional corruption run like threads through the political, economic, and
security affairs of many of these states and others in the same regions. Conditions arising with
the break-up of the former Soviet bloc have generated problems that are in some respects quite
similar, and others uniquely regional and national. Beginning with a brief review of the regional
criminal environment and Soviet legacy, this assessment will examine criminality in the Russian
military and security forces as the most developed illustration of how a more or less modern state
military institution can rapidly devolve.
RUSSIA AND THE REGIONAL CRIMINAL
The newly established regimes in Eastern Europe and the FSU--despite the many differences of
history, culture, and geography--face challenges analogous to those noted above. Their
complexity and scope, as in many other regions, seem to defy early solution. These problems are
characterized by daunting economic and resource constraints; complex political and social
problems; weakened national military and security establishments that are in the turmoil of
reduction and restructuring programs described as "military reform;" military and security forces
that are regarded with suspicion by the general population (and often the elected political
leadership as well) because of oppressive legacies under communist regimes; and a host of
serious transnational security problems which include burgeoning international organized crime,
narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and serious environmental problems. National and ethnic
tensions that have sparked active conflicts in a number of areas, have been joined by
unprecedented waves of illegal and legal immigration. Foreign immigrant populations are often
seen as bases where ethnic criminals elements may hide and operate.
In short, much of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has become, in effect, a kind of
laboratory for the development of the most pernicious forms of random and organized crime. It is
a region where the interests of local, regional, and international criminal groups have coincided
with the appearance of disrupted economies, requirements for hard currency, and reduced law
enforcement effectiveness. There has been no shortage of countermeasures discussed, legislation
offered, and cooperation proposed. But most states are faced with a plethora of economic and
political problems that they must address; severe resource constraints that limit the training and
equipping of effective law enforcement organizations; and levels of institutional corruption that
undermine those anti-crime measures actually put into effect.
There is a widespread view that the resolve of some government and law enforcement
organizations to attack organized crime in many states abroad is minimal or nonexistent. In this
regard, both U.S. and foreign government representatives concerned directly with such matters
have judged recently that government responses to increasing European organized crime have
been much the same as the inadequate Western responses to the rise of fascism in the 1920s and
1930s--with the potential consequences of inaction being of parallel magnitude.(10) Similarly,
the commitment of states to combatting drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal
activities has been questioned on every continent. In substantial measure, bribery and systemic
institutional corruption have been identified as major contributors to inaction or ineffectiveness
by states and institutions engaged in anti-crime programs. Corruption, then, has become a
familiar disruptive feature in reform programs ranging from the creation or rebuilding of sound
financial institutions to the restructuring of military and police forces.
In some states of Eastern Europe and the FSU, the deepening association of military and security
establishments with criminal enterprise has been especially alarming. While possessing special
features, this growing criminality is reflective of the societies in which they operate. It clearly
seems, for example, as one representative of the Russian Military Procuracy assessed last year,
that "the army organism reacts sensitively to the changes in the socioeconomic structure,
including the ugly phenomena which accompany, for instance, the redistribution of
property."(11) Military "entrepreneurship" aimed at acquiring substantial shares of property in
and out of military establishments has kept pace with economic and social disruptions in many
states in the region.
The Russian criminal environment is illustrative of the corrosive impact that widespread
criminality can have on state security institutions throughout the region.(12) Overall military
crime rates have continued to climb. The Ministry of the Interior (MVD) indicated recently that
overall crime in the first two months of 1995 had increased by some 5% in comparison with the
same period in 1994, with murders up 10%. Interior Minister Viktor Yerin also indicated that the
total number of crimes was nearly half again as great as published figures, if one considered
those that were unreported. Other figures from mid-March 1995 indicate that juvenile crime has
increased by 76% over the last six years, a factor that is having considerable impact on the
quality of the military conscript pool among other more obvious effects.(13)
It is institutionalized organized crime, however, that poses the greatest threat to national
cohesiveness and stability. As may be recalled, official 1994 Russian estimates of organized
criminal penetration of state institutions, indicated that organized criminal groups controlled
some 40,000 state and private organizations, including hundreds of state enterprises, joint-stock
companies, cooperatives, banks, and markets. There are an estimated 2,500 or more organized
criminal groups in Russia alone, many with international connections and structures that are
becoming increasingly sophisticated.(14) The hundreds of Russian banks and financial groups
are particularly central to criminal enterprise. The organizational disarray, lack of effective
legislation and authority, shifting political affiliations, and pervasive criminal penetration present
in Russia's financial system have all combined to create rich criminal opportunities.(15)
The influence of crime in political systems throughout the region is pervasive. In this regard, the
fear that increasing numbers of criminals may win election or appointment to executive,
legislative, or judicial positions has been a continuing concern. In the case of the Russian
Federation Parliament and regional legislatures, this concern appears well-founded, given
criminal resources and the coercive measures used so effectively in other spheres.(16)
Nevertheless, a determination of who is influenced by organized crime and who is not is rarely
clear. In Russia, accusations that "reformist political circles" are heavily influenced by organized
criminal agendas masking their real intentions behind "concern for human rights, the
constitution, [and] the criminal and procedural code," require critical examination, as do charges
directed at representatives of the military-industrial sector, former communists, and other
political targets.(17) While crime and its consequences often seem more starkly and dramatically
drawn for Russia than for its neighbors, the activities and issues defining Russia's criminal
environment are present also in new states around the Russian periphery and beyond. Other
countries in the region--throughout the FSU and Eastern Europe--are subject to analogous
Amidst societies and state institutions that are increasingly undermined by crime, the
reorganizing military and security establishments in the FSU and Eastern Europe are faced with a
combination of powerful criminal incentives, criminal opportunities, and marketable resources
that are facilitating the development of institutionalized military-criminal organizations. At the
same time crime is on the rise in other sectors of new democracies in the region, active duty
forces--as well as retired or discharged officers, soldiers, and security personnel--are faced with
diminished prospects and low public regard.
Typically, military and security forces have ready access to valuable state property; the land, air,
and sea transport means to move it; and specialized skills that criminal organizations need and
can put to good use. Because of severe economic constraints, military units also began working
more closely with civilian economic enterprises in many countries and concluding a range of
contracts and business ventures on their own. On the one hand, civil economic elements required
direct military support to continue functioning, while on the other, military units required new
arrangements for food, clothing, and other basic support.(19)
In this overall environment, military crime came to incorporate activities ranging from individual
crimes of opportunity, to planned, sophisticated organized crime including close interaction with
outside groups and gangs in their countries of origin or abroad. This has reduced the reliability of
many military units including those deployed in peacekeeping missions; undermined law
enforcement efforts at every level; contributed to the "criminal resource base", and generated
variations of organized crime as it appears in the region and beyond.
SOVIET BREAKUP AND RISING MILITARY
The dissolution of the USSR and the fragmentation of the Soviet Armed Forces fundamentally
transformed the petty criminal activities--and the more systematized abuses of authority and
power by the officer corps and military leadership--that had characterized Soviet military
garrison life for decades.(20) The frequent pilfering of unit equipment and supplies by military
personnel of all ranks, and the routine misuse of manpower and material resources by officers,
rapidly became a sophisticated, multi-dimensional, ubiquitous series of criminal enterprises
fostered and sustained by systemic corruption. Today, an explosion in the variety, intensity, and
scope, of "military crime" has earned some Soviet successor state military establishments the
designation of "mafias in uniform" by specialists in and out of the former USSR.(21) Burgeoning
criminal activities by the Russian Armed Forces, in particular, are well on their way to becoming
Steadily climbing rates of weapons and munitions thefts, resource diversions, and narcotics use
and trafficking by military personnel were already alarming Soviet authorities in the late 1980s,
as the loosening control over some Soviet republics became more pronounced.(22) In 1989,
official Soviet statistics indicated that military crime had grown by some 14.5% over the
previous year. Weapon's thefts alone had increased by 50% that same year, and continued to
mount in 1990.(23) Soviet military and security service spokesmen linked the rapidly increasing
military drug consumption and trafficking to drug use habits acquired during the nine-year war in
Afghanistan.(24) Indeed, military and security force complicity in the growing drug trade along
the USSR's southern border began to be more visible during the war.(25) In addition, increasing
rates of drug use in the general population brought new drug-using draftees into the force. Drugs
from Southwest Asia--and particularly from Afghanistan--continued to pour into military
districts along the USSR southern border after the Soviet withdrawal.(26) Soviet Central Asian
republics (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkminestan, and Kazakhstan) had themselves
become major drug cultivation, transit, and processing areas by the late-1980s.(27) As drug use
and trafficking within the military grew, there was increased concern about the presence of
"addicts with weapons" throughout the ranks.
Despite growing official and public recognition of these developments, efforts to halt rising
military crime were ineffective and hampered by a host of other problems affecting the military
and security establishments. Regular "military police" did not exist in the Soviet Armed Forces
(nor do they in its Russian successor).(28) Rather, disciplinary roles in units fell to commanders,
staffs and appointed officers who handed out punishments in accord with the directives and
supervision of the Military Procuracy (composed of criminal judges and lawyers). Growing
levels of theft, violence, and other misconduct within the ranks, particularly the brutal and
sometimes fatal hazing of new draftees by more senior soldiers, were not controlled by this
system. Mounting numbers of deaths and injuries among conscripts prompted angry protests by
the parents and families of serving troops.(29) The Soviet Defense Ministry was also alarmed
and outraged by a sharp increase in the murder of Soviet officers, which in 1989 reached some
fifty-nine killed in non-combat attacks.(30)
At the same time, most major policing functions were exercised by KGB-subordinated military
counterintelligence detachments--called "special sections"(Osobyye Otdely, or OO in the
Russian acronym)--which were located within every military unit. A traditional role for special
sections was to ensure that military units remained loyal and were not penetrated by foreign
intelligence organizations. Organized criminal activity had not been a high priority. By 1990,
however, KGB special detachments increasingly focused their efforts on drug sales and weapons
thefts, missions for which they were neither well-organized nor well-trained.(31) Even these
inadequate efforts were disrupted when the KGB was dissolved in the fall of 1991--some weeks
before the formal dissolution of the USSR itself. While the "military counterintelligence"
mission fell to successor organizations--most recently the Russian Federal Security Service
(Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopastnosti--FSB)--personnel cuts, reorganizations, poor integration,
low morale, and the sheer magnitude of military criminality have overwhelmed them, the
Russian Military Procuracy, and other bodies bearing responsibility for military crime.(32)
FROM RUSSIAN ARMY TO "MAFIA IN UNIFORM"
When the Russian Armed Forces were created in May 1992, criminal enterprise was already
flourishing in its Soviet predecessor. Developments subsequent to the spring of 1992 could
scarcely have been better designed to sustain and promote military criminality. A few of the
more significant issues are worth noting before addressing Russian military crime per se.
By early 1995, the strength of the Russian Armed Forces had been reduced to less than 2 million
personnel--the remnants of a Soviet military establishment that had stood at nearly three times
that size during its Cold War high point in the 1980s.(33) Within this force--now slated to shrink
still further--Russian officers, enlisted personnel, and branch specialists are badly apportioned by
rank, skill, and experience.(34) The extraordinary continuing shortfalls in Russia's semi-annual
draft call-ups since the start of the decade have been particularly debilitating, and far from offset
by the relatively small number of "contract" military personnel that Russia can afford. As a
consequence, many key positions are unfilled or occupied by unqualified personnel, with the
overall quality of personnel at an all-time low.(35) The Army's performance in Chechnya at the
end of 1994 and continuing into 1995, underscores the more dramatic consequences of such
enduring personnel problems when affected units are committed into combat.
The Russian Army has had to absorb troops and units withdrawn from outside Russia, a process
complicated by lack of garrisons and housing. The last Russian troops in Germany, Latvia, and
Estonia were withdrawn in August 1994, but some units simply redeployed into open fields in
Russia.(36) Additional social turmoil has been created by tens of thousands of returning officers'
families who in 1995 still have no adequate housing of their own.(37) More radical military
restructuring is yet to come in the 1996-2005 period, as five Services (Ground, Air Force, Air
Defense, Strategic Rocket, and Navy) are likely reduced to three (probably Ground, Aero-Space,
and Navy components); the number of military districts reduced; and the responsibilities of the
Ministry of Defense and General Staff sharply redefined.(38) The impact of such developments
on discipline, morale--and in particular the explosion of Russian military criminality--has been
profound. It has clearly accelerated the pace of military crime's growth, as well as its scope and
diversity. The increasing evidence of widespread organized crime is of particular institutional
significance for the Russian Armed Forces. In order to gauge the extent to which organized crime
has become institutionalized in the Russian Armed Forces, it is instructive to examine its many
THE DIMENSIONS OF RUSSIAN MILITARY
As 1995 approaches its mid-point, poorly paid, badly housed, and demoralized Russian military
forces at home and abroad are deeply immersed in criminal activities conducted for personal and
group profit. Smuggling crimes of all types (particularly drug and arms trafficking), the massive
diversion of equipment and materials, illegal business ventures, and coercion and criminal
violence, all fall under the umbrella of military organized crime. So too do more sophisticated
military financial crimes and schemes involving a spectrum of banks and financial organizations,
real and dummy corporations, joint ventures with foreign partners, and overseas
money-laundering schemes that in the past would more readily be associated with Latin
American drug cartels than with a military establishment.(39)
Domestically, the widespread "commercialization" of key military components such as the
Central Military Transportation Directorate, Military Transport Aviation, Military Trade
Directorate, and Military Construction Directorate in an effort to generate operational revenues
or meet other military support requirements, has brought Russian military personnel into a host
of criminal ventures.(40) This includes close linkages with organized crime groups outside the
military. In addition, military-associated organizations tasked to promote and sell Russian
military arms and equipment around the world appear to have acquired criminal dimensions as
Military crime within Russian territory itself constitutes one set of problems. But Russian troops
deployed beyond Russian borders in areas of ethnic conflict or civil war are judged to be in a
"special risk zone" insofar as their involvement in organized crime is concerned.(41) The
association of conflict and criminal opportunity has proven particularly corrosive for deployed
Russian forces, and the criminal legacy left by Russia's departed garrison forces in Eastern
Europe and the Baltic states has proven substantial as well. Domestically and abroad, a new caste
of military criminals--who one Russian commentator asserted had formed their view of doing
business under conditions "approximating those on the battlefield"--have become an integral part
of the Russian Army.(42) Departing from this overview, there are four aspects of Russian
military crime that deserve more specific attention: 1.) weapons trafficking and the arms trade;
2.)business and commercial ventures; 3.) military crime beyond Russia's borders, and; 4.)
