Support The Moscow Times!

Retired Officers Costing the State $60M a Month

The Defense Ministry is paying 2 billion rubles ($60 million) every month to 45,400 current and retired military personnel because they cannot be fired without being provided with accommodation, Izvestia reported Friday.

Between 2010 and 2012 there was no internal control of the legality and efficiency of spending at the ministry, an Audit Chamber investigation concluded. Over the last three years, the failure to provide timely living quarters has consumed more than 66 billion rubles.

Of the 45,400 former servicemen receiving funds, 34,300 are still technically employed by the armed forces. Despite fulfilling no function, the armed forces cannot fire them without the provision of living space.

The law obliges the Defense Ministry to provide accommodation to members of the armed forces who have served longer than 10 years. At the start of this year, 57,000 officers were waiting for accommodation, reported. A year earlier, the number was 82,000.

While huge resources are spent on the acquisition and construction of apartments, the ministry remains unable to reduce the list of those waiting. Servicemen often refuse what they are offered, complaining of poorly situated accommodation, often far from their place of service and badly integrated into the local infrastructure. Comparatively miserly cash compensation is another source of dissatisfaction, the report said.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.