Some ethic groups like Jews were always hated by Russians and some other like Lithuanians were relay occupied nations that resented Russian rule. By the late 1960s it was not a overt or heavily disestablishing phenomena, but did occur in a more corrosive and sub-conscious form. This type of discrimination had been declining amongst the Slavic, Moldavian and Baltic groups since the early 1980s.
It has now apparently come back at least in part, backed up with violence now, through out the the ethnic Russian population of Russia, Ukraine and Estonia. Under President Putin, Russia has got a abnormal need to bully Georgia and Ukraine. Independently of this, Estonia, Ukraine and Latvia went Russia-phobic for equally bizarre reasons after the millennium to.
This unlike in the American army where WW2 officially marked the end of segregation in the U.S. military. In 1948 President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 officially ending segregation and racial inequality in the military. Unofficially beating up and bullying Hispanics was seen as cool until the late 1940s and for Blacks and Coloreds until the mid to late 1970s. It was reportedly slowly diminishing since the millennium. The sexistly motivated raping of female officers lasted until the mid 2000s and sometimes fatal gay-bashing goes on.
The 'order of reliability'
- Russians were the majority group, provided most of the manpower and run everything with the help of the East Ukranians. This is especially true for the KGB, Interior Army and Strategic Missile Force personnel. The GRU, national police, navy, special forces and air force were also run and dominated by these groups to.
- East Ukrainians and ethnicly Russian Ukranians were the most trusted, had the same rights as Russians and play a major role in the Red Army.
- Western Ukrainians were of suspect loyalty since most was not Soviet held until 1939 and the rest was a nationalist hot bed at various times.
- Belorussians* were purged of most nationalist and all Tsarists/White Russian elements by World War 2. They showed there loyalty to the USSR in WW2 and were a close second to the East Ukranians and West Ukrainians.
- Assimilated Poles were suspected of unreliability, but those who kept thire language and customs were considered a extremist security hazard. Poland was regarded as purifyed crap, economically useless, moraly toxic, politicaly subversive and a major security hazard.
- Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Azeris were regarded as less well assimilated, under educated, backward, lazy and fixated with their pre-communist Turkic cultures and religions. It was noted by Slavic officers that did lead these people that they were less demanding and hardier people. Kazakhs were more reliable, trustworthy and assimilated in the bigger cities, so they were given greater status in the region and held higher ranks than the other Turkic and Central Asian people. Turkmen, Kergiz and Tajik were regarded as less reliable, un-assimilated and untrustworthy than the Kazakhs, Azeris and Uzbeks. Tadjiks and Uzbeks were also a bit more suspect during the Afghan war, since Afghanistan was mostly full of Tadjiks and Uzbeks, as well as the Tajiks' close cultural/ethno-lighustic relatives, the Patuns (Afghans).
- Karalian Finns were moderately suspect in the minds of Russians since Finland fought with the Germans in WW2.
- Tartars were considerably suspect in the minds of Russians since many of the Tartars fought with the Germans in WW2.
- Siberians** were considered to be badly under educated and less well assimilated than the Central Asians, so they were not regarded as very trustworth beyond in some cases there rather naive and child like love of communism/Russian Orthadoxy and thire traditional, pre-communist, fir trading links with the Siberian Russians. Some like the Chukchi and Koryak had repeatedly fought the Russians in the 18th Century and the latter occasionaly rebelled against Russia well in to 19th Century. The Yakuts, Evens and Tuvans, who had been passivised during the 17th and/or 18th centuries were regarded as more trustworthy, but still under educated and poorboy assimilated. Stalin's purges would devastate the Yakuts.
- The Moldovans, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were considered with some suspicion and possibly unreliable due to the fact they were annexed in 1939. None the less, they were prized in technical and certain other intellectual and lower level leadership roles due to there higher level of education and intrinsically greater intelligence. Romania was regarded as primitive, dictatorial (even by Soviet standards), untrustworthy and economically weak due to corruption.
- Armenians were regarded as unreliable crooks who get rich by subverting the Soviet legal system. Armenians had contributed heavily to the Soviet cause in WW2 and so got some leeway compared to the Georgians.
- Georgians were regarded as unreliable crooks who got rich by subverting the Soviet legal system. Georgians were disliked, as is thier culture of official bribery, known as 'Blat'. Ironically, Stalin was a Georgian!
- Chechens*** were openly discriminated against due to some of them fighting with the Germans in WW2. They were considered to be more poorly educated and less well assimilated than the other peoples of the Caucus Mountains.
- Many Jews did fight on the communist (Red) side in the Russia Civil War and WW2, but became more Zionist and as the Russians began to dwell on their historic hobby of rampant anti-Semitism. They were despised by the Russian for these reasons.