WEAPONS TRAFFICKING AND THE RUSSIAN ARMS
Among the earliest and most visible indications that those criminal trends evident in the Soviet
military would continue in the Russian Armed Forces, was the widespread theft, diversion, and
unauthorized sale of weapons, ammunition, and equipment. Providing effective physical security
for Russian military ordnance depots and other facilities became--and remains in 1995--an
unsolved problem. The quality of those individuals assigned to guard facilities has been severely
criticized, but remedial programs attempting to stem losses from theft or unauthorized sale have
floundered in the face of compelling profits and the near indifference of military personnel who
face a spectrum of other organizational and personal problems.(43)
The consequent hemorrhage of military arms from depots, units, and Defense Ministry
production facilities has had a number of variants. Weapons, munitions, and other equipment are
stolen from storage sites by civilian criminals, often with the collusion of military sentries and
other service personnel. Facilities also are successfully attacked or breached by armed criminal
groups, who neutralize or kill sentries and seize arms. This is a problem particularly serious in
areas near Russia's periphery. In addition, weapons are sold outright--individually and in lots of
varying sizes--by officers and other ranks stationed abroad and in Russia.(44)
In the Western Group of Forces (WGF) in Germany, other groups of forces in Eastern Europe,
and units in the Baltic states, the sale of individual weapons by Soviet/Russian troops became
notorious beginning in the late 1980s and continuing throughout their phased withdrawal. On a
larger scale, an underground trade in heavy equipment--from armored vehicles to Mig
aircraft--has also been widely reported.(45) This includes the alleged disappearance of some 81
tons of ammunition from WGF depots in early 1994, a charge that seemed compatible with other
WGF resource diversions, but which drew heated denials by the WGF Commander-in-Chief,
Colonel General Matvey Burlakov (about whom more will be said below).(46)
A similar environment has existed inside Russia. In 1993, for example, four officers from major
to colonel were arrested in Moscow for selling weapons. This rather unremarkable incident
illustrated how smoothly profit had replaced ideology, since three of these officers were from the
Humanitarian Academy of the Armed Forces--formerly the Lenin Military-Political
Academy.(47) The commander and deputy commander of the 10th Air Defense Army were
charged with weapons thefts and sales as well.(48) In 1994, the chief of the Smolensk Federal
Counterintelligence Service (Federal'naya Sluzhba Kontrrazvedky--FSK) Directorate pointed to
the dozens of guns, grenades, and rounds of ammunition confiscated by Chekists [the traditional
Soviet name for security service personnel] from the "mafia in uniform."(49)
In specific illustration of how such weapons are disposed of, the Russian Military Procuracy
cited the lieutenant colonel in the Rocket and Artillery Armaments Service of a Siberian Military
District (MD) formation who sold AK-74 automatic weapons, RPG antitank grenade launchers,
and pistols to the Russian Kontinent Company, Ltd.(50) Similarly, a major general and fellow
officers in the Ural MD acquired military pistols and sold them on the civilian market.(51) These
kinds of sales continue to flourish around many Russian garrisons, and serve as a conduit for
arms to criminal and extremist organizations in and out of Russia. Overall, as of April 1995, the
MVD still considered the Russian military to be "the main and stable source" of weapons
supplied to criminal groups and participants in ethnic conflict around the Russian periphery.(52)
While the selling of weapons and munitions by officers and other ranks remains endemic and
well-documented, it is the diversion of profits from "legal," and "gray market," sales--and the
outright execution of "black market" sales for personal gain--that are among the biggest areas of
Russian military thievery. It is instructive, therefore, to briefly sketch some of the dimensions,
complexities, linkages, and ambiguities of the trade and the principal actors.
The sanctioned weapons trade in Russia has resided in state-designated "companies," weapons
manufacturing enterprises, and elements of the Armed forces--all of which are authorized to sell
weapons abroad. The use of Russian-foreign joint-stock companies and other commercial firms
to set up or facilitate transactions has also been a feature of Russian arms sales. In an ostensible
effort to impose order on the free-wheeling, uncoordinated, multi-participant "legal" arms market
that developed on the ruins of the USSR, President Yeltsin on 18 November 1993 signed an edict
that created the state company "Rosvooruzheniye" [a contraction that means "armaments"].(53)
The edict read in part:
In order to provide for a state monopoly on exports and imports of arms and
military equipment for the Russian Federation, Oboroneksport, Spetsvneshteknika, and the
GUSK [Main Directorate of Special Contacts] shall be withdrawn from the Ministry of Foreign
Economic Relations and merged into the Rosvooruzheniye company and placed under the
jurisdiction of the Russian Federation Government.(54)
On the surface, this move seemed a well-grounded attempt to regain control over an important
source of state revenue. However, because of the huge hard-currency profits involved, key
officials, politicians, bureaucrats, middlemen, lobbyists, and others made intense efforts to
associate themselves with the arms import-export business. Lieutenant General Viktor
Samoylov, a Grachev supporter and long-time member of the Defense Ministry's Main Cadres
Directorate with no experience in arms sales, was named director.(55) The Most financial
group--whose shadowy dealings, security service affiliations, and political rivalries are discussed
further below--became one of several authorized banks, despite never having been involved in
arms sales. Prominent figures who became associated with Rosvooruzheniye have included
Former Soviet Defense Minister, Marshal Yevgeniy Shaposhnikov, who was named Yeltsin's
presidential representative to the new state company; First Deputy Prime Minister O. Soskovets,
who became Chairman of the Interdepartmental Commission on Military and Technical
Cooperation, the organization that supervises Rosvooruzheniye; and the now-notorious chief of
the Security Service of the President (Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Prezidenta--SBP), Major General
Aleksandr Korzhakov, was granted control over the state company's "observance of state
interests," to name a few of the figures associated with the company.(56)
As with earlier arrangements, a prominent question about Russia's arms sales under the new
system soon became "where is all the money going?" While officials associated with
Rosvooruzheniye flourished personally, the return of revenues to the Russian Federation
remained limited. Widespread suspicions were raised by the shady business dealing of men like
Korzhakov, among many others. That is, aside from his dark political and conspiratorial presence
in the Kremlin, he has interwoven business dealings with his official duties. Aside from his
Rosvooruzheniye links, Korzhakov has been tied to the financial concern Logovaz. Logovaz
grew out of the Soviet state vehicle manufacturer VAZ, and among other ventures has attempted
to profit from oil export revenues that were to be put back "into hunting lodges and other
property."(57) An incident at the end of 1994 illustrates how agendas involving arms sales,
financial deals, political rivalries, and personal animosities combine routinely.
On 2 December 1994, Korzhakov directed his SBP bodyguard forces to raid the headquarters of
Most. Most, while an authorized bank for Rosvooruzheniye and central to many other business
ventures involving senior political officials, also was affiliated with Korzhakov's political rivals.
The raid was carried out by some 30 armed and masked SBP personnel as well as elements of the
Kremlin's Main Protection Directorate (Glavnoye Upravleniye Okhrany--GUO), headed by
Korzhakov ally, Lieutenant General Mikhail Barsukov. An effort to halt the search of Most
offices by the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) chief, Yevgeniy Savostyanov (an ally
of Most director Vladimir Gusinskiy), was rebuffed by SBP/GUO forces, and led shortly
thereafter to Savostyanov's dismissal by Yeltsin. Multiple explanations of the raid have been
advanced, which according to concerned members of the Association of Russian Banks was not
unprecedented.(58) In any event, the Main Military Procuracy announced in May 1995 that
criminal investigations of the incident had been dropped for lack of evidence that any violation
of authority had taken place.(59) Clearly, however, the pursuit of personal, criminal profit and
power are imperatives that emerged as strong as any of the purely political motivations or
Such goings-on by state security and law enforcement organizations--far removed from official
duties--render a term like "conflict of interest" wholly inadequate and suggest to Russian critics
that state companies like Rosvooruzheniye are largely personal preserves whose profits are
parceled out to selected members of the leadership and their financial and business affiliates.
Even figures like Marshal Yevgeniy Shaposhnikov, who embodied a tradition of ostensibly
honorable military service, have been the targets of sarcastic speculation for their very evident
wealth amidst the poverty of those officers and soldiers whose well-being has been their personal
and institutional responsibility.(60)
The very nature of foreign weapons sales; the poorly-documented revenues generated and their
disposition; the controversial nature of political, financial, and other figures associated with the
new state company; and links to commercial and financial ventures and deals (some through
predecessor organizations) earned it the nickname in some quarters of "Ros-vor"--a play on
words meaning "Russian thief." Charges and countercharges involving so-called "demo-thieves"
(allegedly criminal democratic reformers) in and out of Yeltsin's administration to include
Rosvooruzheniye; uniformed criminals in the Armed Forces itself; predatory
arms-manufacturing firms of the military-industrial sector (who saw their arms sales profits
threatened by the creation of Rosvooruzheniye); additional unscrupulous state companies,
commercial enterprises, and financial firms involved in the arms trade; investigative media
reporters; and other parties have made tracing the flow of weapons and profits both a major issue
and challenge in and out of Russia. It is evident, however, that irregular arms and equipment
sales abroad are carried out with seeming "state authorization," and that much of the hard
currency generated is not finding its way into Russian Federation coffers.(61)
Russia's severe "capital flight" problems appear to have involved the diversion of arms sales or
military equipment revenues and associated ventures. Cyprus banks, for example, have become
frequent Russian choices for large cash deposits since 1992. In mid-summer 1994, a
self-admitted Russian arms trader--who traveled locally in a chauffeured limousine--stayed at a
Limassol, Cyprus Hotel, while a Cyprus banker said he believed two Russians who deposited
large quantities of cash in his bank, were former Russian Army generals. In the view of one
Russia is bankrupt and can't generate this kind of cash. All money that's
coming from Moscow is illegal because of Russia's exchange control regulations. But we're
talking of millions and that can only come from illegal arms sales, most probably to Iran and
Rosvooruzheniye did not long remain the only official weapons trader, despite the rationale
behind its creation. In May 1994--just six months after a Presidential decree consolidated new
arms sales in one state company, the Russian Government authorized permission for weapons
manufacturers to export arms and to conclude agreements with foreign partners. Under this
apparent reversal, or contradiction, of state policy, Rosvooruzheniye would still set prices, but
not retain its position as sole deal-maker for new weapons systems sales. According to
Shaposhnikov, the new regulations would be implemented gradually, and he pointed out the
pressing need for Russia to fill an extraordinary gap, i.e., to "develop a law on arms trade!"(63)
How these new arrangements will affect Russian arms sales and the tainted reputation of the
Rosvooruzheniye is far from clear. Though the current Rosvooruzheniye General Director,
Aleksandr Kotyolkin, announced that 1995 foreign arms sales of at least $2.5 billion were
expected (over 1994's $1.7 billion), his April 1995 announcement followed on the heels of the
publication of documents showing Rosvooruzheniye criminality.
More specifically, the published materials dealt with a Rosvooruzheniye audit that "exposed a
slump in the volume of arms exports, tax evasion, underpriced sales, the financing of commercial
firms from the company's current capital, and fabulous benefits paid to employees."(64) The
charges largely concern actions under former director Lieutenant General Viktor Samoylov,
whom Kotyolkin replaced in November 1994.(65) Since Kotyolkin and a number of his
colleagues were themselves then members of Rosvooruzheniye, however, their culpability
remains to be determined. In addition, competition between Grachev's Defense Ministry and
Rosvooruzheniye over arms sales authority suggests to some Russian observers that leaked audit
reports may be directed at Kotyolkin's current supervisor and Grachev's enduring
rival--Aleksandr Korzhakov.(66) Indeed, Grachev wasted little time after the scandal broke in
proposing that the Defense Ministry be given "monopoly right to the arms trade."(67) The
resolution of this latest battle for Russia's huge arms profits is far from clear as this is written,
though the prospects for imposing "normal" state controls over arms sales seem scant.
The Russian Armed Forces itself has for some time been directly involved with the sale of "used"
arms and equipment, as well as the provision of security assistance. In this regard, the Voyentekh
State Armament and Military Equipment Sales Company was established in the summer of 1992
at the behest of Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. The concept advanced for its creation was to
"export equipment and armament at the disposal of the Ministry of Defense" and to use the
money to build housing for servicemen.(68) Rather than selling newly manufactured weaponry
like Rosvooruzheniye, Voyentekh's "more modest" role has been to sell surplus materiel from
MoD organizations like the Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate (Glavnoye
Raketno-Artilleriyskoye Upravleniye--GRAU) and the Main Armor-Tank Directorate (Glavnoye
Bronetankovoye Upravleniye--GBTU). Other participants in this aspect of arms sales are the
General Staff, which determines the kinds of equipment that is excess and available for sale, and
also various commercial companies and joint ventures which may be used to facilitate
transactions. Some 97% of the proceeds of this continuing arms sale program were to go to the
military housing fund.(69) These programs have been the target of continuing allegations of
corruption. Charges concern the personal enrichment of active and former officers involved in
the sales, as well as questions about the underfunded, substandard military housing effort
abound.(70) In addition, it has been equipment already in military inventories that has found its
way into the hands of criminals, parties to ethno-national conflict, irregular armed groups, and
virtually any kind of customer with the money or goods to pay.
The proposed sale of two ships from the Pacific Fleet--the Minsk and Novorossiysk aircraft
carriers--is a case in point. While these vessels were to be sold to the Republic of Korea (ROK)
supposedly for salvage, critics have noted that the ROK has no facilities for this purpose. Rather,
it was thought, these ships would ultimately make their way from the ROK to the People's
Republic of China for dismantling, thus improperly transferring various ship-building
technologies that China has wanted for some time. Whatever the accuracy of these suspicions,
the role of the Kompass-1 joint venture in the transaction is notable. Kompass-1 was designated
as an intermediary for the sale. It was established by the parent Russian-Korean Kompass
Company, among whose members are the former Chief of the Soviet General Staff Moiseyev,
former Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Navy Admiral Vladimir Nikolayevich Chernavin; and
the former Soviet Navy (and Pacific Fleet) Chief of Rear Services, Vice Admiral Makhonin
among others.(71) The familiar pattern of former senior officers--and their active duty
partners--profiting from questionable equipment sales elicited this understated observation from
a Russian observer:
Such a distinguished constellation of stars makes
it doubtful that the percentage promised by General Grachev for the sale of the ships will be fully
used for the Pacific Fleet's social needs.(72)
The Russian MoD's role in foreign arms aid also involves the Main Directorate for International
Military Cooperation (Glavnoye Upravleniye Mezhdunarodnogo Voyennogo
Sotrudnichestva--GUMVS), which oversees military-technical cooperation, i.e., security
assistance programs that include vetting arms sales and providing training and support to foreign
military clients.(73) In exercising these responsibilities, the directorate (whose responsibilities
formerly resided in the General Staff's 10th Main Directorate) has fallen into criminal activities
of various types.(74) Perhaps the most notable public example was the dismissal of Major
General Vladimir Georgiyevich Ul'yanov, chief of the GUMVS's Hard Currency Economic
Service. In an agreement with one of Rosvooruzheniye's parent organizations (Oboroneksport),
he illegally received some $80,000 worth of consumer goods and was removed from his
post.(75) The criminal opportunities available to GUMVS personnel may have quite direct or
only peripheral relationships to arms and other security assistance transactions, but GUMVS
access, resources, and mandate clearly have been well-exploited. Among the most recent
controversies over the diversion of military resources is the question of how armed groups in
Chechnya acquired such large stocks of arms. The sustained intensity of fighting in Chechnya
(beginning overtly in December 1994 and continuing into spring 1995) highlights the fact that
the size of Chechen weapons stockpiles was substantial. The existence of such large Chechen
arms inventories became a sensitive political issue centered on the question of "who armed
Chechen President Dudayev?" Some Russian military and government officials have asserted
that Dudayev acquired weapons as a consequence of Chechen looting and stealing from Russian
military depots inChechnya during the troubled 1991-1992 period.(76) Others point to complex
Soviet/Russian political machinations and conspiracies running from Moscow to the Caucasus.
