Moscow over the past three years thatrnhave included Westerners (mainly, butrnnot entirely, civilians) experienced inrntroop morale and social welfare. By invitationrnas a national director of the NavyrnLeague of the United States, 1 attendedrnone of these meetings, on the “SocialrnDimensions of Military Reform,”rnthis past May. In addition to a largernAmerican contingent, delegations fromrnBritain, Canada, Denmark, Germany,rnthe Netherlands, and Switzerland werernthere. Much to my surprise, I learnedrnupon arrival that I was appointedrncochairman of the section on “Militaryrnand Social Work in Troops.” Despiternthe language barrier, 1 was able to followrn(with the aid of two young interpreters)rnthe proceedings quite well and even torncontribute in a small way.rn1 asked, for example, if Russia’s armedrnservices would be interested in sending arndelegation to the United States to learnrnhow the American military deals withrnpersonnel problems and how defenserelatedrnorganizations like the NavyrnLeague and the Air Force Associationrnoffer support to the services. The Russiansrnwere quite interested.rnIn seeking the “rebirth of the armedrnforces,” the Russians are casting aboutrnfor an anchor and have shown a renewedrninterest in religion. They appear to havernreestablished firm relations with thernOrthodox Church, and military authoritiesrnare seeking ties with other faiths,rnalthough they do not know exactly howrnto incorporate them. The OrthodoxrnChurch wields great moral authorityrneven among nonbelievers, in spite ofrnits former ties to the KGB. The RussianrnOrthodox Church is, of course, a nationalistrnchurch, which provides it with arnfirm basis in Russian culture at the veryrnoutset. Unthinkable a few years ago,rnthere is now a magazine called Vera irnMuzhestvo (Faith and Mankind) andrnbilled as a “military Christian illustratedrnjournal.” Unsurprisingly, the OrthodoxrnChurch is prominently featured, althoughrnthe first quarterly issue for 1993rncontained a photograph of a cardinal addressingrna group. Father Gleb Yakunin, arnpriest of the Orthodox Church, is a formerrnpolitical prisoner and the 1992 recipientrnof the Religious Freedom Awardrnof the Washington-based Institute of Religionrnand Democracy. He has been activernin military reform both as an electedrnmember of the parliament and as a clericrnand has developed considerable credibilityrnamong the officer corps. On twornoccasions, I have heard estimates thatrnabout one-third of the officer corps isrnChristian, with perhaps five to ten percentrnstrong believers. Indeed, I have metrntwo colonels who appear to be in thernlatter category.rnDespite the strong interest in establishingrnreligious ties with the OrthodoxrnChurch and various other denominations,rnthere is no move to introduce arnchaplain corps. The military leaders apparentlyrnwish to establish close contactrnbetween troops and clergy, but with thernlatter in civilian capacity. Under thernRussian plan, the secular duties (counseling,rnwelfare, etc.) of chaplains inrnWestern armed forces would be takenrnover by a corp of welfare workers in uniform,rnroughly the successors of the oldrnpolitical officers.rnMeanwhile, the Russian armed forcesrnseem to have embarked on rebuildingrntheir “military-industrial complex.” Accordingrnto the June issue of Sea Power (arnmonthly journal of the Navy League ofrnthe United States), the Russians havernannounced plans for the immediate resumptionrnof naval construction. Althoughrnconstruction for foreign sales hasrnbeen going on for some time, this is thernfirst announcement of such major rebuildingrnfor the Russian armed forces.rnA major problem from the perspectivernof the armed forces is the lack of interestrnin the military among Russian youth.rnOnly half the annual draft shows up atrnthe recruiting stations. This figure, incidentally,rncomes from the Russian militaryrnleaders, not the Western press. Arnyoung business agent for my daughterrnserved two years in the Russian armyrnduring “Soviet times” (as he puts it) andrnhates the military services, largely becausernof their brutal nature. I heardrnfrom a Russian colonel that many, perhapsrnmost, of the officers in the newrnregime want to rid the army of such practices.rnI told this young man that thernAmerican Armed Forces do not workrnthat way but was never able to convincernhim. This low opinion of the armed servicesrnis exacerbated by rampant corruption.rnSales of army property in order tornmaintain something approaching theirrnformer life-styles have reached catastrophicrnproportions. Much of the stolenrnproperty gets into criminal hands, torneither the Russian Mafia or rogue statesrnlike Iran.rnIn concluding, a word of cautionrnabout current missionary efforts. MostrnRussians appear to resent Western missionaries,rnwho often act as if they mustrnconvert a nation of heathens. The Russianrnpeople are not irreligious. Indeed,rnthey seem to be far more religious thanrnmost Western nations. Missionaries whornenter the country with nothing morernthan themselves and religious literaturernseem generally unwelcome. More appreciatedrnare religious folk who come tornrelieve human suffering and who do notrn”wear their religion on their sleeves.”rnRobert C. Whitten is a commanderrn(United States Naval Reserve-Retired),rnthe national director of the Navy Leaguernof the United States, and a retiredrnresearch scientist with NASA.rnLetter From Serbia,rnPartirnby Rajko DolecekrnWar, Medicine, andrnPropagandarnI attended two symposia in the FederalrnRepublic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in Octoberrnand December 1993, and clearly Belgradernand Serbia had changed since myrnlast stay there. The famous cafes in Belgradernwere almost empty; most shopsrnhad almost nothing to offer. The peoplernwere out of money; the sanctions hadrnpractically made a concentration camprnout of the FRY. Easygoing, intellectual,rnand cosmopolitan Belgrade had lostrnmuch of her nonchalant splendor.rnDue to the sanctions and exorbitantrninflation rates, incomes had dropped tornunbelievably low levels in both Serbiarnand Montenegro, some pensions reachingrnthe value of four to five U.S. dollarsrna month, or even less. A minister of thernfederal government told me with a sadrnsmile that his monthly salary was lessrnthan 60 U.S. dollars. But one thing hadrnnot changed: the people’s determinationrnnot to surrender to the outside pressurernof lies, slander, and disinformationrnand to survive with dignity all the hardshipsrnimposed by diplomatic and economicrnsanctions. The poor (now thernmajority of the once-prosperous people)rn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn