Putin converting Russian Army to USSR era glory
He has created a new directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once saw soldiers taught the precepts of Marxism and Leninism by political commissars.
The move, approved by Putin in a presidential decree published on Monday, will affect Russia’s around 1 million active military service people and appears designed to ensure soldiers’ loyalty at a time when Moscow is locked in a geopolitical standoff with the West.
“In conditions of a global information and psychological confrontation (with the West) the role of political and moral unity within the army and society drastically grows,” Alexander Kanshin, who sits on a civilian body that shapes military policy, told Interfax news agency in February.
In the Soviet Union, a similar directorate worked to ensure that the army stayed loyal to the then ruling Communist party.
Putin, commander-in-chief of Russia’s armed forces, ran as an independent candidate when re-elected to a new term in March, but is supported by the ruling United Russia Party
His decree said the new directorate would be responsible for “military-patriotic” work and, in a separate decree, Putin made Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov, a veteran of Russia’s conflict in Syria, its new head and a deputy defense minister