According to this latter view, the goals of Russian government factions were somehow furthered
by the voluntary transfer (at Shaposhnikov's order) of large arms stocks to Chechen President
Dzhokar Dudayev, and by the abandonment of all Russian inventories (with Grachev's
acquiescence) upon Russia's humiliating withdrawal from Chechnya in June 1992. Proffered
motives for these actions have included Russian "democrat" attempts to undermine support for
the "Emergency Committee's" August 1991 coup attempt by winning over Dudayev and the new
Chechen leadership; Russian efforts to maintain clandestine arms routes to Abkhazia; the hope
that Chechens would use the weapons against South Ossetians; and payment for the continued
use of Groznyy airport as an international drug-smuggling stopover for Russian aircraft.(77)
More important, in the view of some analysts, is how the Chechens continued and continue to
receive substantial quantities of armaments. The most compelling explanation is that arms were
sold to the Chechens by Russian military officials. More specifically, Russian Presidential
advisors Emil Pain and Arkady Popov assessed in a February 1995 report that Chechen President
Dudayev acquired arms by buying them from "smart traders in military uniforms," and that other
criminal actions by officials in Moscow may have taken place as well, to include acquiescence
toward drug smuggling.(78)
In any event, the overt start of hostilities in December 1994 did not slow the sale of arms to
Chechens by the Russian military. Individual Chechen fighters have continued to buy weapons
and ammunition directly from individual Russian soldiers deployed in Chechnya, while wealthy
Chechens have acquired bulk quantities from more organized Russian military traders.(79) As
regards other arms supply routes, the MVD reported in April 1995, that it is investigating the
attempted delivery of 4,350 pistols to Groznyy from an arms manufacturing plant in Izhevsk,
Russia, while in May 1995, 106th Guards Airborne Division paratroopers (recently returned to
their Tula garrison from Chechnya), were arrested when they attempted to sell plastic explosives,
grenade launchers, and ammunition to Chechen fighters.(80)
Overall, the Russian military's criminal involvement in weapons trafficking for personal profit
ranges from the sale of individual arms for quick profit, to sophisticated large-scale weapons
transfers for huge revenues. Clearly, the unrestrained trade in conventional arms of all types--and
incidents like Russia's insistence on selling nuclear reactors to Iran in the face of U.S. and other
warnings--has raised concerns in Russia and around the world regarding the security of Russian
"weapons of mass destruction" and their associated components and technologies.(81) There is
substantial reason to question whether personnel responsible for Russian nuclear, chemical, and
biological weapons are more fundamentally reliable than the demonstrably corrupt military
officials assigned to responsible positions elsewhere. This issue--and potential military-criminal
linkages in weapons proliferation--will remain a central problem for some time to come. It will
be examined in detail in a subsequent Foreign Military Studies Office assessment.(82)
BUSINESSMEN WITH SHOULDER-BOARDS AND
A variety of terms have been coined to capture the phenomenon of Russian Armed Forces
personnel engaged in illegal or unauthorized commercial ventures. Sarcastic or dismissive
references like "businessmen with shoulder-boards," the "military-commercial clan," the "Arbat
Military District" and others, however, have failed to capture the breadth and depth of the
military's involvement in criminal business dealings.(83) For the Soviet military and political
leadership, the problem was already visible in the closing days of the USSR. By the start of
1990, as resource shortfalls within the Armed Forces became more acute; long-standing Armed
Forces transportation, construction and manpower support to the civil sector became more sought
after; military commanders gained more leeway in arranging for food, services, and other unit
requirements; and a general entrepreneurial environment seemed to nullify old rules, an
increasing number of servicemen at all levels turned attention to their personal "biznes"
This development was force-wide, but most immediately visible in the Soviet groups of forces in
Western Europe, particularly the largest and most powerful of these, the Western Group of
Forces in Germany. By 1991, the illegal diversion of revenues by senior officers, unauthorized
sale of equipment and supplies, and the growth of a WGF-Soviet emigre mafia was an openly
discussed--if not officially acknowledged--fact of life in eastern Germany. The WGF
headquarters in Wuensdorf, once designated to control wartime front operations into the heart of
Western Europe, became increasingly more pertinent to the lives of Soviet soldiers as the WGF's
center for black market activity.(84) The dissolution of the USSR at the end of 1991, an increase
in foreign concerns about growing crime among deployed Russian forces, the expansion of
military business ventures in Russia and around the periphery, and the formal creation of a
"Russian Armed Forces," sparked a series of legislative and investigative actions aimed at
addressing military-commercial relations.
In the legislative area, the Russian Federation law "On the Status of Military Servicemen" and
Russian Presidential Decree 361, "On the Struggle Against Corruption in the System of
Government Service," made it illegal for military personnel to engage in business ventures.(85)
These directives were issued just prior to the creation of the Russian military establishment in
May 1992 but had little visible effect in the months that followed. This was evident both in the
commercial activities of military units at home and in a number of now Russian garrisons
abroad. As problems in the WGF grew too large to ignore, the Russian Main State Inspector and
Control Directorate chief, Yuriy Boldyrev, dispatched a joint security service/State Procuracy
team to Germany in August 1992 with the mission of investigating Russian military crime there.
His findings of unrestrained WGF criminality in business dealings and military illegalities of all
types were potentially devastating to the reputations of WGF's senior leadership and the Ministry
of Defense as well. His November 1992 report was not acted upon by Boris Yeltsin, however,
and the findings remained momentarily hidden from public view. To be sure, some attention was
given by the Russian military establishment to growing corruption allegations during this period,
but they tended to be minimized as "difficulties" rather than fundamental problems.(86)
Boldyrev's finding finally became public when they were leaked to the West German press (Der
Speigel) in early 1993, a move that gave impetus to Russian investigative reporting on military
crime and flurries of denials, as well as periodic, often-grudging, acknowledgements of
wrong-doing by the Russian military and government leadership.
Boldyrev himself was fired by Yeltsin in March 1993, a move that also coincided with
Boldyrev's discovery of additional high-level official corruption associated with "privatization
questions, land allocation, and foreign economic activity."(87) Wildly differing interpretations of
these events appeared, but one consequence was to focus attention on irregular military business
ventures. Some dimensions of military-commercial dealing that took place abroad will be
discussed further below, but initially it is useful to review some illustrative military business
ventures that emerged rapidly within Russia itself. Pavel Grachev himself was an early
participant in commercial activity as co-owner of a joint-stock company called Avia
Kap-Info.(88) However, he has since said that he dissolved his association when it became more
explicitly prohibited in legislation. This was not the case for countless other officers, however,
and the range of Russian military business dealings deemed illegal is as vast as the earlier
discussion of the arms trade might suggest. Within Russia, a number of crimes involved the use
of military transportation means to support private businesses. The activities of Major General
Vladimir Rodionov, commander of a Long-Range Aviation (LRA) Division in the Russian Far
East, and his deputy, are good examples of this. The two transformed their "top secret" LRA
operating base into a transshipment point for moving commercial goods (and businessmen)
between the Commonwealth of Independent States and China. Profits for the illicit transport
operations were shared with bomber pilots and crews, who came to see the enterprise as their
principal job. A small amount of the profit was put into the LRA division's account.(89)
In reviewing detected "criminal cases" of this type in late summer 1994, the acting Chief Military
Procurator G. N. Nosov gave some insight into the diversity of activities. A number of these
were no doubt fostered by the poverty in which many officers found themselves, while others
occurred as a consequence of opportunity and potential monetary gain. He noted that Army
Aviation Commander, Colonel General V. Ye. Pavlov, had received a car in return for
transporting helicopters purchased by a commercial firm; that a Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF)
officer had set up a currency exchange and shop at quarters on base where he sold food at
inflated prices; a group of officers headed by a Construction Troops major general had
"privatized" military buildings, land, equipment, and other property in behalf of a civilian firm
headed by their family members; and a major general and former chief the SRF's
Financial-Economic Directorate had illegally transferred 2 billion 1993-1994 rubles to several
private firms.(90) Such activities are seemingly endless and, of course, far more sophisticated
and usually shadowy in full content when they involve major Ministry of Defense directorates
whose responsibilities involve finance, trade, transportation, and logistic services of various
For example, Colonel General F. Markovskiy, then chief of the Main Directorate for
International Military Cooperation (GUMVS), granted financial credit to the Nadezhda
Joint-Stock Company at extremely advantageous rates. It was estimated that the Ministry of
Defense lost some 5.8 billion 1993-1994 rubles in interest alone. While suspicions were raised as
to who received the difference in interest, it has only become known that the general was able to
acquire 12 scarce apartments in Moscow through the Nadezhda company without being on a
waiting list.(91) The impact of this kind of machination on tens of thousands of homeless
officers' families is predictable.
As in other areas of military finance, the connections of retired senior officers remain productive.
Army General Moiseyev, for example--who is a board member for the Technological and
Intellectual Development of Russia (TIRR) Joint-Stock Company--brokered a contract whereby
apartments for returning WGF personnel would be built in Smolensk by TIRR and ready in
August 1994. Despite nearly half of the allocated money being spent, no work had been
accomplished by that date.(92) Such dreary and repetitive examples may be cited at length, but
the picture that emerges can be summed up by the remarks of a frustrated General Staff officer
A certain financial mafia exists that circulates millions from the military
budget and for some reason those who should, are not rushing to sort that out. No matter which
sphere of military reform you poke with your finger, you see lies, hypocrisy, deception, and the
powerlessness of our highest military leadership everywhere which is attempting to put up a bold
This June 1994 judgement may strike its author as far too charitable a year later, when both the
Russian military and civilian leadership appear to be more participants in the "financial mafia"
than simply powerless bystanders.
Some military excursions into "business" make no pretense of legality. For example, the
involvement of military officers and personnel in drug trafficking is widespread and ranges from
individual acts to more organized activities. In Moscow, a colonel from a local military unit was
arrested while trying to sell three types of synthetic drugs.(94) Such incidents fuel speculation
that the use of "Russian military medical establishments" to produce and sell drugs with the
collusion of Ministry of Defense and other agencies, may have firm basis in fact.(95) In the
Russian Far East, a Pacific Fleet hospital ship was searched at Vladivostok by Russian Customs
and by Fleet counterintelligence early in 1995 upon the vessels return from Vietnam. With the
search half completed, some 650 factory-wrapped packages of "hemp" weighing some 65 pounds
had been discovered. The drugs were intended for sale in Russia's Maritime Kray, where they
would yield some 6-7 times more than their purchase price in Vietnam.(96) As a major
commercial seaport, headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet, and terminus of the
Trans-Siberian Railroad, the Maritime Kray's Vladivostok has developed into a transhipment
area for a variety of Russian and Asian drugs moving in and out of the country.
Military construction battalions have become major centers of domestic drug sales and
distribution owing to the low quality of recruits assigned to these units and their close contact
with the civil sector.(97) As noted earlier, the high rate of juvenile crime has resulted in many
conscripts with criminal backgrounds and connections being inducted into the forces. Despite
intentions and efforts by the Armed Forces to man units on a "contract" basis, manning is still
heavily dependent on conscription. Selection criteria have tended to concentrate youths with
criminal records in non-combat units, and as a consequence up to 40% of conscripts assigned to
military construction units have criminal convictions.(98) Drug crimes are common, and in one
specific instance, more than 20% of new recruits reporting to a Navy construction unit had
serious drug problems.(99) This combination of circumstances has added the drug business to the
resource diversion and theft problems associated with military construction units.
Endless variations of business ventures involving the sale of miscellaneous military property
abound. The incident in which senior officers of a unit engaged in developing "new military
technologies" who melted down and sold the silver, gold, and other precious materials from their
electronic equipment is one innovative, but by no means unique case, of selling anything that
might bring a good price.(100) Overall, the range of military business intended for personal
profit--irregular, semi-legal, patently criminal--is integral to the domestic operations of the
Russian Armed Forces as the summer of 1995 begins.
RUSSIAN MILITARY CRIME
Russian military crime has flourished in the "special risk zones" of ethnic tension and conflict,
and in more peaceful garrison areas abroad. Some examples of criminal enterprise amidst the
commercial ventures of Russian officers serving abroad have been addressed above. The Western
Group of Forces (WGF) in Germany--withdrawn to Russia in August 1994--was particularly
illustrative, and a few more examples deserve to be highlighted in this regard.(101) German law
enforcement officials pointed to the widespread use of Russian Military Transport Aviation
(Voyennaya Transportnaya Aviatsiya--VTA) aircraft for transporting opium and hashish from
the former USSR to eastern Germany, where Russian forces were stationed. There, the narcotics
were sold on the German drug market in association with various exported "mafias" from the
former USSR.(102) Contraband smuggling, resource diversions, financial crimes, and additional
organized criminal activities involving general officers and other senior and junior WGF
personnel have been detailed.(103)
WGF commander-in-chief Matvey Burlakov himself complained about the high numbers of
crimes committed around Russian garrisons. Most of these crimes were committed by what
Burlakov termed "immigrants", i.e., former FSU citizens, including ex-Russian soldiers who had
returned or deserted and who now constituted organized gangs.(104) A large Russian emigre
criminal infrastructure with links to the departed Russian military has been left behind in
Germany, a development that was anticipated by Germans and Russians alike.(105) German
police (and a number of other European law enforcement establishments) have formed special
investigative units to deal with the "firmly established bridgeheads of organized crime" that
continue to be manned by FSU criminals including former Russian soldiers long after WGF's
Former WGF commander Burlakov, who was named a Deputy Minister of Defense upon the
completion of WGF's withdrawal, became the subject of investigations by the Russian
Parliament in the late summer of 1994. A principal reason for this investigation was the charge
that new equipment assigned to his former command had not returned with his forces. Of less
real importance, but widely publicized and damaging, was Burlakov's reported role in providing
Minister of Defense General Pavel Grachev with Mercedes automobiles for his personal use, as
well as performing other irregular personal favors for his new boss.(107) Whatever the case, the
virtual hemorrhage of foreign cars and goods were transported by Military Transport Aviation,
train, and in the case of some foreign cars, driven over what came to be nicknamed the "Great
Mercedes Highway" leading from eastern Germany to Russia.(108) In addition, Burlakov was
charged with creating a "command environment" in which illegal commercial activities by his
senior commanders were unrestricted if not actively encouraged.(109)
By the time the WGF withdrew, there were some 140 foreign firms and joint ventures engaged in
business dealings with the command. Many of these trade agreements involved outright bribery,
the provision of often shoddy goods for large profits, kickbacks to military officials in the form
of currency or consumer goods, and money-exchange and laundering schemes, among other
crimes.(110) Numerous WGF officers have been charged in these large, small, and sometimes
bizarre illegal dealings. The continuing case of WGF's 16th Air Army First Deputy Commander,
Major General Nikolay Seliverstov, is a particularly notable illustration. He was arrested and
charged with theft of state funds, bribery, and fraud associated with his commercial dealings in
Germany. (He has also been credited as the man who arranged for the acquisition of one of
Grachev's now-infamous Mercedes automobiles). Seliverstov asserted that he acted on the orders
of superiors.(111) His trial began in fall 1994, resulting in a 1995 conviction and sentence to five
years in prison. Unlike so many corruption proceedings against senior officers and officials
generally, this case was concluded in a way that seems commensurate with the evidence and
charges made public.(112)
All of the above activities took place under the command of Matvey Burlakov and in clear
association with senior military personnel in Russia. Added to the mounting series of charges and
other problems faced by new Deputy Defense Minister Burlakov upon his return to Russia, was
the accusation that he played a role in the November 1994 assassination by bomb of Moskovskiy
Komsomolets investigative reporter Dmitriy Kholodov, whose series of reports on WGF
corruption had raised Army outrage and public dismay.(113) As a consequence of the
seriousness of all of these charges, or at least because of their embarrassing visibility, Burlakov
was relieved of his duties by Presidential edict.(114)
Nevertheless, an intensified series of corruption charges against Pavel Grachev and other senior
officers, continued to be leveled by civilians and serving officers as well.(115) Some of the
harshest commentary has come from General Aleksandr Lebed, Commander of the 14th
Combined Arms Army in Moldova, who judged Burlakov to be "a common crook who makes
every Russian procurator weep," and who has also called for Grachev--Lebed's direct superior--to
resign.(116) As May 1995 begins, Grachev remains Minister of Defense and most charges
associated with WGF criminality remain unresolved.
In the Baltic area, as well, Russian forces--including senior officers--have been accused of
widespread criminality. Long before their withdrawal, the Estonian Prime Minister had termed
Russian military forces there to be a "bedrock of crime, first and foremost organized
crime."(117) His remarks were prompted by activities such as those carried out by former Baltic
Military District (MD) commander, Colonel General Viktor Grishen, who despite his discharge
from the Army continued to be involved in the illegal "privatization" of MD resources through
the establishment of various business and the use of his old military contacts. Among the many
activities associated with his command were the large-scale illegal sale of fuel, equipment,
metals, arms, and explosives. Personnel involved included former and active
servicemen--including other senior officers--and at least one former "OO" chief.(118) It is
unlikely that the August 1994 Russian military withdrawal from Estonia and Latvia will ever end
Russian military linkages to organized crime in the area, given the substantial criminal
affiliations that have been established over the last several years.
In the Crimea, the disposal of Black Sea Fleet resources has had criminal as well as political
dimensions. Regarding the Russian role in this, the Deputy Commander of Ukraine's Navy, Rear
Admiral Mykola Kostrov, suggested in March 1994 that Russia's foot-dragging in the
establishment of an inventory commission similar to Ukraine's was because "someone stands to
lose from disclosing the facts of illegal use of property and funds...."(119) More recently, in
February 1995, a Ukrainian parliamentary representative with responsibilities for the Crimea
pointed to the "mass squandering" of Black Sea Fleet resources for the personal profit of
unnamed Fleet senior officers. In particular, he pointed to the commercial sale of some fleet sites
and the rental of others.
