The Soviet Soldier: Behaviour, Performance, Effectiveness

  • Chris Donnelly


Today every Soviet commander has the term ‘effectiveness’ — effektivnost’ — on his lips, understandable enough in a military establishment which has not seen active, full-scale operational service since 1945. We have already investigated some of the properties of the Soviet system at large and Soviet misgivings about overall ‘effectiveness’, or performance: it is extremely difficult to fired an exact translation for ‘effektivnost” which suggests in turn efficiency, effectiveness, and performance in the round. But what of the Soviet soldier himself? Here effectiveness and performance assume a critical aspect and it should be said at once that it is impossible to evaluate performance in these terms — the individual Soviet soldier — without some consideration from the outset of those features of Russian and Soviet society which have acted to shape the Soviet citizen as he is today and in the process conditioned his attitude to military service. The most important aspect in this context is undoubtedly the attitude of Soviet man to authority at large, an attitude shaped by centuries of demanding and singular historical experience.


Military Service Military Training Political Officer Officer Corps Soviet System 
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  1. 1.
    A. M. Danchenko, et al., Voennaya Pedagogika (Voenizdat, Moscow, 1973), pp. 103–9.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.J. Berman and M. Kerner, Soviet Military Law and Administration (Harvard University Press, 1955), p. 146.Google Scholar

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© Chris Donnelly 1979

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  • Chris Donnelly

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