This monograph considers the recent history of organizational change in the Russian airborne forces (VDV). In particular, it looks at how the VDV has changed since the end of Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. The VDV, a force much admired in the Russian news media and society, has, in fact, escaped fairly unscathed during the comprehensive reform of the Russian army more generally over the last few years. In large part this has been because of the personality of the current head of the VDV, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov. Close to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Shamanov—a “‘maverick”—has used his political connections to help ward off many of the cuts and reforms that the rest of the army has been subject to. He has managed to keep the basic structure of the VDV intact, while also dealing with a number of problematic issues related to manning, equipment, and training regimes within his organization. This monograph points out the level of... More > professionalism in the VDV (shown during the Georgian war).< Less
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