Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 135

The Russian armed forces’ top budget officer, Lt. Gen. Georgy Oleinik, said yesterday that he was sure all the uniformed and civilian members of the armed forces would receive all their back pay over the next 2 months. This same timetable was also laid out in yet another presidential decree on the subject, issued on July 8. Oleinik put the wage debt at 8.1 trillion rubles ($1.4 billion), considerably higher than some earlier government estimates. Oleinik allowed that "everyone has his own calculation methods," but claimed that his figures are accurate. As a result of Yeltsin’s latest decree, the military will receive 4.6 trillion rubles this month to cover back wages and the balance of 3.5 trillion in August. Personnel serving in the Arctic regions of Russia and in combat zones will be paid first.

The extra money will, however, not come close to solving the military’s financial problems, nor that of the service personnel themselves. The payments will cover basic salaries only, and not the many special allowances, bonuses, and benefits that make up a great part of total military remuneration. Oleinik said that these debts would be paid off by the end of the year. He also said that the government still owes the Defense Ministry an additional 42 trillion rubles ($7.27 billion) — money that the armed forces in turn owes to its suppliers.

Three Years of Lukashenka.