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Sergei Shoigu told how he saved the Russian army
Material posted: Publication date: 22-09-2019
"This is the first detailed interview, which I give for seven years!" — said to me by the Minister of defence of the Russian Federation, Hero of Russia, General of the army Sergei Shoigu before the beginning of our almost two-hour conversation. Once again happy because of how much I'm lucky I at the same time not surprised that the break in communication between the Minister and representatives of the fourth power so long.

We all remember what an emotional background in the fall of 2012, Sergei Shoigu has been appointed head of the Russian defense Ministry. And we all know what a long, difficult and thorny path our Armed forces have been for this tiny from the point of view of the history of the period. Today, the army is no longer the "sick man" of Russian society and not the subject of scathing ridicule of foreigners. Today the Russian army has regained respect on the part of friends, and potential and real enemies.

As repeatedly stressed Sergey Shoigu, without the support and personal involvement of Vladimir Putin he wouldn't have been able to achieve in terms of creating in Russia a modern army. But, as is well known to all specialists in public administration, just to get the support of the President — is not enough. This support should still be able to properly dispose of. How, exactly, Sergei Shoigu, did it? And what will happen to our Armed forces and our country ahead? All this and very many other Russian defense Minister said in an exclusive interview with "MK".

— Sergey Kuzhugetovich, I belong to the part of Russian citizens who live under the motto of "just war." And afraid if the war the Minister of defence of Russia?

— Of course, war is a terrible thing. I say so because they know very well what it is. First encountered war in 1992, when it was commissioned to create a peacekeeping force to South Ossetia. And we did it. The Georgian-Ossetian conflict was the first war on the territory of the former Soviet Union, which was successfully stopped. Then there was Abkhazia, Transnistria... There also managed to move the parties to stop hostilities and take out a huge number of our compatriots. But there was almost a full-scale war.

In 1992, Abkhazia.

It is necessary to add Bosnia and Herzegovina, other conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the war in Afghanistan. Having the opportunity to see it all from the inside for many years, I am convinced that the country's security depends first and foremost on how strong its army is and how she is able to defend his country. But the confidence of the citizens in his army.

Of course, I'm the same as you, a supporter of no war. But don't get it, our army must be very strong, well armed and equipped and, most importantly, ready to defend their Homeland.

As far as I remember, it was considered that our army is a state institution, which is the most profound, systematic, one might say, even a hopeless crisis. And then suddenly at some point in the public mind something clicked and everything changed like magic. How can you explain this?

— The revival of the army was not immediate. It all started with the awareness of its deplorable state in 1999, after the invasion of gangs Basayev and Khattab in the Tsumada and Botlikh districts of Dagestan. And then the Chairman of the government Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, with limited at that time we began to take fundamental decisions for the reform of our Armed forces. Next was the event of 2008 — the treacherous attack of Georgian troops on South Ossetia, the death under fire of Georgian "Grad" our peacekeepers and the response of the group of Russian troops to force Georgia to peace. In the future, according to the analysis of this operation were adopted system solutions in the field of military construction. First of all, on the formation and financing of new state armament programme.

The construction and training of the Armed forces, equipped with modern weapons and the development of the military-industrial complex in permanent control of our President. Starting in 2013, no matter how saturated the schedule, the President hears the fall and spring in Sochi the senior members of the Armed forces, representatives of the defence industry and the relevant leaders in the Russian Government on all aspects of military construction and military security of the country.

So no magic was not. Was large and not very large, noticeable and not very noticeable steps in the comprehensive transformation of the army. Our key task was to synchronize all aspects of the construction and preparation of forces, including training and supply of modern weapons. Analyzed current and future threats and the capabilities of the army to protect them from our country. Dealt with the state of the troops until every military unit. And the result of this complex work was the development of a number of policy documents, including the plan of defense.

Then the work began with the seemingly obvious questions that I asked the commanders.

These questions were simple and clear: why a fighter needs to go to the bath and wash once a week? Why should he change the sheets only once a week, spending all his time from morning till night on the range? Why soldier's tea room should definitely be on the other end of the military units and to drink tea, the soldier must pass through the ground, risking to get a few outfits out of turn? Why wash footcloths and povorotniki or underwear men have the hand washing facilities? Is it not possible at all barracks to put washing machine? And why in the third Millennium — foot-cloths?

