Russia’s recently named General Staff chief has indirectly criticized Defense Ministry plans to reduce Russia’s army to 1.2 million soldiers before 1998. Gen. Viktor Samsonov said on November 1 that the General Staff prefers to maintain the army at 1.5 million. (Interfax, November 1) The nominal strength of Russia’s military is now 1.7 million. Opposition from the General Staff could complicate already unpopular efforts to transform the army into a leaner, less expensive fighting force.
Russia Signs African Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.