In the Dniester region of Moldova--where the deployed Russian 14th Army has gained near
independent status under its commander Aleksandr Lebed--large Russian weapons stockpiles
under Lebed's control seem to have been better protected than those in other areas of turmoil in
and out of Russia. Nevertheless, the fate of an estimated 50,000 small arms, over 2,500 rail cars
of ammunition, armored vehicles of various types, and other equipment in 14th Army is viewed
covetously by criminal groupings, private enterprises, and state organizations alike.(120) Some
observers believe that a hemorrhage of arms from Russian depots similar to that which occurred
in Chechnya in 1991-1993 may take place, particularly if the 14th Army is dissolved and
withdrawn in July 1995 as is evidently planned by the Russian Defense Ministry.(121)
According to one report, representatives from Chechnya, Abkhazia, Crimea, Moldova, Lithuania,
and assorted criminal groups showed up in Tiraspol (14th Army headquarters) in early May 1995
seeking ways to acquire a share of the weapons. This premature effort was in response to Lebed's
anticipated departure before 14th Army dissolution, neither of which events may take place as
supposed. While Lebed seems to be controlling the arms inventories under his charge for the
time being, precedent suggests that long-term prospects for their continued protection are less
Peacekeeping missions present special challenges for deployed forces. Because areas to which
peacekeepers are sent are often regions where crime and conflict are linked, deployed
peacekeepers confront criminal endeavors and their complications, along with their mandated
missions. Multilateral and unilateral peacekeeping efforts have been marked often by the
presence or allegations of corruption and crime on the part of the peacekeepers themselves, a
development that is the consequence of opportunity, flawed selection criteria, or the endemic
corruption of the forces deployed.
Russian forces have been deeply engaged in peacekeeping operations around the periphery of the
FSU. The Russian military leadership has sought to prepare forces specifically for this role
through the development of dedicated forces, training programs, and cooperation with other
military establishments. In the summer of 1994, Russian forces "detached from the armed forces"
and designated for peacekeeping duties included the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division in the
Volga Military District (MD), the 45th Motorized Rifle Division in the Leningrad MD, the 201st
Motorized Rifle Division in Tajikistan, and a composite airborne battalion in Yugoslavia.(122)
In early September 1994, a US-Russian command and staff exercise code-named
"Peacekeeper-94" was held at the Totskoye training area in the Urals region of central Russia.
Serious planning for the peacekeeping exercise had begun a year earlier, following an agreement
between then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspen, and the Russian Minister of Defense Pavel
Grachev.(123) Some 250 US troops and about 50 vehicles from the 3rd Infantry Division
deployed by air from Germany to train with elements of one of Russia's "peacekeeping"
divisions, the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division (formerly stationed in East Germany
opposite NATO forces). The exercise envisioned joint peacekeeping efforts to control a conflict
between two ethnic groups. The small exercise--capping a year of discussions on peacekeeping
doctrine and approaches--was carried out successfully, and US forces departed for home. In this
regard, the training stood as part of a continuing effort to promote US-Russian
military-to-military cooperation and laid the groundwork for future joint training.(124)
However, it also underscored the considerable difference between Russian performance in
exercises and training, and that demonstrated in real-world missions. For example, the conduct of
Russian military units participating in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in the former
Yugoslavia has underscored the pernicious effects of military crime on unit effectiveness, as well
as on Russian capabilities to perform decidedly sensitive and difficult missions in coordination
with other armies.
Western military officials have for some time expressed dismay about the conduct of Russian
(and Ukrainian) peacekeepers in the former Yugoslavia.(125) A Western officer serving in
Sarajevo in 1994 concluded that black market activities in the Russian composite airborne (and
possibly spetsnaz) peacekeeping units resulted in severe unit cohesion and morale
problems.(126) The Russians consistently reported the highest suicide rate among troop units in
Bosnia, but they were also the undisputed champions of illegal activities. Suspicions persisted
that many of these deaths were actually caused by competing "entrepreneur gangs." Other
national formations discovered Russian airborne forces selling UN fuel to both the Muslims and
the Serbs on several occasions, and speculation concerning their trafficking in other goods (to
include small arms) was rife.(127)
More recently, on 11 April 1995, the United Nations announced that Russian Major General
Alexander Perelyakin had been dismissed from his post as a UN peacekeeping commander in a
Serbian-held sector of Croatia.(128) Perelyakin's dismissal followed continuing complaints from
a Belgian battalion under his "Sector East" command, which also contained a Russian battalion.
The complaints centered on Russian smuggling, profiteering, corruption, negligence, and
collaboration with local Serb militias. A former Russian commander of the sector, Colonel
Viktor Loginov, remained in the area and formed a "trading company" with a Serbian
paramilitary leader there.(129) This is a pattern familiar in other areas of Russian military
In the Central Asian state of Tajikistan--formerly a Soviet Republic--Russian military and Border
Guard units are engaged in peacekeeping activities aimed at controlling a civil war involving
Tajik opposition groups and militant Islamic partisans from neighboring Afghanistan. The area is
also the center of opium poppy cultivation and trafficking, as well as a central transit point for
heroin and other opium products leaving Afghanistan. In this environment, Russian troops have
been charged with deep involvement in the drug trade from a variety of sources.(130) For
example, in an interview with a leading Central Asian drug trafficker Alesha Gorbun (known
popularly in Tajikistan and beyond as "Alesha the Hunchback"), a Literaturnaya gazeta reporter
asked specifically if the Russian military transported drugs. Gorbun's answer was:
Of course. The local customs services do not have access to the aircraft and
helicopters of the border troops and the RF [Russian Federation] Ministry of Defense. But my
people tell me about this. Here you cannot hide a thing.(131)
While the testimony of a drug trafficker (assassinated by remote mine in early December 1994)
scarcely constitutes hard evidence, the view above is wholly compatible with other reporting and
historical precedent.(132) In this regard, Russian reporting charges that the "main route of transit
of Afghan opium is no longer the Khorog-Osh road [leading from southeast Tajikistan on the
Afghan border to the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border], but the military transport aviation of Russian troops
based in Tajikistan" and engaged in continuing peacekeeping efforts there.(133) More
specifically, a narrow window on MVD reporting from 1994 indicates that on 28 February 1994
"an AN-26 aircraft belonging to the RF Ministry of Defense was carrying 3kg 42g of raw
opium"; "on 23 March 1994 an AN-26 aircraft belonging to the RF border troops was detected
with 1kg of hashish"; and "on 15 February 1994, a military helicopter belonging to the 201st
Russian Motorized Rifle Division was detained at Dushanbe Airport with 22kg 500g of raw
opium." Criminal cases were filed in connection with the seizures, which are only illustrative of
broader local military and border guard drug trafficking.(134)
Such incidents give plausibility to Tajik Opposition reporting in Afghanistan regarding other
Russian criminal activity. According to opposition forces--who are fighting Tajik government
troops, Russian Border Guards, and Russian Army personnel there--a substantial source of their
weapons has been Russian peacekeeping forces, who sell their arms for personal profit.(135) The
unsettling Russian practice of selling weapons to both identified and potential enemies seems to
parallel the Russian peacekeeping and pacification experiences in the Caucasus and elsewhere.
The Caucasus region remains a center of criminal activity amidst Russian peacekeeping efforts
and the countless political, economic, and ethnic agendas that keep the region in turmoil. The
arrest of the former head of the South Ossetian Government, Oleg Teziyev, in Moscow in 1994
highlighted the activities of what one observer characterized as a "criminal group engaged in
illegal arms sales, racketeering, financing of commercial enterprises (including a number of
banks in Moscow and Vladikavkaz), creating illegal armed formations, and organizing mass
disorder."(136) Teziyev was arrested with his business partner, a former officer of the Pskov
Airborne Division (who had early in the partnership used his military ties to obtain weapons
from airborne division stocks). They are accused of operating smuggling and other highly
profitable criminal enterprises in South Ossetia (from Moscow) with the acquiescence and
support of Russian forces in North Ossetia and the region, as well as senior political figures in
Moscow. Media reporting suggests that the trail of Teziyev's affiliations will demonstrate
corruption on the part of "some high-ranking officers of the General Staff, the Airborne Troops
command, and members of the president of Russia's staff."(137) Whether the "Teziyev affair"
constitutes that grand an endeavor or not, the large flow of goods and resources across frontiers
and routes ostensibly controlled by border and military forces highlights a situation analogous to
that in the other areas addressed above.
Numerous other examples of military criminality from around the Russian periphery have been
addressed in detail by Russian and other reporting. Such activities appear numerous enough to
justify the judgement that criminal activity and Russian military deployments abroad are
CONTRACT KILLING AND THE MILITARY
The murder of Dmitriy Kholodov focused public and official attention on the prospect that
members of the military--including the most senior members--may have been behind the
reporter's death. Initially, then-Deputy Minister of Defense Matvey Burlakov and even Minister
of Defense Pavel Grachev were spotlighted in this regard, owing to the harsh indictments of
corruption and malfeasance Kholodov had directed at them and Russian military criminality
generally. In an extraordinary interview in October 1994, Grachev denied any personal
involvement; referred rather implausibly to "Dima Kholodov" as a young man he "would have
been proud to have as a son"; asserted that Kholodov knew no real secrets in any case; and
stressed that the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) would have done the job much more
professionally.(138) The GRU had been charged in some reports as a participant, a charge they
heatedly denied.(139) Major General of Justice Aleksandr Dukhanin, on his part, suggested that
foreign special services may have committed the crime, while a January 1995 Izvestiya report
asserted that the then-Federal Counter-Intelligence Service (FSK) had determined the murderer
to be a paratrooper assigned to a regiment since deployed to Chechnya.(140) No officially
endorsed version or suspect has been proffered. Whatever the truth, however, unbounded
speculation and the lusterless performance of official spokesmen have dragged the military more
prominently into yet another of Russia's criminal endeavors--"contract killing."
The phenomena of "contract killings," which began to appear in Russia during the early 1990s,
has now become well enough established to constitute a special category of crime. Targets for
such killings have ranged from rival criminal leaders to the new classes of businessmen,
entrepreneurs, financiers, and bankers whose activities bring them into confrontations with
aggressive competitors or professional organized crime gangs.(141) As noted earlier, serving
officers have been murdered as well, usually for reasons that publicly, at least, remain obscure.
Pavel Grachev was mentioned as a potential assassination target in November 1994. According
to Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Terkov, the Chairman of the Union of Officers, the planned
killing by unnamed plotters was to be blamed falsely on his organization which had been highly
critical of the "present corrupt leadership of the Defense Ministry."(142)
According to official Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) figures, there were some 65
contract killings of various types in Moscow in 1993. In the first eight months of 1994, some 50
Russian businessmen had been killed in Moscow alone. For 1994 overall, the new Federal
Security Service (FSB) reported that 562 contract killings had taken place in Russia compared to
102 in 1992.(143) The contract murder of the widely popular Moscow television personality and
Ostankino State Television and Radio Company director, Vladislav Listyev, on 1 March 1995,
and the subsequent killing of the vice-president of the Yugorsky Bank on 11 April 1995,
continue to define an environment where the lives of prominent and obscure individuals are in
daily jeopardy.(144) In mid-1994, the Moscow Procurator's office indicated that only some
15-20 out of every one hundred murders are solved, and in the case of highly visible targets of
contract killings, not a single case had been solved.(145) This latter record has held through at
least March 1995.(146) In a bleak assessment in April 1995, Russian law enforcement officials
suggested that without serious law enforcement reform such killings could double in number
The pool of "professional" contract killers has been postulated to include "the numerous
semi-legal professional boxing leagues,' the Afghan war veterans, the OMON riot police,
ex-KGB and Interior Ministry officers....", among others.(148) Well before the Kholodov
murder, some recruited killers were believed to come from the active or retired ranks of the
Armed Forces. Citing MVD sources, a Russian journalist who has for some years specialized in
Russian organized crime laid out an elaborate four-tier classification system for hired assassins
who he assesses largely "grew out of the Army greatcoat."(149) At the top of the hierarchy are
so-called "lone superkillers" employed against the most important targets and drawn from the
ranks of former GRU or KGB First Main Directorate (now the Russian Foreign Intelligence
Service) specialists.(150) These reports--even when directly from official sources--seem highly
fanciful, though many well-documented dimensions of Russian organized crime and the past
activities of security services are no less so. In any case, since contract killers are rarely caught,
definitive data on the identities of this new breed of Russian criminal are not known. Organized
crime's efforts to recruit active and former military personnel with such potential, and the
employment of former and active duty military personnel in various other coercive criminal
roles, is a focus of Army and security service concern.(151) The murder of Kholodov makes the
participation of military personnel in such crimes seem at least plausible and also further fuels
suspicions about the existence of "military assassins" or even some form of military "death
squads."(152) The presence of so many former Russian military and security service personnel in
so many other dimensions of organized crime is likely to keep such speculation fresh in the
minds of the public and the media.
CRIME AND THE RUSSIAN SECURITY
While not part of the Armed Forces, the militarized units and investigative bodies of the various
Russian security and law enforcement organizations are considered here because of their central
security roles, analogous missions, and interaction with the military. Security service
corruption--within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), successor organizations to the
Committee of State Security (KGB), and other security and law enforcement
organizations--parallels that in the military establishment itself.
As in the Armed Forces, crime and corruption is no new development. Soviet/FSU security
specialists William and Harriet Scott point to a history of far-from-official linkages established
among NKVD/MVD representatives and their criminal charges in and out of the Gulag
system.(153) James Reitz, whose first-hand observations and study of Soviet military and
security establishments span some forty years, similarly assesses the early, central role played by
Soviet prisons as the genesis of Russian criminal culture, as well as the shadowy relationships
criminals established with their NKVD/MVD jailers.(154) While long-observed and understood
by such Western specialists and Soviet insiders, criminal corruption in the security services
became more publicly visible only in mid-1980s with a loosening of reporting under glasnost'.
Since the 1990s began, thousands of MVD militia members and other security service personnel
have been convicted of a broad range of crimes "including contacts with criminal
organizations."(155) In addition, a number of former KGB and MVD personnel have cast their
lot--or intensified their affiliation--with domestic and foreign criminal groups, who have sought
them out for their contacts and specialized skills.
One 1994 appraisal by a Russian presidential analysis group pointed to an environment in which
"bandit formations have informers everywhere in the militia organs, traffic police, and banks." In
that same document, "Organized Crime and the Prospects of National Socialists Coming to
Power in Russia," the authors judged that "the growth of organized crime which is intertwined
with the Internal Affairs Ministry [MVD] organs and local executive authorities, threatens
Russia's political and economic development and creates real conditions for national socialists to
come to power."(156) Corruption in the security services--as with crime and corruption
generally--is not only a very real and serious problem, but a highly politicized issue used for
good or ill in ongoing political conflicts and struggles.
Vladimir Tsekhanov, chief of the FSK's Economic Counterintelligence Directorate in May 1994,
linked the progress of Russian organized crime to the "growth of corruption in the organs of
power and administration and the law enforcement system."(157) He noted in regard to the
militia, that there had been "cases of betrayal of official interests, official abuses, mergers with
criminal structures, illegal participation in entrepreneurial activity, and assistance in getting
criminal proceedings dropped in return for bribes."(158) In April 1994, the then-FSK launched a
long-term investigation into corruption in Moscow's law enforcement bodies. As of March 1995,
as the investigation continues, it has reportedly turned up numerous incidents of bribe-taking in
the militia, the Procurator's Office, and the courts, with bribe-givers including both lawyers and
gangsters.(159) In searching the Moscow apartment of the notorious leader of the Solntsevskiy
mafia, Sergey "Mikhas" Mikhaylov, FSK investigators working on the overall case, reportedly
even turned up a pass into the Russian president's offices.(160)
Anecdotes illustrating corruption in the poorly paid and trained militia are legion. One
consequence of inadequate police performance and protection has been the appearance of scores
of private security firms, mainly staffed by former MVD, KGB/successor agency, and military
personnel. More than 6,600 "private security enterprises and security services" had been
registered by April 1994, with about 26,000 people licensed to conduct security and detective
activities in Russia.(161) Some 140 of these firms were involved in personal protection work.
However, in the first six months of that year, some 65 crimes were committed against private
security personnel, while security firm employees themselves had committed 68 crimes. As one
observer noted, "you have to think ten times before asking them for help."(162) This leaves
Russian citizens and businesses with no good choices for law enforcement protection.
