The Sociological Analysis of the Russian Military Elite Evolution In the XXI Century
The report is based on the results of sociological monitoring of graduates of the Military Academy of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, conducted in years 2000-2008 (N=885). The following qualitative characteristics of Russian high-ranking officers have been analyzed: socio-demographic characteristics, mentality, values and their motivations in study and service. The following hypothesis is formulated and confirmed: Russian force structures are undergoing the process of change of officers’ generations, and “Soviet officers” are replaced with “Russian officers”. The difference between these generations is not only of temporal character (“Soviet officers” graduated from military academies and were established as military professionals while the Soviet Union still existed, while “Russian officers” underwent the same process after 1991), but also of mental character (system of values, attitude towards political events inside and outside the country, political orientations, opinion about political and military allies and enemies). Intergenerational and inter-organizational (caused by flow of officers and staff of security services into the military elite) disagreements are reflected in the contradictory and inconsequent way of reforming Russian armed forces during the last decade. Main attention is paid to the analysis of peculiarities of the modern military elite, which is called “Russian”, but has Soviet mentality. Research findings gained in 2008 suggested that in 2009-2014 “Russian officers” were going to dominate in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, although “Soviet officers” would also stay among high-ranking officers. Evidence now shows that to be the case and lets expect preserving of that state in future.