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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Incorrect tender on Syrian medals left some unpleasant questions

The defense Ministry denied reports about the tender on production of 20 thousand medals “For operations in Syria”, which many have tried to understand how much actually soldiers participated in the war against terrorism in Syria. However this error is made in Syrian history a few important hints regarding the awarding in Russia in General.

Information on the tender on production of 20 thousand medals “For operations in Syria” was published on the official website of the defense Ministry, but, as explained subsequently, “in the documentation on electronic auction was a mistake”. Contained an extra zero, in reality, MO is committed to produce only two thousand medals.

“It should be noted though that the “mass ceremony” has not happened. Common sense was stronger”

The Agency plans to purchase insignia, blank, connectors and cases for a total amount of 45.3 million rubles. Of these, 4.5 million expected to spend two thousand “Syrian” medals, another 11 thousand rubles will be spent on medals “For the liberation of Palmyra and the Palmyra mine action” (under 50 pieces and the other). Also in the tender provided the medals “For military valor” I and II degrees, “For distinction in military service” of various degrees, the insignia “For distant cruise” with the image surface ship and submarine, as well as commemorative badges “to Participants and guests of the military parade on red square.”

Medal “Participant of military operations in Syria” was established in November of 2015. Experts believe that the award will be awarded including who planned the operation officers and civilians.

Technical mistakes happen, in our case it is not even an occasion for irony. But last summer, when rumors about the creation of new medals and medals for participating in the operation in Syria only began to appear, there arose the question of their status, because the list of state awards approved by the state Duma and the Supreme commander, and this list not seem to have changed. It turns out, the medal “For the liberation of Palmyra,” and “Participant in a military operation in Syria” are of a departmental character, the possession of them from a practical point of view gives not awarded any additional benefits. They are regarded as an element of moral encouragement is extremely important in the current situation. However, the premium Department MO could overdo it in the invention of new plaques, but common sense still prevailed.

Another thing that inquiring minds have regarded the publication of the tender on the manufacture of medals as a partial declassification of the number of Russian troops involved in the operation in the SAR. And the incorrect figure of 20 million pieces struck. It is almost four divisions (assuming the average of the number of “old” divisions – now, with the formation of the new armies and divisions without dividing the brigade, the number of personnel varies greatly, depending on the specific military unit). Even if you add the civilians, who were worthy of awards for participation in the preparation of the operation in Syria and in itself, including journalists and “parade”, is a inordinate amount.

The amendment seems to put everything in its place. But now you have to understand that the declared MO the tender refers to the 2016 financial year approximately reflects the situation that the prize Department had planned as of last summer. From that moment occurred in the first rotation of troops participating in operations in Syria, and secondly, a formal reduction in the number of Russian troops after the fall of the intensity of the fighting and the capture of Aleppo. Premium Department receives representations from the governors of the commanders reports, therefore, in these two thousand include mainly awarded to soldiers participating in active combat until the fall of 2016, and the rest will wait for their medals at the next wave. This does not apply to those who receive no awards, and combat, being in official list of state awards, including “For military valour” and “For difference in military service”. The same applies to the specific awards of genera and species of the armed forces, e.g., sea – “the long March”.

Thus, to do the calculation the total number of the Russian contingent on the basis of the tender, in principle, is naive. The defense Ministry did not announce the criteria on the basis of which is awarded the medal “For operations in Syria”, which makes them extremely wide. Probably will be history when these medals will be some government officials or even pop stars, been uttered once on the base Hamim, which will depreciate the value of the award on the background, for example, fighter pilots or special forces groups adjust the fire.

Good, premium Department of defense could provide different degrees or the design awards and to distinguish between soldiers and civilians, to avoid the scandalous comparisons in the future. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the medals “For the liberation of Palmyra and the Palmyra mine” is planned to produce only 50 pieces – this highlights their status and special position. It is possible that there will be a medal and “For Aleppo”, but that’s to be expected in the next wave of awards.

In General, the system submissions to state and departmental (DOD) awards in Russia is still so burocratization and confusing that I have to even use such data as of the publication of the tenders with the technical errors, in order to understand something. So, still not resolved the issues with awards to soldiers-internationalists in the broad sense of the word (not just Afghans). No precise criteria for the definition of “combatant” for veterans of the armed conflicts on the territory of the former USSR, and several normative acts of the last decade of origin simply excluded from the number of veterans and a large group of people – those who served in the local armed formations, and also a variety of volunteers. The military simply has no record of stay in the unit with the Russian room, it means that person like like did not exist. In an exaggerated version of all it is reflected in the Donbass, which is particularly galling. Overall responsibility for the mess largely rests with the local draft Board, which, however, are absolutely powerless in relation to the Main personnel Directorate and can not do anything, even if you really want to.

It is possible that the situation with the awarding of military personnel participating in the operation in Syria, will push to revise many outdated criteria and “categorization” awards. The moral component of such awards is huge, but it would be possible to consider the possibility of providing a distinguished range of benefits. For example, at receipt in higher educational institutions for young people or pension benefits (if not fundamental) to senior officers. In the current financial situation is not so great expenses to carry out for this reason tough negotiations with the Ministry of Finance.

But now it should be noted though that the “mass ceremony” has not happened. Common sense was stronger.


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