Some of the more elite or specialized security service units have been corrupted, to include MVD
Militia Detachments of Special Designation (OMON) and MVD Internal Troop
components.(163) According to one Russian specialist, MVD Internal Troops (now deeply
involved in the Chechnya "pacification" effort), commit more crimes than they prevent.(164)
Particularly notable was the Russian Main Tax Investigation Directorate (more familiarly known
now as the "Tax Police") which was formed in 1992 under the Russian Federation State Tax
Service.(165) The Tax Police were heavily staffed by military personnel being discharged from
the Armed Forces at the start of 1993, and since have absorbed thousands of these discharged
officers.(166) After receiving what seemed by any standards to be minimal, hasty training, these
new law enforcement personnel were assigned the difficult and dangerous job of collecting taxes
from the numerous, unregulated and hostile enterprises that comprise the Russian
marketplace--many unregistered and unregulated by the state, and many controlled by criminal
interests. Not surprisingly, Tax Police personnel quickly became targets of violence as well as
active participants in corruption and crime.(167)
Despite improvements in training--and clear dedication and courage demonstrated by some
officers--corruption is a prominent feature of Tax Police operations. According to an FSK(FSB)
Some of these officials [Tax Police] have links with criminal structures and
carry out their orders, passing to them official information and helping individual entrepreneurs
to tax exemptions, receiving huge sums in return. There are cases of threats and psychological
pressure against taxpayers and cases of forcing them to give bribes.(168)
Active and former security service personnel have involved themselves with legal and criminal
business ventures, the distinction not always being a clear one.(169) Some assessments have
judged that "the once feared KGB security police...now occupy key positions on the commodity
exchanges that have sprouted all around Russia."(170) Several illustrations of security service
dealings were noted earlier. Two further brief examples provide a sense of these dealings at their
"higher" levels, and in particular how the clandestine financial channels of former KGB and
Communist Party are being used to facilitate shady business activities.
The first example centers on Leonid Veselovsky, a former KGB officer who first surfaced
prominently in international business dealings in 1993. Veselovsky, served in the KGB's First
Main Directorate (foreign intelligence) in the 1970s and 1980s; with the Central Committee in
1991 as a participant in the Party's hurried attempts to conceal its assets in joint ventures; and
then as a consultant to the international Swiss-based firm Seabeco AG (run by a Soviet emigre).
He was named by the Russian Procuracy as a target of investigations into vanished Communist
Party funds and into the nature of his subsequent, highly profitable financial dealings. Seabeco
offshoots have involved a joint venture with a former Moscow police chief, and Seabeco seems
also to have had a role in the creation of the Rosvooruzheniye state company.(171) The firm's
Lenin Hills estate is protected by uniformed and plain clothes guards who appear to have official
law enforcement identification.(172) As in so many other instances, the line between official
Russia and the questionable dealings of foreign, joint venture, and domestic firms seems an
In a second example of security service patronage, the Most financial group--whose activities as
suggested earlier seem to wind through some of the most controversial Russian commercial
ventures--is heavily manned by dozens of former KGB personnel, including Filipp Bobkov, the
former first deputy of KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov.(173) According to Western
reporting, some 60 KGB personnel were part of the Most Group's "analytical department," and
the financial group was judged to be "the biggest and most noticeable symptom of the new
influence of the Chekists."(174) Most has been linked in Russian reporting to weapons exports,
the military-industrial sector, media holdings, and various prominent political and economic
Russian requirements for cooperation with foreign law enforcement organizations have clearly
increased for issues like terrorism, drug and arms trafficking, financial crimes, and other
international organized criminal activity. Given the central role criminals from Russia (and the
FSU) have come to occupy in Europe and beyond, foreign police similarly have a pressing need
for ties with their Russian (and FSU) counterparts. As a consequence of Russian security service
corruption, however, some foreign law enforcement organizations have expressed doubts about
the effectiveness of this interaction. One senior police representative from the Federal Republic
of Germany's Criminal Police carefully expressed this view of cooperation:
I am wary of saying this, but we believe Russia's investigative bodies are not
free from corruption. This renders cooperation most difficult: there is no full confidence that the
information passed over by us will not ultimately find itself in the mafia's hands.(176)
This kind of perspective--which in general is not disputed by Russian law enforcement
representatives--is likely to temper the extent of cooperation with Russian security services for
some time to come. But all parties emphasize the essential need for international law
enforcement cooperation and mutual assistance, and the growing importance of Russia in this
MILITARY CRIME AND RUSSIAN
The Russian Armed Forces are faced with the daunting problem of policing itself, a challenge
that clearly is not being met at the mid-point of the 1990s. The routine system for maintaining
order and administering punishment at the unit level has been ineffective for years. The Military
Procuracy continues to flounder amidst undermanning, inefficiency, inadequate legislation and
authority, political pressures, and a questionable commitment to real reform.(177) Systemic
criminality and corruption is present throughout the forces, including at the very highest levels.
The OO components--now under the renamed Federal Security Service (FSB)--have not been
successful in dealing with military crime from any standpoint, and seem principally focused still
on the counter-espionage aspects of their mission.(178) Help from outside the Russian military
establishment, e.g., from civil sector law enforcement bodies, is simply not available given the
host of criminal challenges these underresourced, undertrained, and overburdened organizations
and agencies face.
Despite the military's losing battle with crime, the Armed Forces are seen by some as a source of
help with lawlessness in Russian civil society. That is, at the same time that crime and violence
have continued to grow throughout the Russian state, there has been increasing pressure for the
military to support the anti-crime activities of MVD and other civil law enforcement bodies. This
has been resisted by both military authorities and by civil law enforcement organizations as well.
Russian Defense Minister Grachev rejected any idea that the Army should substitute "for the
organizations responsible for maintaining law and order in the fight against gangsters and other
criminals" except in the most extreme circumstances.(179) Similarly, Russia's senior law
enforcement official, Minister of Internal Affairs, Viktor Yerin, judged that such a move would
be "politically damaging" and "wrong". As he put it, "what can I ask of a 19-year-old kid-soldier
who has only been taught how to shoot a submachine gun? He does not know how to work with
the public, how to work with individual citizens."(180)
In fact, the Russian Army's lack of skilled personnel able to combine military and law
enforcement skills--where such skills are in ever greater demand--is evident to all observers.
There is the critical need to control criminality of all types within the Russian Army; potential
requirements to effectively support civil authorities (including MVD Internal Troops) dealing
with increasingly higher levels of societal violence and criminality; and the need to perform
peace enforcement functions in ethnic "hot spots" and other centers of conflict that now surround
the Russian periphery and beyond.
The Russian leadership has made at least a tentative decision to form a "military police"
establishment in the face of such requirements. The concept of creating such a force had been
raised at least as early as 1990, when the USSR still existed, and when military crime was
beginning to overwhelm existing countermeasures.(181) The requirement for having a military
police force--termed a "military militia"--was made strongly by a number of spokesmen. The
example of the U.S. Military Police was specifically mentioned at that time and subsequently, as
a model that might be appropriate for the restructuring Armed Forces. Also mentioned were
other Western "special police-like subdivisions" such as the French Gendarmes and British
This perceived military law enforcement gap was not filled at that time. Russian opponents
argued that it was too expensive an undertaking at a time when force reductions and economic
problems were already much in evidence. By March 1994, however, when circumstances in the
Army had deteriorated much further, the Russian Main Military Procuracy submitted planning
documents calling for the creation of a military police organization. The Military Procuracy also
appealed to Russian President Boris Yeltsin to speed up the establishment of military
police.(183) Some 10 weeks later, in May 1994, President Yeltsin signed a sweeping anti-crime
program that addressed the topic. This "Federal Program for Stepping Up the Struggle Against
Organized Crime in 1994-1995" (prepared by the Russian Security Council), identified
criminality in the Armed Forces as a high priority. In calling for greater efforts to counter
military crime, the program called specifically for the creation of Russian military police units in
all military districts and fleets.(184) The fact that this decision was made at a time when
economic problems had substantially worsened for the country and Army, testifies to the
extremely grave situation the Russian military faces from crime and disorder.
Given the growing levels of random and organized criminality in the Russian military--and the
corruption across all ranks, branches, and services--the creation of an effective military police
force or other policing system is clearly critical for creating a cohesive Russian military
institution that can contribute to the creation of a stable democracy in Russia--if that indeed
remains a possibility. The effectiveness of past military and civil sector reform programs,
however, does not give most analysts in or out of Russia call for optimism. The creation of
military police units came at the same time Russian civil law enforcement agencies were to be
expanded by 375,800 people over the 1994-1995 period.(185) Identifying suitable personnel
from a shrinking force, developing adequate individual military and law enforcement skills, and
training military police units to high levels of effectiveness will be a lengthy and demanding
undertaking for an Army with no recent tradition of military policing and limited financial
Institutionalized military crime is flourishing in Russia amidst the wreckage of the old Soviet
military establishment and the faltering struggle to create Russian Armed Forces that meet even
the minimum criteria of a professional force. While a shrinking cadre of Russian military
professionals and democratic reformers seeks to build a cohesive institution, their efforts are
undermined by systemic corruption and criminality that is especially evident at the highest levels
of the military and civilian leadership. Analogous problems are present in those law enforcement
and security bodies that are intended to support internal order and combat crime. Russia has
clearly joined other states and regions around the world--some addressed earlier in this
paper--whose security institutions are faced with levels of criminality that undermine their
cohesion and effectiveness and threaten the existence of the states they serve.
As it has for other national security establishments around the world, this raises profound
questions about the stability, motivations, and reliability of the Russian Armed Forces. Russian
military performance in Chechnya--to include the most severe, continuing violations of human
rights--point to an institution that is failing not only as a military force, but as a modern state
institution that recognizes limits on its conduct. All of this must necessarily shape deliberations
by U.S. planners and decision-makers examining interaction with Russian forces in peacekeeping
or humanitarian aid missions; the feasibility or desirability of providing security assistance of
various types; and the implications for regional and international military and security programs.
At the same time, it should be kept in mind that some Russian legislative and force development
efforts are attempting to hold together and reform threatened military and security institutions
that most Western analysts--and those in Russia as well--believe are necessary to sustain Russia's
democratic reforms. The chances of success seem bleak at this time, a view shared by many
Russian and foreign specialists.
A former Russian colonel and military sociologist pointed specifically to the dangers that he
thought military criminality posed for both Russian citizens and the state.(186) In particular he
noted the "commercialization" of some profiteering officer's mentalities and the collision course
they were on with their fellow officers living in poverty. He noted that enlisted soldiers led a
barracks life akin to that in a correctional labor camp, where rising crime rates, abuse of
authority, and despair were part of the daily routine. He judged that the host of criminal and other
military problems could lead to an internal military explosion, a military-technological disaster,
or the merger of the Army with outside criminal structures.(187)
These kinds of judgements seem well supported by the current state of affairs in the Russian
Armed Forces, and are underscored by a mosaic of corrupt generals, drug and arms trafficking
officers, homeless military families, illegal diversions of huge financial and materiel resources,
spontaneous explosions of munitions depots, the abuses of Russian peacekeeping and combat
forces, and burgeoning military crime that has spread well beyond Russian and regional borders.
In light of all this, it is clearly an understatement to say that crime in the Russian Armed Forces
is a serious and growing threat to democratization, economic development, and stability
throughout the region, and a central issue in Russia's relations with other countries.
1. While these issues are addressed in some detail, a concise review of the scope of military
crime as of mid-1994, is provided in Yelena Sizova, "Stoit li nastupat' na grabli?" (Would you
step on a rake?), Krasnaya zvezda, 3 June 1994. For earlier allegations of high-level Russian
military corruption in the post-Soviet period, see Julia Wishnevsky, "Corruption Allegations
Undermine Russia's Leaders," RFE/RL Research Report, Vol. 2, No. 37, 17 September 1993, p.
2. Historian E. J. Hobsbawm's review of "social banditry" over the centuries in his still pertinent
study Bandits,(London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969), pp.17-18, made this point well. While
Hobsbawm focused principally on one form of banditry, his observations and arguments are
extremely useful for assessing more modern forms of outlaw, guerrilla, or criminal.
3. For a recent discussion of this term in regard to Russia's uncertain transition to democracy or
to something else, see Fred Hiatt, "A Nation Up for Grabs," Washington Post National Weekly
Edition, 3-9 April 1995.
4. This includes the phenomenon of armed gangs formed from former Farabundo Marti National
Liberation Front (FMLN) guerrillas and discharged government soldiers, and the reappearance of
"death squads" who target criminals rather than political figures. See, for example, NOTIMEX,
0239 GMT, 16 April 1994, as translated in FBIS-LAT-94-075; and "Death Squads Reemerge in
El Salvador," Associated Press Report, 20 May 1995.
5. The government of Guatemala last year identified narcotics trafficking (among other forms of
criminality) as a major threat to local and regional institutions and the "consolidation of the
democratic system", setting out what it sees as some of the many difficulties faced, to include
corruption and a weak military support infrastructure:
Drug dealers pose the greatest threat
to regional stability. These corrupt organizations not only undermine the government's authority
but also weaken the social structure of the nation and endanger our national sovereignty. With
their enormous economic resources they bribe political figures, buy votes, force [into office] their
own political candidates, and have the flexibility to move their operations....
The guerrillas benefit from drug traffic, when their illicit operations are successful.
Governmental control has been weakened by corruption, thus aiding drug trafficking. Some
positions within the security forces have been appointed using narcotrafficking funds. As a
result, governmental attempts to stop drug activities have been frustrated. Governmental officials
and security forces rely on the local acceptance of their presence to supply their basic necessities
which are, in many instances, completely controlled by the narcotraffickers. In consequence,
some security forces are compelled to overlook obvious illicit activities. Those that don't have
found themselves immobilized and dependent on periodic governmental support.
See Departamento de Informacion y Divulgacion del Ejercito (DIDE--Department of Information
and Dissemination of the Guatemalan Army, Threats to the Consolidation of the Democratic
System in Guatemala (Guatemala: DIDE, January, 1994), p. 12, as edited for Low Intensity
Conflict and Law Enforcement, Vol. 3, No. 3, Winter 1994, pp. 473.
6. Some analysts have postulated that drug profits may similarly undermine Sendero's
revolutionary idealism, a process that seems to be underway in the wake of Abimael Guzman's
September capture, the arrest or surrender of other Sendero Luminoso leaders, and Peruvian
military successes in the field. Arnaldo Claudio and Stephan K. Stewman, "Peru, Sendero
Luminoso, and the Narcotrafficking Alliance," Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement,
Vol. 1, No. 3 (Winter 1992), pp. 279-292.
7. Criminal activities ranging from cattle rustling and illegal border crossings to arms and drug
trafficking, for example, have generated a requirement for joint military and police patrols. See
"Foreign SOF", Special Warfare, Spring 1995, forthcoming.
8. One of numerous recent examples of this is the arrest of Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of
former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, for the murder of the politician and then PRI
(Institutional Revolutionary Party) Executive Committee Secretary General, Jose Francisco Ruiz
Massieu. Early speculation on motives, relationships, and broader involvement--such as that of
the leading PRI presidential candidate, Donald Colosio murdered earlier-- touched virtually
every base. Few of the theories seemed totally implausible given Mexico's extraordinary
problems. See Tim Golden, "Salinas' Accused Brother: Mexico Searches for a Motive," New
York Times, 2 March 1995; and Pierre Thomas and Daniel Williams, "Graft in Mexico a U.S.
Dilemma," Kansas City Star, 12 March 1995.
9. All India Radio Network, 1530 GMT, 7 July 1994, as cited in JPRS-TDD-94-030-L, p. 55.
10. The U.S. analogy was drawn by a senior State Department official in a presentation delivered
to an international conference on organized crime, September 1994, Vienna, Virginia, on a
non-attribution basis, while an illustrative Russian assessment of the same type was made by a
Russian presidential analysis group in the document "Organized Crime and the Prospects of
National Socialists Coming to Power in Russia," cited in "Rossiyskaya mafiya sobirayet dos'e na
krupnykh chinovnikov i politikov" (The Russian mafia is collecting files on prominent officials
and politicians), Izvestiya, 26 January 1994.
