Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma has decreed an increase in military salaries and benefits for officers and NCOs, and established a new system of bonuses and special awards tied to performance and length of service. The compensation increase averages 180 percent for various ranks. Defense Minister Aleksandr Kuzmuk said yesterday that the decree has "great political significance" because it equates officers with civil servants and will encourage professionals to stay in the army. Kuzmuk also emphasized pointedly that, despite its financial hardships, the Ukrainian military has not experienced insubordination. (Interfax-Ukraine, October 8)
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