Against a Bitter Pill: The Role of Interest Groups in Armed Forces Reform in Russia
From 2007 to 2012, Russian armed forces faced unprecedented changes that affected their structural, economic, social, and ideological elements. However, not all aims were fulfilled, and some changes were rolled back, despite the political and financial support from Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev for the defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Using the data from 11 interviews with former high-ranking military officers, scholars, and insider press workers, the research shows that the unsustainability of the reform was caused by the radicality of changes, the interest groups influence, and the technocratic policymaking in nondemocratic Russia. In addition, the research demonstrates the strategies the reformers used in order to overcome the resistance from mobilized interest groups. They had not succeeded, that ultimately led to the resignation of the defense minister, which stopped further radical changes in the contemporary Russian armed forces.