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Anatoliy Serdyukov

Anatoliy Serdyukov

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Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov (born January 8, 1962, Krasnodar Krai
Krasnodar Krai
-External links:* **...

, Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

) is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n politician and businessman.

He has been the Defense Minister of Russia since February 15, 2007. He is known for launching major reforms in the Russian military.

Early career

Serdyukov graduated from Leningrad Institute of Soviet Trade in 1984 with a degree in economics. From 1984 to 1985 he served in the Soviet Army
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

. Since 1985 he had worked in a furniture shop and from 1995 to 2000 was the director general of Furniture Market, a furniture company in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Serdyukov's career started to develop very successfully after the election of Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 as Russian President in 2000. In 2001 Serdyukov graduated from the Law Department of Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

. From 2000 to 2001 he served as a Deputy Chief of the Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 Directorate of the Tax Ministry of Russia, from 2001 to 2004 he led the Directorate, succeeding Viktor Zubkov, his father-in-law
A parent-in-law is a person who has a legal affinity with another by being the parent of the other's spouse. Many cultures and legal systems impose duties and responsibilities on persons connected by this relationship...

. On March 2, 2004, he was appointed Deputy Tax Minister of Russia.

In 2004-2007 he led the Tax Ministry of Russia (in July 2004 reorganized into the Federal Tax Service of Russia). During this period the key officials of the service were replaced mainly by Serdyukov's colleagues from Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. He also often resorted to personnel rotation and appointment of former federal tax officials to the regional tax service departments in the federal subjects of Russia
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

. During his leadership, court decisions in favor of the Federal Tax Service became much more common. While the service was formally subordinate to the Finance Ministry under Alexey Kudrin, in fact Serdyukov very much leaned towards Presidential Aide Viktor Ivanov.

Defense Minister

On February 15, 2007, President Vladimir Putin appointed Serdyukov as Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, with the main task of fighting corruption and inefficiency in the Russian armed forces.


In office, Serdyukov chose not to get involved in the daily administration of troops and operational-strategic planning, leaving these matters to the professionals. Instead, he focused on organizational and budgetary issues, in which he, according to Moscow Defense Brief, "insisted upon an unprecedented (at least for the MoD) level of precision and fastidiousness." This reportedly enabled him to quickly "put the generals their place," and "to instill a level of background fear that even the old-timers do not recall having seen before." According to an anectode, an officer in one of the central directorates of the MoD explained: "senior generals go to meetings of the Defense Board as to the scaffold."


According to Moscow Defense Brief
Moscow Defense Brief
Moscow Defense Brief is a bimonthly English-language defense magazine published by Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies , an independent defense think-tank.- Overview :...

, Serdyukov’s first year in office was marked by convulsions, "the likes of which have not been seen on the Arbat in decades." The magazine pointed out, that "Serdyukov brought apparently unlimited energy to a thorough purge of the department." He fired almost a third of the top officers of the Central Military Administration and initiated a sea of change in the Ministry of Defense.

Reforming the military

During his time in office, Serdyukov has launched several wide-reaching reforms. The main idea behind his reforms is the transformation from a mass mobilization army to a small force of contract soldiers.

In 2010, Serdyukov has launched a $430 billion military reform to be achieved over the next 15 years in order to fully re-equip Russian conventional forces.

Serdyukov has launched plans to reduce the personnel in the central administration by 30%, which would lead to the liquidation of a significant number of positions filled by generals and colonels. He is also demanding drastic cuts in Russia's officer corps. Currently there is an officer to every two and a half men. After the reform there should be just one to every 15, more similar to western armies. The reform would mean losing 200,000 jobs, and has been met with fierce political opposition by the "old guard." Because of the pressure, the deadline for implementing the cuts has been put back from 2012 to 2016. Army divisions have been disbanded and replaced by brigades. The six military districts of Russia have been replaced by 4 geographic commands.

Addressing acute and long-standing issues such as the ineffectiveness of Russia’s defense industrial and procurement policies has also been one of Serdyukov's chief aims. The questions addressed include: "why, with so much spending on defense, do the Armed Forces possess so little new equipment? Why does the design and testing of many new types of armament take decades to show results?" Serdyukov has initiated modifications to the Russian military uniform and addressed the issue of the physical condition of Russia’s generals and senior officers: the entire service personnel of the General Staff, irrespective of rank, must now meet set physical standards upon threat of dismissal. He is also calling for mergers of Military academies, sharp cuts in the number of military bases, and reductions in rear support and noncombat units.

Many of Serdyukov's reforms and anti-corruption measures have been met with open opposition and have led to many dismissals. His actions have, however, given him a positive image in the eyes of the Russian public.

Severe disagreements were reported in late 2007 and early 2008 between Serdyukov and General of the Army Yuri Baluyevsky, Chief of the General Staff, most recently over the Minister's proposed move of the Russian Navy Main Staff from Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 to Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Later, this was proved by following Baluyevsky's resignation.

Serdyukov is married to a daughter of Viktor Zubkov, the 10th Prime Minister of Russia
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

 and previous chairman of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russia. On September 14, 2007 Serdyukov offered his resignation to the president over family relations with Viktor Zubkov, but this resignation was not accepted.

External links

  • Biography
  • Biography by Vladimir Pribylovsky
    Vladimir Pribylovsky
    Vladimir Valerianovich Pribylovsky is a Russian historian, journalist and human rights advocate opposed to current Russian authorities.-Biography:...

  • Civilian Economist Heads Defense Ministry by Dmitry Butrin, Vadim Visloguzov and Maxim Shishkin, Kommersant
    Kommersant is a commerce-oriented newspaper published in Russia. , the circulation was 131,000.- History :The newspaper was initially published in 1909, and it was closed down following the Bolshevik seizure of power and the introduction of censorship in 1917.In 1989, with the onset of press...

    , February 16, 2007.