11. Interview with Major General of Justice Gennadiy Sutormin by Oleg Getmanenko, "Army
Actively Counters Crime: This Is Borne Out by Military Procurator's Office," Krasnaya zvezda,
16 August 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-033, p. 24.
12. For a substantial survey of crime and its association with various aspects of Russian life
including the military, see "Prestupnost'--ugroza Rossii" (Criminality--a threat to Russia), in the
special edition of Obozrevatel', No. 2, 1993, which is dedicated entirely to this topic.
13. "Kak poborot' prestupnost'" (How to overcome crime), Krasnaya zvezda, 10 March 1995; and
Penny Morvant, " Crime Roundup," OMRI Daily Digest, Part I, 17 March 1995.
14. See Dmitry Alyokhin, "Law and Order: Head of the Chief Administration for Combatting
Organized Crime Discusses Organized Crime--and the Rector of the Russian Ministry of Internal
Affairs' Institute Talks About That New Educational Institution," Segodnya, as translated in The
Current Digest, Vol. XLVI, No. 20, 1994, p. 16. Ibid. For excellent treatments of organized
crime in Moscow and the former Soviet Union as well as its implications, see Joseph Serio,
"Organized Crime in the Soviet Union and Beyond," Low Intensity Conflict and Law
Enforcement, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 127-151; and Mark Galeotti, "Organized Crime in
Moscow and Russian National Security," Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement, Vol. 1,
No. 3 (Winter 1992), pp. 237-252.
15. One senior U.S. official who had played a central role in investigating the BCCI financial
scandals identified the reform of Russia's financial system as the test of Russia's ability to
achieve true democratic reforms. (Presentation delivered at an international conference on
organized crime, September 1994, Vienna, Virginia, on a non-attribution basis).
16. Penny Morvant, "Criminals to Enter Parliament?" OMRI Daily Digest, No, 68, Part I, 5 April
17. These remarks were made by government opponent Valery Kolmakov, chairman of an
organized crime and corruption subcommittee of the State Duma. Lee Hockstader, "A System in
Which Everything Favors the Bad Guys," Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 20-26
March 1995. At the same time, Oleg Fedorov, former Finance Minister under Boris Yeltsin and
head of the reformist "Forward Russia!" movement, suggested that eight unnamed financial
groups held real power in Russia, and that "someone" benefitted from the high rate of crime in
Russia. The eight groups he referred to may be those backing the newly established Duma
faction "Stability", which supports Yeltsin and wishes to postpone the December 1995
parliamentary elections now scheduled. (See Laura Belin, "Fedorov: Financial Groups Hold Real
Power in Russia," OMRI Daily Digest, No. 55, Part I, 17 March 1995. The complex relationships
of large financial groups such as Most (meaning "Bridge" in English) have been continuing
targets of speculation and investigation. See, for example, Vadim Viktorov, "Vladimir
Shumeyko and Weapons: Is There a Bridge' Between Them," Novaya yezhednevnaya gazeta, as
translated in FBIS-SOV-94-111. Finally, it needs to be stressed that accusations of criminality
constitute a frequently used political weapon, and that the media associated with political
factions and their various shadings must be balanced with other sources, views, and evidence
when considering reports of criminal activity. For instance, while characterizations are less than
perfect, and what constitutes "reform" and editorial policy changes vary, Novaya yezhednevnaya
gazeta and Segodnya are pro-reform, though the latter is owned by the Most Group and thus
reflects a particular set of views; Izvestiya and Presidential Administration newspaper
Rossiyskiye vesti, both take a generally reformist, pro-democratic tack with the former, in
particular, having good investigative reports; Rossiyskaya gazeta is a government newspaper
thought to be partisan and subject to manipulation; Krasnaya zvezda reflects an increasingly
factionalized military (but still largely Defense Ministry) perspective; Pravda is a newspaper
reflecting the views of former communists; Komsomol'skaya pravda, Nezavisimaya gazeta, and
Moskovskiy komsomolets are aggressively investigative toward state institutions, enterprises,
and individuals; Rossiya reflects strong nationalist views; Kommersant-Daily reflects reform and
business interests; and Moscow News reports frequently on crime and security issues and often
takes a critical view of Russian state institutions and personalities.
18. Only space prevents a detailed assessment of analogous developments throughout the FSU
and Eastern Europe. Two brief examples are worth noting, however. More than two years ago,
Ukraine's President L. M. Kravchuk expressed dismay at the levels of organized crime and how
"corruption and bribes are penetrating into the structures of our ministries and departments."
(Imenem zakonu, 15 January 1993, as translated in FBIS Vienna message 251340Z, January
1993). The situation has worsened substantially since that time, with issues such as the growing
criminality in the Crimea joining other pressing Ukrainian organized crime problems. A
comprehensive Western assessment of these problems will be forthcoming in 1995 by William
Connor, Foreign Military Studies Office, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. In Eastern Europe, in March
1995, Poland's Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy "declared war" on crime generally and organized
crime in particular. This was in immediate response to a wave of attempted assassinations and
bomb explosions linked to warring organized crime factions and efforts to coerce business
owners. (Jiri Pehe, "Polish Government Declares War on Crime," OMRI Daily Digest, No 48,
Part I, 8 March 1995,) Poland has also become a major center for producing and exporting
amphetamines in Europe, a cocaine and heroin transit area, a headquarters for car theft and
smuggling rings, and a site for innovative players in more sophisticated financial crimes locally
19. In Ukraine, some Military Transport Aviation was reported to be largely at the disposal of
commercial enterprises. Aleksandr Zhilin, "Army: Businessmen Command Aviation,"
Moskovskiye novosti, No. 45, 7 November 1993, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-002, p. 21.
20. For an interesting and instructive discussion of some aspects of military corruption during the
Soviet period, see Brenda J. Vallance, "Corruption and Reform in the Soviet Military," Journal of
Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 (December 1994), 703-724. As addressed in many sources,
most types of military crime evident in the Russian Armed Forces today, are represented in at
least limited or embryonic ways in the former Soviet military establishment. To this extent,
Russian military crime is far from "new." The Soviet Armed Forces, Soviet state institutions, and
most fundamentally the Communist Party of the Soviet Union all established an organizational
culture and practices commensurate with criminality. In terms of scope, diversity, development,
and external linkages, the endemic criminality in the Russian Armed Forces represents the
unrestrained flourishing of criminal activity rooted in more than seven decades of Soviet power.
21. Vitaliy Chechilo, "Financial Leapfrog: Ukrainian Officers' Union Funds Are Being Spent in a
Controlled Manner," Pravda Ukrainy, 21 December 1992, as translated in JPRS-UMA-93-002, p.
22. A. Ladin, "Posylka s narcotnikom ne prishla: no beda vse zhe sluchilas'"(The package with
narcotics did not arrive--but there is trouble nevertheless), Krasnaya zvezda, 6 October 1988; and
N. Karpov, "Narkoman...stanovitsya v stroy" (The drug addict... gets into formation), Krasnaya
zvezda, 11 July 1991.
23. Report on military crime by Vladimir Gondusov on TASS, 1718 GMT, 29 March 1990, as
translated in FBIS-SOV-90-062, p. 68; and Interview with Major General Yu. Kudinov by I.
Yesyutin, "Oruzhiye v rozyske': razdum'ya nad trevozhnoy statistikoy" (Weapon in the
investigation': reflections over an alarming statistic), Krasnaya zvezda, 11 April 1990.
24. "Forces Starting Ground for Drug Addicts'," Jane's Defence Weekly, 24 December 1988, p.
25. This is indicated in particular by the growing role of "military counterintelligence
organs"--the Committee of State Security (KGB) Special Sections (OO--Osobyy Otdel) in
counterdrug activities in areas like the Turkestan Military District. (See S. Turchenko and V.
Astaf'yev, "980 gramov opiya, kotoryye vyveli voyennykh kontrrazvedchikov na
organizovannuyu prestupnost'" (980 grams of opium, which led military counterintelligence men
to organized crime), Krasnaya zvezda, 24 January 1990). Again, it should be emphasized that
complicity in regional smuggling was--if expanded and more visible--far from new. In a 1990
interview with Soviet Major General Viktor Filatov, then editor of Voyenno-istoricheskiy
zhurnal (Military-historical journal), he described a trip he had made to the Afghan border some
20 years earlier. While visiting a Border Troop post he witnessed what seemed to be a high level
of smuggling and made particular note of Border Guard indifference and active participation.
(Interview by the author and Mr. Harold Orenstein with Major General Viktor Filatov, Ft.
Leavenworth, Kansas, 24 October 1990).
26. S. Turchenko and V. Astaf'ev, "980 Grams of Opium;" A. Ladin, "The Package With
Narcotics Did Not Arrive--But There Is Trouble Nevertheless," Krasnaya zvezda, 6 October
1988; and Karpov, "The Drug Addict...Gets Into Formation."
27. For a discussion of Central Asia' growing drug trafficking role during this and later periods,
see the author's "Counternarcotics: International Dimensions of a Soviet Internal Security
Problem," Military Review, Vol. LXX, No. 12 (December 1990), pp. 49-62; and "Narcotics
Trafficking in Central Asia: A New Colombia," Military Review, Vol. LXXII, No. 12
(December 1992), pp. 55-63.
28. For a useful discussion of how "policing" was actually accomplished in the Soviet Army, see
Gilbert E. Jones, "Military Police in the Soviet Armed Forces," Vol. LI, No. 1, Military Review
(January 1971), pp. 86-92.
29. This is by no means a dead issue, as witnessed by the "protests by soldiers' mothers" over
Russian actions in Chechnya. For a recent review of continuing abuses, see Yelena Skvortzova,
"Good-bye, Boys! Try to Come Back....," Obshchaya gazeta, no. 43, 1994, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-94-048, pp. 4-9.
30. Associated Press, "Soviet Army Racked By Murders of Officers," Richmond News-Leader,
19 March 1990. Officer murders have continued to be a feature of crime and disorder in the
military. In first half of 1994, some 73 officers were killed according to INTERFAX, 1759 GMT,
12 July 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-134, p. 23.
31. N. Burbyga, "Chem zanimayetsya voyennaya kontrrazvedka" (What military
counterintelligence is doing), Izvestiya, 25 April 1990.
32. The FSB replaced the Federal Counterintelligence Service (Federal'naya Sluzhba
Kontrrazvedki--FSK), which in an earlier incarnation had been the KGB's Second Main
Directorate (Counterintelligence). See Penny Morvant, "Security Service Gains new Powers,"
OMRI Daily Digest, No. 70, Part I, 7 April 1995, for an early announcement of this change in
name and responsibilities of the more than 75,000-person FSK.
33. In an interview with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Mayak Radio Network, 1830
GMT, 19 August 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-162, pp. 30-31, he suggested that troop
strength would fall to 1.5 million personnel. Russian statements and Western estimates regarding
the "actual" and "authorized" strengths of the Russian military have varied substantially,
however. In early May 1995, for example, Defense Minister Grachev indicated that the "full
strength" of the Russian Armed Forces stood at 1,917,000 personnel, while some Western
assessments put the overall strength at substantially lower than that a year ago. (Doug Clarke,
Russian Armed Forces Nearly 2 Million Strong," OMRI Daily Digest, No. 89, Part I, 9 May
34. Penny Morvant,"Russia Sweeping Military Reform Outlined," Omri Daily Digest, No. 72,
Part I, 11 April 1995 (citing an 11 April 1995 Komsomol'skaya pravda report) relates Boris
Yeltsin's approval-in-principle of a military reform program that will eventually reduce the
Russian Armed Forces to some 1.2 million personnel among other changes.
35. For example, V. Semenov, "Reformirovat'--ne znachit perevernut' vse s nog na golovu"
(Reform--does not mean turning everything head over heels), Krasnaya zvezda, 21 May 1994
noted that the Ground Forces were undermanned by some 56% of its non-officer personnel in the
spring of 1994. To redress this shortfall, the Russian military inducted thousands of physically
and mentally unfit conscripts. (Skvortzova, "Good-bye, Boys! Try to Come Back...."). In
illustration of the peacetime consequences of these problems, some 26 Russian brigade,
regimental, and ship commanders were removed for cause in 1993, a consequence in part of
inadequate assignment options. (Nikolay Poroskov, "Armiya budet takoy, kakim budet eye
ofitserskiy korpus" (The army will be what its officer corps will be), Krasnaya zvezda, 17 May
1994). For a more detailed discussion of draft and manpower problems, see Timothy L. Thomas,
"Warning! Fault Lines and Factions Appear in the Russian Army," Foreign Military Studies
Office, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, March 1995, pp. 16-17. Publication pending.
36. Doug Clarke, "No Bases for Returning Troops," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Report,
No. 174, 13 September 1994.
37. The pressures generated by these circumstances have been reflected in many ways. For
example, throughout 1993 some 2,572 active duty soldiers were killed force-wide as a
consequence of accident, suicide, or murder. In the first six months of 1994, official statistics
indicate that 518 soldiers (73 officers) were killed in non-combat situations. Causes included
accidents (57%), hazing (5%), premeditated murder (8%), and suicide (27%). This apparent drop
from the previous year's rate may be a sign of stabilizing conditions for some units, but more
likely is a consequence of the rapidly shrinking force structure. In any case, the protesting
families of dead or injured soldiers have challenged such figures as understated and
See INTERFAX, 1759 GMT, 12 July 1994.
38. Grachev, Mayak Radio Network; and Peggy Morvant,"Russia Sweeping Military Reform
39. Among many discussions of military financial crime, see the article by the murdered reporter
Dmitriy Kholodov, "And Service There will Seem To Be Honey....a Military Mafia Exists in
Moscow," Moskovskiy Komsomolets, 30 June 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-031, pp.
7-9; Robert Fisk, "Moscow's Mafia Finds an Island in the Sun," The Independent, 3 August
1994, as translated in JPRS-TDD-94-034-L, pp. 44-45; and Stanislav Baratynov, "When the
Generals Are Bluffing: The Financial Mafia Is Making Millions From the Military Budget,"
Moskovskiy Komsomolets, 22 April 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-022, pp. 3-6.
40. Yuriy Deryugin, "Alarming Tendencies in the Russian Army: The Armed Forces May
Change From a Means Of Security into a Threat to the Individual and the State," Nezavisimaya
gazeta, 24 August 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-037.
41. Sutormin and Getmanenko, "Army Actively Counters Crime," p. 25.
42. Konstantin Isakov, "Bordel' v ofitserskom dome" (Bordello in the officer's building), Novoye
vremya, No. 12, March 1993, pp. 26.
43. See Kudinov, "A Weapon in the Investigation'," for a discussion of the poor security at arms
44. Areas of ethnic conflict have seen numerous incidents of irregular and illegal arms transfers
from Russian forces. A number of notable incidents from the troubled Transcaucasus area in the
late 1992 period are set out in Yekaterina Glebova and Akaky Mikadze, "Munitioneers,"
Moscow News, No. 51, 20-27 December 1992.
45. Kholodov, "And Service Their Will Seem to Be Honey...," p. 8.
46. WS, "Interim Stocktaking of Russian Withdrawal," Frankfurter Allgemeine, 26 January
1994, as translated in FBIS-WEU-94-017. (The article was signed only with the initials "WS".)
47. John Lepingwell, "Military Corruption Increasing?" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Report, No. 185, 27 September 1993.
48. Alyokhin, "Law and Order."
49. Yuriy Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes Was Invented by Warrant Officer Pronin," Novaya
yezhednaya gazeta, 16 September 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-041, p. 1.
50. G. N. Nosov, "Army: Everything's For Sale," Moscow News, 26 August-1 September 1994.
52. Doug Clarke, "Military Main Source of Criminals' Weapons," OMRI Daily Digest, No, 68,
Part I, 5 April 1995.
53. See Interview with Marshal Ye. Shaposhnikov by Andrey Uglanov, "Partnerstvo vo imya
NATO?" (Partnership in the name of NATO?), Argumenty I fakty, No. 22, June 1994; and
Viktotov, "Vladimir Shumeyko and Weapons."
54. "'Bor'ba' za eksport oruzhiya i bor'ba za vlast' 'v verkhakh'," ( Struggle' for the export of
weapons and the struggle for power at the top'), Zavtra, No. 16, April 1994.
