In late December, the Russian government approved some more rules and regulations dealing with military pay. These included a decree on stipends for conscripts and a separate decree on bonuses and other forms of additional pay for officers and contract soldiers. In this post, I’ll cover pay for conscripts.
||Monthly pay (rubles)
|Petty officer (starshina)
|Assistant duty officer at command post, translator
|Deputy platoon commander, head of medical clinic
|Head of firing range, checkpoint or fuel depot
|Squad commander, head of coding post, sanitation or cooking instructor
|Artillery weapon firing commander, driver-mechanic of self-propelled strategic missiles
|Driver-mechanic, senior driver, senior communications operator, recon, nurse, senior rescue personnel, student at professional military school
|Driver, communications operator, rescue personnel, grenade-thrower, sniper, machine-gunner
|Rifleman, camoufleur, road builder, electrician, student at technical school or at military school (incl cadets at Nakhimov and Suvorov schools)
In addition to this basic income, conscripts receive various bonuses, including for:
- Higher qualifications: 5 percent for 3rd class, 10 percent for 2nd class, and 20 percent for 1st class specialists.
- Serving in unusual or difficult conditions:
a) Up to 100 percent of the stipend for serving on submarines or as aircraft crew
b) Up to 70 percent of the stipend for serving on a surface ship, in a position that requires parachuting or diving, in the Presidential regiment, or in special units
c) Up to 50 percent of the stipend for medical specialists, staff of the space forces, or soldiers serving on combat duty
d) Up to 20 percent of the stipend for ground-based aviation specialists working in positions that ensure flight safety; soldiers working in refueling naval nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel, or radioactive waste; soldiers working as tank crews; or for rescue unit personnel
e) Up to 10 percent of the stipend for soldiers serving in border guard posts.
3. Carrying out dangerous duties in peacetime:
a) Up to 100 percent of the stipend for diving or parachute jumps
b) Up to 50 percent of the stipend for mine-clearance or fire-fighting (for each day spent performing those duties)
4. Working with classified materials: 10 percent for secret classification, 20 percent for top secret, 25 percent for materials “of special importance”
5. Additional 1000 rubles per months for orphans or others who are eligible to receive additional support according to the federal law on orphans and children lacking parental support.
A couple of quick points about all this. First of all, the base pay for conscripts is being more or less doubled compared to 2011 rates. Also, the bonuses for higher qualifications and working with secret documents are new. Previously, they were only available for officers and contract soldiers. The publications I have seen do not make it absolutely clear whether the other bonuses are new or not, though Rossiiskaia Gazeta seems to imply that they are.
At the same time, the Rossiiskaia Gazeta article’s statement that conscripts who are responsible and don’t get into trouble will now be getting a sizable amount of money seems to be overstating things a bit. The absolute maximum a conscript soldier who is not an orphan can make under these rules is 6210 rubles/month, assuming I didn’t mess up the math. That comes out to a bit over $200/month. I suppose that’s not completely horrible given that these are mostly 18 or 19 year-olds whose housing and food are being provided by the government. But to call it a sizable amount of money is going a bit far for my taste. Especially when the vast majority of conscripts will be getting stipend in the $30-50/month range. It goes to show just how embarrassingly low conscript pay was in the Russian army — given that these rates are DOUBLE the previous ones.