Of course, the meaning of the reform of the army was not only to improving the lives of men. Our actions were also strict military necessity dictated a reduction in the term of service for conscripts to one year. If the service lasts only one year, the school needs to be more intense. So, it is necessary to rid the fighters from performing irrelevant tasks. They must cease from morning till night to shovel the snow or pick up leaves. In paragraphs permanent deployment needs to stop going to the orders to the kitchen or to do washing toilets antediluvian means. Realizing all this, we went to the year set in the barracks, about 35 thousand showers, 16 thousand washing machines and 21 thousand vacuum cleaners. Bought the most modern equipment for wet cleaning, and organized the food in the buffet. Developed, ordered the production of domestic enterprises and issued to all military personnel convenient and high-quality field and everyday uniforms of modern materials. The existence of such equipment, where before was always just a MOP and a bucket, now accepted as quite normal and an everyday thing. And so gradually, gradually in all directions.

During the interview: from political observer of the "MK" Mikhail Rostov.

And the key was the return of our army actual combat effectiveness?

— Everything is done for the sake of it. First of all, we have achieved the necessary level of intensity of training units. Today, all the polygons are loaded by more than 80 percent. This entailed the need to modify the standard costs of ammunition, which at that time was significantly less than in the West. That meant obessmyslit the whole process of military training. Having thoroughly studied the experience of the Soviet Army, the standards of Western armies, we have increased the standards of consumption of ammunition for combat training 5 times. And the result you see.

Soon on the agenda came the question: how can we objectively assess the real impact of our response? We in the leadership of the Ministry of defence came to the same conclusion: it is necessary to pursue a sudden check of combat readiness. Reported our proposal to the Supreme commander and received the support check really became a sudden from battalion to army and military district. About their training knew three people: me, the chief of the General staff and the one who planned the surprise inspection. We immediately agreed: we need to stop, roughly speaking, to lie. Distorted information was shared beach. Much was hidden or distorted.

Previously, all training was conducted only on the technique of combat training group, i.e. tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, which came to be known as the "our father". Went to familiar ground, knew what the risk to put the sight to hit a target which is literally a "neighbor garden". Simply put, all you could do with your eyes closed. And in fact, while formally good performance, shot from regular military equipment doesn't matter.

Now guess what happened when we held the first unannounced audit, raised tens of thousands of people across the country and threw them together with the standard technique at very large distances on unfamiliar grounds? During the check the unit out on unfamiliar grounds, not on educational, but on a regular technique. None of them — again, not a single (!) — not complied with the standards for "satisfactory". About how we get out of this pit, I could talk for a long time. But in order to save time, you'll stop and say just the main thing.

Incredible efforts the country's leadership and the leadership of the Ministry of defense, we have ensured that our army has become what it is today — army readiness. We now have all the units — the units of permanent readiness.

In parallel with the transformation of the army by decision of the President is executed and the program of modernization of the military-industrial complex for re-equipment of troops with modern equipment and weapons. And today, I have no doubt that the level of equipment of troops with modern weapons by 2020, we will bring up to 70 percent, increasing it from 2012, almost 4 times. Certainly, implementation of such an ambitious program had to produce and most modern systems of control of its performance from the machine in the enterprise or the amount in the Bank account as part of defense procurement to specific units of weapons supplied to the military unit. This is because hundreds of thousands of positions for continuous monitoring and, if necessary, operational measures. In particular, and to solve them in the shortest possible time created a national control center of defense of the country, which the clock controls using high-tech automated system for the implementation of the state defense order, military and supporting tasks.

A lot of the prestige of the Russian Armed forces added turning the course of the civil war in Syria, the activities of our HQs. But is it possible based on this single episode with a large but still limited number of participants from our side to judge the General situation in our army?

Those who think in Syria we fought with a bunch of fanatical and primitive fighters, very wrong. We fought with thousands of the largest terrorist organization, or rather — system. I recall that she had the support of stakeholders in regional instability in individual countries. The terrorists were armed with hundreds of tanks, rocket systems of volley fire, armored vehicles and hundreds of thousands of tons of ammunition, which in previous years was captured by the armies of Iraq and Syria, there were hundreds of trained jihadists on death row. Was the most modern equipment, including communications equipment and equipment for exploration. They had debugged the international system of evacuating the wounded and working mechanism of tax collection in the occupied territories, worked its black market trade in artifacts.

A very significant role in ensuring the activities of the terrorists played the profits from illegal oil sales. Before the connection of the Russian Federation to the fight against international terrorism in Syria in Seurata ISIS, under the noses of the international coalition, was mined more than 100 thousand barrels of oil per day. And the implementation of this raw material brought to the terrorists daily income of more than $ 5 million.

In 2017, Hamim at the airbase in Syria. Far right — the President of the country Bashar al-Assad.