55. Samoylov was also a close associate of--and foreign military advisor to--Federation Council
Chairman/First Vice-Premier Vladimir Shumeyko, whose signature appeared on the edict
establishing Rosvooruzheniye, and who appears linked to the Most financial group. Other figures
prominent in the promulgation of the edict include First Deputy Prime Minister O. Soskovets,
who approved the edict for the government; and V. Chernomyrdin, who approved
Rosvooruzheniye's charter. Foreign firms also appear to have had a role in the creation of the
new state company. See Vasiliy Kryukov, "Guns Backing Up to the Market: Who benefits From
the Reorganization of Arms Exports in Russia," Rabochaya tribuna, 19 January 1994, as
translated in JPRS-UMA-94-009.
56. Pertinent sources--all of which need to be considered in light of their affiliations and editorial
perspectives--include "The Struggle' for Arms Exports," Zavtra; Viktorov, "Vladimir Shumeyko
and Weapons;" INTERFAX, 1309 GMT, 7 April 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-068-A;
Pavel Felgengauer, "Rosvooruzheniye Is the Best Friend of the Military-Industrial Sector: But
One Should Not Expect to Earn $20 Billion," Segodnya, 6 April 1994, as translated in
FBIS-SOV-94-066; Interview with Marshal Yevgeniy Shaposhnikov by Laure Mandeville,
"Russia Has Made Too Many Concessions to NATO," Le Figaro, 29 June 1994, as translated in
FBIS-WEU-94-126; Aleksandr Sychev, "Moscow Introduced Arms Trade Monopoly in
November, and Revoked It in May," Izvestiya, 21 May 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-099;
and Eduard Viktorovich Maksimov and Yuriy Georgiyevich Sizov, "The Military Industrial
Complex and Arms Sales," Vooruzheniye, politika, konversiya, No. 2, 1993, as translated in
57. In addition, Korzhakov is reputed to be deeply involved in the state sale of precious metals,
and jewels (particularly gold and diamonds) as a consequence of his recently acquired
supervision over the Russian Federation Committee for Precious Metals and Precious
Stones--Roskomdragmet or RKDM. Profits are allegedly being siphoned off from some of these
ventures to support Boris Yeltsin's upcoming presidential campaign, upon whose outcome
Korzhakov's own future may rest. See Sergey Parkhomenko, "Merlin's Tower: The Security
Service Will Protect Its President From the Blind Forces of a Nationwide Vote," Moskovskiye
novosti, No. 31, 30 April-7 May 1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest, 6 May 1995; and
Hiatt, "A Nation Up for Grabs." As regards, Logovaz, it may be recalled that in June 1994, a
remote controlled car bomb exploded in front of the Logovaz offices just as its director was
departing. The director (Boris Berezovskiy), his body guard, and a passer-by were injured and his
driver was killed. Russian police assessed that this was an assassination attempt directed at the
Logovaz director. See Ostankino Television First Channel Network, 1700 GMT, 7 June 1994, as
translated in JPRS-TOT-94-024-L, p. 44.
58. For a spectrum of views on the Most raid see Ibid.; Boris Aleksandrov,"Action by Special
Services Did Russia Immense Economic Damage'. The Association of Russian Banks Sees the
Precedent as a Symptom," Segodnya, 7 December 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-235;
Natalya Zhelnorova and Andrey Uglanov, "Gruppa Most': snova zamorozki" (The Most Group:
again in the cold), Argumenty I fakty, No. 49, December 1994; INTERFAX, 1944 GMT, 5
December 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-234; Vadim Yegorov, "Presidential Special
Services Show Who Is in Control of Moscow. Following Friday's Incident Vladimir Gusinskiy
Urgently Sent His Wife and Son Abroad," Nezavisimaya gazeta, 6 December 1994, as translated
in FBIS-SOV-94-235; Interview with Vladimir Gusinskiy by Natalya Zhelnorova, "Is the Snow
Melting?", No. 48, November 1994, as translated in FBIS-USR-94-133.
59. "No Corpus Delecti Was Found On Yeltsin's Security Men," Moskovskiy komsomolets, 13
May 1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest, 13 May 1995; and Penny Morvant, "Charges
Dropped in Most Group Case," OMRI Daily Digest, No. 93, Part I, 15 May 1995.
60. Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes Was Invented by Warrant Officer Pronin," p. 2. In a
sarcastic reference to Shaposhnikov intended to indicate how well he was doing in comparison to
other servicemen, Mikhailov noted in regard to the Marshal's residence: "In addition to the
official one, he is building two more houses on his land. Each one has approximately 250 square
meters. He will probably let pilots from Germany who do not have apartments live there. After
all, he commanded the 16th Air Army there."
61. Numerous Western reports have addressed Russia's arms trade efforts. See, for example,
Jonathan Beaty, "Russia's Yard Sale," Time, 18 April 1994, pp. 52-55; and Charles J. Hanley,
"Russia Wholesaler of Choice for World's Arms Traffickers, Associated Press Report, 30 March
62. Robert Fisk, "Moscow's Mafia Finds an Island in the Sun," The Independent, 3 August 1994.
63. Sychev, "Moscow Introduced Arms Trade Monopoly in November, and Revoked It in May."
64. Interview with Aleksandr Kotyolkin by Natalya Gevorkyan, "'Rosvooruzheniye:' The
Scandal Has Its Internal and External Reasons ," Moskovskiye Novosti, No. 29, 23-30 April,
1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest (on-line), 28 April 1995.
65. See Alexander Zhilin, "Generals Do Arms Business," Moscow News, No. 13, 7-13 April
1995, for a review of arms sales irregularities and illegalities during the last two years.
67. Aleksandr Zhilin, "The Marshal Has Come Out of the Trenches," Moskovskiye novosti, No.
32, 7-14 May 1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest (on-line), 11 May 1995. Marshal
Shaposhnikov has evidently cast his lot with Korzhakov in this struggle, asserting that the SBP
chief "is one of the few people in the Kremlin who are trying to oppose the across the board sale
of the country and the selling out of national interests."
68. Interview with Voyentekh General Director, Lieutenant General (Reserve) Anatoliy
Grigoryevich Funtikov by Valentin Rudenko, " Voyentekhu' est' chto predlozhit'" (Voyentekh
has something to offer), Krasnaya zvezda, 28 May 1994.
70. See Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes Was Invented By Warrant Officer Pronin," p. 3, for the
GBTU's illegal receipt of currency from a foreign economic concern.
71. Russian television and Dubl Networks, 0700 GMT, 14 December 1994, as translated in
73. Interview with Lieutenant General Nikolay Nikolayevich Zlenko by Valentin Rudenko, "The
Interests of National Security Are Above Everything," Krasnaya zvezda, 25 February 1995, as
translated in JPRS-UMA-95-011, pp. 41-43.
74. Igor Chernyak, "Europe Believes Russians' Place Is in the East: Looking at Which Russians
and Which East," Komsomol'skaya pravda, 30 August 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-169,
75. Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes Was Invented By Warrant Officer Pronin," p. 3.
76. Dzhokar Dudayev became president of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic in September
1991, and subsequently pushed for the withdrawal of Russian forces stationed there. For a 1992
profile of Dudayev see Lyudmila Leontyeva, "Djokar Dudayev," Moscow News, No. 14, 1992.
(The rendering of the Chechen President's name varies widely from source to source).
77. Interview with Major General Igor Kochubey by Irina Chernova, "The Order Came From
Moscow--Leave Your Weapons," Komsomol'skaya pravda, 21 January 1995, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-95-003, pp. 5-7; Yuriy Bespalov, "Kto vooruzhal Dzhokhara Dudayeva? Oruzhiye
sdali po prikazu Moskovy" (Who armed Dzhokar Dudayev? Weapons were handed over at
Moscow's order), Izvestiya, 14 January 1995; and Valeriy Yakov, "Who Armed Dzhokar
Dudayev? It Is Best to Remove a Witness," Izvestiya, 14 January 1995, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-95-003, pp. 8-9. Among the intriguing material related by Russian General V.
Ochirov, was a statement made suddenly by Dudayev to him in late 1993. Dudayev reportedly
said: "Do you know that a special air route runs through Groznyy to Turkey, the Arab Emirates,
Jordan, and other countries? We do not have customs or border control; the airport officially is
not listed as an international airport, but airplanes flying to and from Russia make a stopover
here. Who boards them here, who deplanes, what they are carrying--nobody knows." (Yakov,
"Who Armed Dzhokar Dudayev?")
78. Robert Orttung, "More Revelations About Beginning of Chechen War," OMRI Daily Digest,
No. 28, Part I, 8 February 1995.
79. James Rupert, "Cache and Carry in Chechnya: The Russians Trade Arms With the Enemy,"
Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 27 February-5 March 1995.
80. Clarke, "Military Main Source of Criminals' Weapons;" and "Russia Bombs Chechnya,
Blocks Roads," Associated Press Report, 21 May 1995.
81. Jim Adams, "U.S. Senate Acts Against Russia Nuclear Sale to Iran," Reuter News Service,
16 March 1995. Russia evidently intends to help Iran build up to four nuclear reactors, a project
that the U.S. believes will advance Iranian nuclear weapons programs.
82. The study,"Weapons Proliferation and Organized Crime," is sponsored by the Air Force
Academy's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and the Air Staff. It will assess the
identified/potential role of organized criminal groups in smuggling materials associated with
weapons of mass destruction as well as conventional arms. The project is scheduled for
completion in October 1995.
83. The "Arbat" is a famed center of shops, stalls, and other entrepreneurial activity in Moscow
that suggests "business" in the most innovative--and crassest--sense of the word.
84. "How People are 'Warming Their Hands' on Army Supply," Rossiyskaya gazeta, 25
September 1991, as translated in JPRS-UMA-91-026, pp. 34-35.
85. Nosov, "Army: Everything's For Sale."
86. Interview with Colonel Ivan Sharpan by Captain 2nd Rank Yuriy Gladkevich, "Sistema
kontrolya v Armii deystvuyet, no trudnosti v rabote est'" (System of control in the Army is
operating, but there are difficulties in its work), Krasnaya zvezda, 13 November 1992.
87. Interview with Yuriy Boldyrev by Nikolay Burbyga and Valeriy Yakov, "Vazhno ne to, kto i
skol'ko ukral, a pochemu eto stalo vozhmozhno" (What is important is not who stole how much,
but why this has become possible), Izvestiya, 4 November 1994.
88. I. Chernyak, "Vyvod voysk iz Pribaltiki: Generaly--na Chernoye more, ofitsery--v chistoye
pole?" (Troop withdrawal from the Baltic area: Generals--to the Black Sea, Officers--to an open
field?), Komsomol'skaya pravda, 6 February 1993.
89. Yelena Matveyeva, "Airforce-Style Charter Flights," Moscow News, No. 4, 211 January
90. Nosov, "Army: Everything's for Sale."
91. Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes Was Invented by Warrant Officer Pronin," p. 2.
92. Ibid., pp. 3-4.
93. Stanislav Baratynov, "When the Generals Are Bluffing: The Financial mafia Is making
Millions From the Military Budget," Moskovskiy komsomolets, 22 April 1994, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-94-022, p. 4.
94. "Colonel Sold Drugs," Rossiyskiye vesti, 8 June 1994, as translated in JPRS-TD-94-026-L.
95. Kholodov, "And Service There will Seem To Be Honey...," p. 8.
96. "Irtysh under General Anesthesia," Vladivostok, 26 January 1995, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-95-003, p. 38.
97. For a spectrum of reports on crime in Soviet and Russian military construction units see N.
Burbyga, "Narkobiznes po-stroybatovski" (Narco-business by construction battalion personnel)
Izvestiya, 6 December 1991; L. Kislinskaya, "Is There a Drug Mafia in the Construction
Battalions?", Moskovskaya pravda, 5 May 1991, as translated in JPRS-UMA-91-017, pp. 67-68;
Svetlana Serkova, "Briefing in Moscow Main Internal Affairs Administration: Militia Complains
About Ban on Buying Drugs," Kommersant-Daily, 26 August 1993, as translated in
JPRS-TDD-93-039-L; and Nikolay Litkovets, "Disappointing Recruits," Krasnaya zvezda, 13
July 1994, as translated in JPRS-TDD-94-031-L, p. 75.
98. Anatoliy Dokuchayev, "Chislo prestupleniy v armii sokrashchayetsya. No problema s
distsiplinoy stoit ostro" (Number of crimes in the army is being reduced. But the discipline
problem remains acute), Krasnaya zvezda, 23 September 1994. The author went on to note that
given the magnitude of the problem and its likely continuation for some time, that the military
had to prepare itself to deal with "so-called non-law-abiding citizens" conscripted into the ranks.
99. Litkovets, "Disappointing Recruits."
100. Igor Baranovsky, "Crime in Army and Police Circles," Moscow News, no. 26, 25 June
101. Allegations of high and low-level thievery began long before the WGF's withdrawal. The
unattributed article, "How People Are Warming Their Hands On Army Supply," Rossiyskaya
gazeta, 25 September 1991, as translated in JPRS-UMA-91-026, pp. 34-35, discusses the waste
and diversion of military supplies among other issues.
102. Peter Scherer, "Military Smuggles Opium," Die Welt, 9 November 1993, as translated in
JPRS-TDD-93-046-L, pp. 42-43
103. Alexander Zhilin, "Generals in Business, Moscow News, no. 24, 17-23 June 1994.
104. WS, "Interim Stocktaking."
105. Kholodov, "And Service Their Will Seem to Be Honey...," p. 8.
106. Peter Scherer, "Russians Leave Behind 'Criminal Bridgehead'," Die Welt, 3 June 1994, as
translated in FBIS-WEU-94-108. Mikhailov, "Grachev's Mercedes," p. 2, indicates that the
special German Police unit targeted against Russian organized crime is called "Taiga."
107. Chernyak, "Europe Believes Russians' Place Is in the East," p. 29. Pavel Grachev's evident
partiality towards Mercedes automobiles earned him the derisive designation of "Pasha
Mercedes" by some (Pasha being a Russian nickname for Pavel).
108. Alexander Zhilin, "Stolen Mercedes Brought to Russia by Military Transports," Moscow
News, No. 15, 21-27 April 1995, provides considerable detail about the Military Transport
Aviation dimension of stolen automobile movement. Citing German police reports, he indicates
that in the first half of 1994, some 10,000 cars were stolen in the WGF area of withdrawal, with
an estimated 5,000 transported to Russia by military transports. German police made videos of
some of this activity.
109. A view of this "command environment" is provided in Ravil Zaripov, "Everyone in the
Army Has His or Her Own Needs," Komsomol'skaya pravda, 12 November 1994, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-94-051, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-051, pp. 2-4.
110. Ibid.; Interview with General Procuracy investigators Boris Isayenko and Vladimir
Yelsukov by Yuriy Prokhanov, "Clever Business General-Style," Federatsiya, No. 47, 27 April
1993, as translated in JPRS-UMA-93-017, pp. 3-4; a subsequent article with the same author and
title, Yuriy Prokhanov, "Clever Business General-Style," Federatsiya, 23 June 1994, as translated
in JPRS-UMA-94-031, pp. 6-7; Kholodov, "And Service There Will Seem to be honey...;"
Zaripov, "Everyone in the Army," pp. 2-4, all address various illegal business and financial
ventures in the WGF; and Isakov, "Bordello in an Officer's Home," pp. 1-4.
111. Sergey Chugayev, " Delo Burlakova' v Dume lopnulo," (The Burlakov matter' bursts in the
Duma), Izvestiya, 26 November 1994.
112. Doug Clarke, Air Force General Guilty of Misappropriation," OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 1,
No. 10, 13 January 1995. The general was also required to repay 64 million rubles. Charges of
bribery and forgery were dropped.
113. Kholodov also linked military crime and corruption with declining combat readiness as in
Dmitry Kholodov, "Pavel Grachev's Pavlevian' Reform: Russian Army Won't Be Driving
Mercedes Any Time Soon," Moskovkiy Komsomolets, 22 March 1994, as translated in
114. See "Wholesale Sellout of Motherland Punishable by Dismissal?" Komsomol'skaya pravda,
3 November 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-213, pp. 37-39. For a Burlakov rebuttal of the
charges leveled against him see: Interview with Colonel General Matvey Prokopyevich Burlakov
by Galina Mashtakova, "Menya kto-to khotel predypredit'..." (Someone wanted to warn me...),
Rossiya, 9-15 November 1994.
