Russia facts: Military and migration issues

Russia facts: Military and migration issues

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Facts on Russian military and migration issues in Russia.

Military & Transnational issues

Military branches: Ground Forces (Sukhoputnyye Voyskia, SV), Navy (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, VMF), Air Forces (Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily, VVS); Airborne Troops (VDV), Strategic Rocket Forces (Raketnyye Voyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya, RVSN), and Space Troops (Kosmicheskiye Voyska, KV) are independent "combat arms," not subordinate to any of the three branches; Russian Ground Forces include the following combat arms: motorized-rifle troops, tank troops, missile and artillery troops, air defence of ground troops (2009)

Military service age and obligation:18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; service obligation - 1 year; reserve obligation to age 50; as of July 2008, a draft military strategy called for the draft to continue up to the year 2030 (2009)

Manpower available for military service: males ages 16-49: 36,219,908; females age 16-49: 37,019,853 (2008 est.)

AFP PHOTO/ DANIL SEMYONOV
A cadet of a Stavropol Cadet School reloads his Kalashnikov during a training camp on 31 October 2009 in a field not far from the village of Krasnogvardeiskoye, some 120 kilometers of Stavropol, southern Russia, a region bordering with Chechnya

Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 21,098,306; females age 16-49: 27,968,883 (2009 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 741,692; female: 706,081 (2009 est.)

Military expenditures: 3,9 percent of GDP (2005)

International disputes:
•    China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with the 2004 Agreement, ending their centuries-long border disputes

•    The sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kurils," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities.

•    Russia and Georgia agree on delimiting all but small, strategic segments of the land boundary and the maritime boundary

•    OSCE observers monitor volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed equidistance boundaries in the Caspian seabed but the littoral states have no consensus on dividing the water column

•    Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone

•    Various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia (Kareliya) and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union following the Second World War but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands

AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / VLADIMIR RODIONOV
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) uses binoculars to observe the military exercises "West-2009" at the Khmelevka firing range of Russia's Baltic fleet in the Kaliningrad enclave on 28 September 2009

•    In May 2005, Russia recalled its signatures to the 1996 border agreements with Estonia (1996) and Latvia (1997), when the two Baltic states announced issuance of unilateral declarations referencing Soviet occupation and ensuing territorial losses

•    Russia demands better treatment of ethnic Russians in Estonia and Latvia; Estonian citizen groups continue to press for realignment of the boundary based on the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty that would bring the now divided ethnic Setu people and parts of the Narva region within Estonia

•    Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals travelling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as an EU member state with an EU external border, where strict Schengen border rules apply; preparations for the demarcation delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine have commenced; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and on-going expert-level discussions; Kazakhstan and Russia boundary delimitation was ratified on November 2005 and field demarcation should commence in 2007; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Bering Sea Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US

Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 18,000-160,000 (displacement from Chechnya and North Ossetia) (2007)

Trafficking in persons: Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for various purposes; it remains a significant source of women trafficked to over 50 countries for commercial sexual exploitation; Russia is also a transit and destination country for men and women trafficked from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Korea to Central and Western Europe and the Middle East for purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation; internal trafficking remains a problem in Russia with women trafficked from rural areas to urban centres for commercial sexual exploitation, and men trafficked internally and from Central Asia for forced labour in the construction and agricultural industries; debt bondage is common among trafficking victims, and child sex tourism remains a concern

Tier 2 Watch List - Russia is on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fifth consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking over the previous year, particularly in providing assistance to victims of trafficking; comprehensive trafficking victim assistance legislation, which would address key deficiencies, has been pending before the Duma since 2003 and was neither passed nor enacted in 2007 (2008)

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transhipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; major consumer of opiates

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