In Syria we had to learn to fight in new ways. And we learned that. If we talk about fighter, army, assault, long-range and transport aviation, through the fighting in Syria, it took almost 90% of all flight personnel. We have those who have 150-200 sorties — and this is in addition to all of those involved in the provision of their flights on the ground. There was a time when the rate of delivery of goods to Syria have reached two thousand tons per day. And a fleet of transport aircraft, is the work of our support bases, ports, is the redeployment, reception and maintenance. This involvement of representatives of our industry and science: it got to the point that Syria worked with representatives of more than 70 companies, engineers, designers, ustranyatsya disadvantages of the equipment on site.

The results of this work, the President gave direct orders for revision or improvement of certain characteristics of some weapons. So it was with our cruise missiles "Caliber" weapons, long-range aircraft and submarines.

You might have noticed that in the entire history of the aircraft carrier fleet of the Soviet Union and Russia it was first used in combat. If we talk about the use of precision-guided weapons, for example, used to download flight task in cruise missile "Calibre" required so much time that the goal could have gone. And today the boot time of the flight task in the "Caliber" decreased stress, multiple. And this work is to reduce the time for transferring parameters is ongoing.

We passed through Syria, commanders of regiments, brigades, divisions, commanders of armies, commanders of military districts, the heads of Central bodies of military management of the defense Ministry, as well as faculty in almost all higher military educational institutions. At the end of hostilities in Syria, we, of course, has been the debriefing, and not one, not ten. I can tell you that about 300 types of weapons were modified in the light of the Syrian experience, and 12 samples that were considered promising, we just removed from production and from service.

— How likely do you think Russia's participation in any full-scale armed conflict in the near future? And on what strategic directions of Russia, in your opinion, threatens the greatest danger in the near future?

— The question you asked, uneasy. Maybe he's not for this interview, as ours. But still I will try to answer it. I hope that a full-scale war today is not an issue. And all the risks and consequences that entails in a full-scale war, is obvious to everyone. About the third world war there is a very large number of different statements. The most accurate and appropriate of them seems to me is: "I don't know what will be a third world war. But I do know that it will last." However, if we talk about the number of threats to our country, then they are not getting smaller. The US has already reached two important agreements in the field of nuclear arms control. Still the start-3 Treaty, which the United States is also of debate: to renew or not to renew? The result of this approach, the world is becoming more unpredictable and less safe. If the current level of Informatization and automation of high probability of error in the weapon control system. That is why in recent time in the fore issues of information security. When you realize your vulnerability and is interested in preserving the balance of the universal and equal security, it makes you turn your head. And when you feel like it by inertia continue to consider in the United States that the balance of power has gone your way, the head can come a variety of ideas, including not the most reasonable. In this situation, I now see the main threat not only for Russia.

— In Kiev, you can occasionally listen to threats "triumphant entry to Moscow on tank armor." Is there a danger of a direct military confrontation between the armies of Russia and Ukraine?

— To even think about it don't want to. I really hope that the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government have the will, strength and the ability to cool those hot heads who are calling for such nonsense, and crazy plot. Once extremists in Ukraine will still have to stop. It is a pity that this has not been done before.

But back to your question. Ukrainians are a fraternal people. My relatives on mother's side — from the Ukraine. There is buried my grandfather. In the Great Patriotic mother lived there through the occupation. From the Ukraine, my mother's brothers went to the front. And, by the way, I was baptized at the age of 5 in one of the temples of the city of Stakhanov of the Luhansk region. And I am absolutely convinced that the Ukrainian people, we will live in peace and good neighborliness. The time for this, I am sure, will come.

Is it possible to complete the transformation of our Armed forces? Or the concept of "military reform" is still relevant for our country?

— The concept of "military reform" should be relevant for Russia always. The world around us is constantly changing. We have to be very sensitive to capture these changes and to change themselves. What will happen if we will not do this, you can see the example of our recent history.

In the beginning of our conversation you rightly noted that until recently the Russian army was in a state of decline. Why did this happen? There are immediate causes, which everyone knows. The deep crisis of the whole society and the state in the 80-90-ies of the last century. Hasty withdrawal of troops and equipment from Eastern Europe are absolutely unprepared areas. The lack of housing. Mental suffering and humiliation of those, who all his life was preparing to defend the country and suddenly faced with a complete collapse of their plans and prospects, with his uselessness and lack of protection from the state.

But it had other, more profound reasons. We just do not understand and really could not understand the gist of what was happening around us. Allow yourself even more to focus his thoughts. If the West continued to behave the way he has acted during the time of Gorbachev, — would fulfill their promises, would not expand NATO to our borders closer and closer, did not enhance its influence in our near abroad, would not climb in the internal Affairs of our country, I think they eventually managed it all. They would have been able to solve the task which they set before them, — the problem of the destruction and enslavement of our country. As it is actually made with the "young Europeans", and former Soviet republics.