115. For additional illustrative reporting on this issue, see Yuriy Golotyuk, "General Burlakov
May Yet Take Up His Post Again. General Grachev So Far Does Not Feel the President's
Distrust," Segodnya, 3 November 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-213, pp. 36-37;
"Optovaya prodazha rodiny karayetsya otstavkoy?" (Is the wholesale selling of the motherland
punished by retirement?), Komsomol'skaya pravda, 3 November 1994; and Vladimir Socor,
"Grachev Resisting Duma's Corruption Probe," Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe Daily Report,
11 November 1994. These allegations, taken with Grachev's central role in the Chechen debacle
and his great unpopularity throughout the Army, have for some months now pointed to his
imminent departure as Minister of Defense.
116. Aleksandr Zhilin, "General's Duel: Deputy Defense Minister Matvey Burlakov's Attempt to
Inspect 14th Army Ends in Scandal," Moskovskiye novosti, 6 November 1994, as translated in
JPRS-UMA-94-051, p. 1; and Vladimir Socor, "Lebed Calls on Grachev to Resign, Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty Daily Report, 8 November 1994.
117. BALTFAX, 1942 GMT, 9 February 1993, as translated in FBIS-SOV-93-026, p. 55.
118. Chernyak, "Troop Withdrawal from the Baltic Area?"
119. UNIAN, 1235 GMT, 29 march 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-061.
120. Aleksandr Minkin, "Duma Reads Moskovskiy Komsomolets and Begins Thinking,"
Moskovskiy komsomolets, 17 May 1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest (on-line), 17 May
121. Ibid. and "Dniester Region: A Crime Is in the Making," Obshshaya gazeta, No. 20, 18-24
May 1995, as translated by EVP Press Digest (on-line), 18 May 1995.
122. Interview with Colonel General Georgiy Kondratyev by Larisa Kudryavtseva,
"Mirotvorchestvo--delo gosudarstvennoye" (Peacemaking--a state affair), Chest' imeyu, No. 5-6,
May-June 1994, pp. 2-6. Inferential material--based on reported interviews with Russian
prisoners of war in Chechnya and Russian reporting of troop movements--suggests that elements
of both the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division and 45th Motorized Rifle Division were
deployed to Chechnya in December 1994 and January 1995 respectively, as part of Russia's
efforts to crush Chechen resistance.
123. Barton Gellman, "From Sworn Enemies to Brothers-in-Arms," Washington Post National
Weekly Edition, 13-19 September 1993.
124. Gennadiy Miranovich, "'Golubyye kaski' v rossiyskom inter'ere, ili Poslesloviye k ucheniyu
kotoromu suzhdeno voyti v istoriyu" ( Blue Helmets' in the Russia interior, or an afterword for
an exercise which is fated to go down in history), Krasnaya zvezda, 29 September 1994; and
ITAR-TASS, 1519 GMT, 30 August 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-169, pp. 27-28.
125. Illustrative of this was the inquiry by a senior UN military officer in the late spring of 1994
to his intelligence staff. He requested an explanation for why and how Russian and Ukrainian
military elements were pursuing their black market and "entrepreneurial" efforts. In a publicized
incident of Ukrainian criminal activity, a number of troops had been sent home for heroin
smuggling. See AFP, 1308 GMT, 26 August 1993, as translated in JPRS-TDD-93-035-L, p. 54;
and AFP, 1313 GMT, 28 August 1993, as translated in JPRS-TDD-93-036-L, p. 29.
126. Interview by author with Western officer, conducted at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, 13 April
1995. The formation of the battalion began in February 1992 at Ryazan on the basis of elements
drawn from the 106th and 76th Guards Airborne Divisions. A. Stepanov, "Narukavnyye znaki
VS Rossii (1)," (Arm Patches of the VS [Armed Forces] of Russia (1)), Tseykhgauz, No. 1,
1993, p.45, presents an interesting and fairly detailed account of this process and the design of its
127. Interview by author with Western officer.
128. Roger Cohen, "U.N. Dismisses Russian From Croatia Peacekeeping Post," New York
Times, 12 April 1995; and Mark Heinrich, Reuter News Service, Zagreb, Croatia, 11 April 1995.
129. Cohen, "U.N. Dismisses Russian."
130. Lyubov Latypova, "Report From Tajikistan," Trud, 10 June 1994, as translated in
JPRS-TDD-94-028-L, p. 59.
131. Mumin Shakirov and Zigmund Dziyentsiolovski, "Opiya dlya narodov Evropy:
Narkobiznes--nazhiva i vyzhivaniye?" (Opium for the peoples of Europe: Drug business--profit
and survival), Literaturnaya gazeta, No. 4, 25 January 1995.
132. This includes reporting from Tajik "opposition forces" such as in (Clandestine) Voice of
Free Tajikistan, 0325 GMT, 16 March 1995, as translated in JPRS-TDD-95-009-L, pp. 58-59;
and (Clandestine) Voice of Free Tajikistan, 0630 GMT, 4 February 1995 as translated in
JPRS-TDD-95-005-L, p. 33; as well as official Russian and media reporting.
133. Vladimir Gubarev, "The Gold Mine of Drug Trafficking," Moscow News, No. 37, 10
September 1993. See also INTERFAX, 1304 GMT, 4 May 1994, as translated in FBIS message
041410Z May 1994, which cites MVD Deputy Minister Gennadiy Blinov on Russian Border
Guard and Army participation in drug trafficking in Tajikistan.
134. Shakirov, "Opium," p. 52.
135. (Clandestine) Voice of Free Tajikistan, (March 1995), pp. 58-59.
136. Aleksey Basayev, "Will the 'Teziyev Affair' Turn Into a Corruption Trial?" Rossiya, No. 19,
18-24 May 1994, as translated in FBIS-USR-94-058.
138. Interview with Pavel Grachev by Nikolay Burbyga and Valeriy Yakov, "Pavel Grachev: Ya
podam v otstavku, yesli pochuvstvuyu nedoveriye prezidenta" (Pavel Grachev: I will retire if I
sense the president's distrust), Izvestiya, 25 October 1995.
139. "GRU obvinyayetsya v ubiystve zhurnalista" (GRU charged in the murder of journalist),
Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 November 1994.
140. Liz Fuller, "FSK Knows Name of Kholodov's Killer," OMRI Daily Digest, No. 5, 6 January
141. Izvestiya Analytical Center, "Ubiystvo po preyskurantu" (Murder by price list) Izvestiya, 20
October 1994. This is part three of an Izvestiya series on "Ugolovnaya Rossiya" (Criminal
Russia). See also in this series "Ot gorodskoy ulitsy do Kremlevskogo kabineta" (From city
streets to a Kremlin office), Izvestiya, 18 October 1994 (Part I); and "Vory v zakone zanimayut
oficy" (Thieves in law occupy offices), Izvestiya, 19 October 1994.
142. Ye. K., "Versiya o pokushenii na Pavla Gracheva" (Version of attempt on the life of Pavel
Grachev), Nezavisimaya gazeta, 3 November 1994. For more on the Union of Officers and other
military-political organizations, see Thomas, "Warning!" pp. 22-23.
143. Penny Morvant, "Crime Fighter Expect Increase in Contract Killing," OMRI Daily Digest,
No. 72, Part I, 11 April 1995.
144. Penny Morvant, "Another Businessman Killed," OMRI Daily Digest, No. 73, Part I, 12
145. Baranovsky, "Terror Is a Fact of Russian Competition."
146. David Ljunggren, Reuter News Service, 2 March 1995.
147. Morvant, "Crime Fighter Expect Increase."
148. Oleg Vishnyakov and Konstantin Isakov, "When the Day of the Jackal Comes," New
Times, No. 16, 1993, p. 17; "Boksery s ekipirovkoy ubiytsy" (Boxers equipped for murder),
Pravda, 6 January 1993.
149. Igor Baranovsky, "Professional Killers," Moscow News, No. 52, 31 December 1993.
151. As noted in Sizova, "Would You Step On a Rake," Pacific Fleet Naval Infantry personnel
were selected and recruited by regional criminal groups to coerce or use force on competitors.
See also Viktor Kozhemyako, "Ubiystvo po zakazu: Smert'--remeslo etikh lyudyei" (Contract
killing: Death--is the trade of these people) Pravda, 24 March 1993; Vishnyakov and Isakov,
"When the Day of the Jackal Comes, pp. 16-18; and Baranovsky, "Professional Killers."
152. In Burbyga and Yakov, "Pavel Grachev," the reporters alluded to a GRU spetsnaz base
where "they allegedly train either killers or heavies to eliminate criminal high-ups against whom
the law and the militia are powerless." See also a Russian article that was probably unsigned for
good reason, "Who's Behind Kholodov's Assassination?" Moscow News, No. 43, 28 October-3
153. Correspondence with the author, 12 April 1995. As the Scotts indicate, these have been well
examined in both literary and documentary treatments.
155. Igor Baranovsky, "Terror Is a Fact of Russian Competition," Moscow News, No. 29, 22-28
July 1994. According to Baranovsky, some 671 militia members were convicted in 1993.
Statistics are unreliable and vary substantially according to the source and specific components
being considered. A mid-1994 FSK report--which broke out and grouped together different
MVD/judicial components--indicated that 39 MVD officers, one Procurator's Office member,
one court official, and 1,000 other MVD members were disciplined for offenses in 1993. During
the first quarter of 1994, this same source indicated that in the first quarter of 1994 some 144
MVD officers had been charged in nine criminal cases, with four additional cases brought against
the Procurator's office. See Interview with Vladimir Tsekhanov by Vladimir Klimov, "The
Country Is Being Sold Off, Wholesale and Retail," Rossiyskaya gazeta, 26 may 1994, as
translated in JPRS-TDD-94-025-L, p. 42.
156. "The Russian Mafia Is Collecting Files."
157. Tsekhanov and Klimov, "The Country Is Being Sold Off."
159. Yekaterina Zapodinskaya, "The Gangster, Mikhas, Was Received in the Russian President's
Administration: Lawyer Accused of Bribery," Kommersant-Daily, 11 March 1995, as translated
in FBIS-SOV-95-054-S, pp. 23-23.
161. Izvestiya Analytical Center, "From City Streets to a Kremlin Office," Part I in Izvestiya's
"Ugolovnaya Rossiya" (Criminal Russia) series.
162. Baranovsky, "Terror Is a Fact."
163. Interview by the author and Mr. Harold Orenstein with a senior officer of the
Interrepublican Security Service (MSB), 9 December 1991. The MSB was one of the several
"new" agencies that appeared in the wake of the KGB's dissolution in fall 1991. Essentially, it
was the KGB's Second Main Directorate (Counterintelligence), that has gone through a number
of iterations to become today's FSB. The officer noted that OMON forces, which then were being
assigned a growing role in countering narcotics trafficking, may themselves have become
corrupted in the process. That is, he said that there was evidence that some OMON forces were
involved in drug trafficking themselves.
164. Yuriy Deryugin, "Alarming Tendencies in the Russian Army: The Armed Forces May
Change From a Means of Security Into a Threat to the Individual and the State," Nezavisimaya
gazeta, 24 August 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-037. The author noted that in the first
four months of 1994 Internal Troops committed 400 crimes, while in 1993 they detected or
prevented only 300.
165. The organization was officially named the Tax Police Department in July 1993.
166. Ivan Sas, "Boleye 1,000 voyennosluzhashschikh otobrany v podrazdeleniya nalogovykh
rassledovaniy" (More than 1,000 servicemen selected for tax investigation subunits), Krasnaya
zvezda, 26 February 1993; and ITAR-TASS, 1626 GMT, 29 December 1992, as translated in
FBIS-SOV-92-251, p. 24.
167. Irina Frolova, "A Land of Unscared Taxpayers," Moscow News, No. 21, 27 May-2 June
168. Tsekhanov and Klimov, "The Country Is Being Sold Off."
169. One case in point is the recent revelation concerning the funding of the Relkom Joint-Stock
Company, which controls Russia's biggest electronic mail network (i.e., Russian "e-mail"). One
of the major investors in Relkom is the former KGB Eighth Directorate, embodied for several
years now as the Federal Government Communications and Information Agency (Federal'naya
Agenstvo Pravitel'stvennoy Svayazi i Informatsii--FAPSI). The Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Relkom, which handles telecommunications projects for the Russian Central Bank,
the Finance Ministry, and the Defense Ministry, also serves as an advisor to the FAPSI General
Director. While one might earlier have judged this to be an all too familiar security services
effort to ensure control over all major forms of communications, the criminal abuses of
joint-stock companies and Russian government agencies in other areas suggests that at least
some profit-motivated agendas may be present as well.
170. Michael Dobbs and Steve Coll, "Following the Party Line," Washington Post National
Weekly Edition, 22-28 February 1993.
171. Kryukov, "Guns Backing Up to the Market: Who Benefits From the Reorganization of
Arms Exports in Russia."
172. See Ibid. for the many additional dimensions of this case.
173. Yuliya Pailova, "Vladimir Gusinskiy Is Litigating Against the Mass Media: Most' Seeks the
Truth in Moscow and London," Kommersant-Daily, 14 March 1995, as translated in
FBIS-SOV-95-058-S, p. 18. Most director Gusinskiy is suing The Wall Street Journal Europe in
British courts for the publication of a 22 June 1994 article by Michael Waller making these
175. See Viktorov, "Vladimir Shumeyko and Weapons."
176. Zhilin, "Generals in Business."
177. O. V. Damaskin, "Kriminologicheskiye problemy pravovoy raboty v Vooruzhennykh
Silakh" (Criminological problems of legal work in the Armed Forces), Voyennaya mysl', No. 3,
May-June 1995, pp. 57-62, presents a seemingly thoughtful approach to military criminology,
but the Russian military institution that he considers in his article seems far removed from the
Russian Armed Forces that actually exist.
178. This was clearly evident in an interview conducted in 1994 with a OO representative from
what is now the 8th Guards Army Corps (formerly the 8th Guards Army stationed in the German
Democratic Republic and now located at Volgograd where the Army won its "Guards"
designation and honorifics in the World War II battle for Stalingrad.) The officer, Colonel of
State Security V. N. Bobrov, did note that "the Army is disintegrating, discipline and morale of
servicemen are falling, and as a result incidents occur--'dedovshchina' [hazing] going as far as
murder, shady bank transactions, and major misappropriations of weapons and explosives from
military storage dumps." Nevertheless, his principal focus was on the dangers posed by military
attaches and other foreign spies whom he saw pressing in from every direction. Interview with
Viktor Nikolayevich Bobrov by I. Barykin, "It's Painful To See How They're Selling the
Motherland," Volgogradskaya pravda, 12 May 1994, as translated in JPRS-UMA-94-026, pp.
179. ITAR-TASS World Service, 1657 GMT, 30 June 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-128,
p. 25. Chechens, it should be noted, were nevertheless characterized by Grachev as criminals and
180. Interview with Viktor Yerin by V. Starkov, "Ne tol'ko detektiv" (Not only a detective),
Argumenty i fakty, No. 6, February 1994.
181. G. Drozdov, "Voyennaya militsiya--ne roskosh'" (Military militia--not a luxury), Krasnaya
zvezda, 2 November 1990.
182. Oleg Tekhmenev, "Crucial! Addicts With Arms," Rabochaya Tribuna, 4 April 1991, as
translated in JPRS-UMA-91-010.
183. ITAR-TASS World Service, 1034 GMT, 14 May 1994, as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-095,
184. Vasily Konomenko, "Russian Authorities Prepare An Attack On Organized Crime,"
Izvestiya, 26 May 1994, as translated in The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, Vol. XLVI,
No. 21, 22 June 1994.
185. Ibid., p. 3; and Radio Rossii Network, 0900 GMT, 28 May 1994, as translated in
FBIS-SOV-94-104, p. 20. The program also called for introducing new computer equipment,
auditing the conduct of law enforcement personnel, protecting courts and judges, and increasing
the police authority of the militia.
186. Deryugin, "Alarming Tendencies in the Russian Army."
187. Ibid. Whatever solutions the Russian author may advocate, and wherever he may fall on the
political spectrum, his review of military problems appear well stated and grounded in fact.