- The Volga Germans were virulently persecuted. They were never relay liked by any of the Slavic peoples and openly hated after joining the German's side in WW2!
- *-The term "Belorussian" predated the Belorussian SSR, but was brought to prominence by the anti-communist White Russians having one of there major strong holds out there (others were in Central Asia, Vladivostok, the Kuban and the Caucuses Mountains).
- **-Russians Vs Chukchi- 1701, 1708, 1709, 1711 and 1729. Cossacks Vs Koryaks ~1700-~1800. Russians Vs Yakuts and the Tungusic Tribes along the River Lena 1634 and 1642. Many nomadic Evens Willingly chose to settle down and joined the kolkhozes, but the rest were allegedly persecuted by Stalin in the 1930s.
- ***- When Operation Edelweiss was carried out by the German Wehrmacht, it targeted Baku because of its importance as the energy (petroleum) dynamo of the USSR. It never got any firther than a bulge around a zone from just north of Vladikavkas to Mount Erebus in the Caucasus Mountains. The lesser oil wells at Vladikavkas, Mykop and Grozny were also targeted in other campaigns.
Roles in the army
- 30% of ground forces were of non Slavic origins.
- The Strategic Missile Force was 90% Russian. Only Russians can do technical, political and security roles. Non-Russians get lesser roles as cooks, labourers and alike.
- Turkics were the heaviest minority in the infantry, construction and tank forces.
- 50% of construction troops were Central Asian (mostly rural and with at best a poor understanding of Russian) and 20% were from the Caucasus Mountains. The latter do minimal roles and got negligible training beyond learning to use a hand gun and picking up some Russian.
- The officer cadet schools and related education were aimed at and attended by mostly Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians, along with a few others from other the more educated groups: Moldovans, assimilated Poles, the Balts, Karelian Finns and Jews.
- West Ukrainians, Balts (the people of the Baltic States) and Jews were also a large part of construction and support forces. They were mostly urban, well educated, intelligent and spoke a degree of Russian, so could soon end up as NCOs or move on to more responsible post else were if they did particularly well.
- Ultimate power and ideological control lay with the Russians!
Long term health issues
- Barrack toilets were crap, so dysentery and hepatitis broke out in some of the less well developed regions. Uzbeks and Yakuts regarded this phenomena with disgust.
- Food was in short supply. Every one was hungry, but those from remoter regions were already used to it before singing up. Some times even cabbage and potatoes ran out!
- Glasses were only issued to those with very poor eye site since the army did not believe young males needed glasses and considered claims by any that needed them as a scam to evade duties.
- Slavic junior offices got enough pay to afford booze and were not as well disciplined as the senior officers of any ethnic group, so they got a reputation for being a bunch of drunks. Some non-Muslim privates also stole some vodka or made moonshine behind there officers' backs. The Mohammedan groups such as the Tatars and Uzbeks rarely drank and those who did kept it low.
- NBC suits were primitive and made users ill with heat exhaustion if worn for long periods.
- A rural Slavic Russian initiation ceremony began in the early 1980s and continues today in some places. It involves the unit's officer kicking cadets in their guts next to the spleen, which generally ruptures or bruises badly. The theory is that real men don't flinch or cry out in pain and those who do are considered useless and wimpish. Those who die before getting to sick bay are all the more scorned since they are theoretically so extremely whipish they deserved to die! Poles, the Baltic nationalities, Kalmyks, Jews, Tatars and Tuvans disliked it as primitive and barbaric.
Every one in the military had to learn the common and majority language: Russian. They either learnt it before joining or picked it up as they went along in the armed forces.
- Stifling bureaucracy, political rhetoric, race, language and rank dominated life.
- The various ethnic and linguistic groups tended to stick together out of kinship, ease of communication and for self defence if they come one of the more hated groups. Central Asians were the most likely to be bullied.
- A few officers had sleeping bags, but most troops actually regard sleeping rough on hey, branches, piled sand and so on as acceptable. Some even regard sleeping bags as effeminate and sissy.
- Alcohol was officially banned, but stolen vodka and moonshine still got in to the barracks at times.
- Stalin's purges
- Exercise Zapad-81
- Exercise Dnepr 1967
- Soviet Nomenklatura
- Soviet "Era of Stagnation"
- Andreev Bay nuclear accident
- American military racism, gay-bashing and sexism!
- "Inside the Soviet Army Today" by Steven J. Zaloga, ISBN 0-85045-741-6.
- "Tank War-Central Front" by Steven J. Zaloga, ISBN 0-85045-904-4.