— That is, from your point of view, we are fortunate that the West just in time revealed their true, not vegetarian intentions?

— We were lucky that we managed to stop in time. Began the process of returning to common sense, as I said, in 1999. From this point, we hard, hard on the teeth, but still have that peace today has ceased to be unipolar. And this, of course, is not like the West, which makes every effort to regain the monopoly on influence in the world. Someone believes that an open large-scale opposition in the West to Russia began only five years ago — from Ukraine and Crimea. But this is a mistake. We can recommend details to remember just what happened in the 90s, in 2008, and 2013. What kind of nonsense is not just said or wrote about us in a period when we were preparing for the Olympic games in Sochi! And this was a manifestation not only of the information war.

Don't want to get in particular. But the meaning of what is happening, from my point of view is this: the West has long-established patterns and algorithms to overthrow any inconvenient legal authority in any country. Of course, all this is done under the slogan of promoting democracy. Well, in what country, where they "came with democracy," this democracy has taken root in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya? Or in the former Yugoslavia that they have their "democratic" bombing in 1999 forced split into 6 countries. And about the sovereignty and independence after any American intervention can be easy to forget. And surprised one is that in Libya most of the oil belongs to the us or controlled by US companies? Our Western colleagues love to accuse Russia of waging some sort of "hybrid wars". But I have to say that the real hybrid war is just the West itself. Now, for example, leaving Afghanistan in a dilapidated condition, the Americans carefully throwing a fuss in Venezuela — also, of course, for the sake of "democracy"!

— The us military budget is greater than Russia tenfold. Can Russia, in principle, in such circumstances, to effectively confront America?

— This question has already been thoroughly and convincingly answered our commander in chief. Not just maybe — Russia has quite effectively opposed to America. Opposed thanks to our science, our industry, our new developments. And besides, we're not trying to compete with them on all fronts. If you put the US military budget is on the shelves, you will understand: the huge costs they go on all sorts of bases scattered around the world. Such bases America 170. Only U.S. costs for the same operation in Afghanistan is almost equal to our annual defence budget. Huge money spent on U.S. private military company, on aircraft carrier groups. But does Russia need their five or ten carrier battle groups, if we are not going to attack anyone? We need funds that can potentially be used against such carrier battle groups of the enemy in case of aggression on our country. And it is incomparably cheaper and more efficient!

I have cited only a few isolated facts. But even from them it is clear that we do not need to compare our defence budget with an American. The size of the defense budget, we generally only in seventh place in the world. Ahead of us on this indicator and Saudi Arabia, and, incidentally, Japan. The important thing is that we are quite effective in our military spending that is spent and are under the close supervision of our Supreme commander.

— Your former colleague in government and current head of the accounts chamber Alexey Kudrin regularly performs with the thesis that the current level of defense spending and spending on the defence industry is a very heavy burden for the Russian economy. What do you think?

— In Soviet period there was such a piece of Mikhail Zhvanetsky. Literally I did not remember. But the point was that the sausages we have a few and we are many. Pants a little, and ourselves much. Soap we have few and we are many. Conclusion: us should be less. Moaning on the subject that we have a bloated defense budget, built, I believe, on a very similar logic. We must not be afraid of large expenses and small income, and that is what we have to work our economists. Some time ago it was very fashionable to speak on the topic, that our agriculture is "black hole" that absorbs all invested money in it, but has no retroactive effect. Now about this "black hole" for some reason, say no more. Now all are proud that we have big crops that we feed ourselves. But there would be a similar situation, if earlier agriculture is not represented a significant investment?

Back to the army. Our Armed forces have already been cut almost in half. We are invited to be guided by some vague criteria — a lot, a lot of unreasonable too much. But I do not know these units of measurement! But I have something to remember about the morale of the army, which was in 2012, but not in the hungry 90s. Then against the Minister of defence was filed by the officers of the 124 thousands of lawsuits. And this despite the fact that all officers have at the time was 157 thousand. 80% of these lawsuits were related to a delay in the monetary allowance for a period of three to five days or more. You have it fit in the head?

Of course, the saving of public funds must constantly deal with. When, soon after his appointment as Minister, we started to come to grips with our housing and communal services, understand that there is no accounting. Once set 120 thousand meters, the cost of housing has fallen significantly. Why no intelligent economist, marketer or financier does not tell us this before: in the army, no meters. The army, which means that the state at the expense of this was just ripped off.

2019, the Victory Parade.

Examples of saving public funds, I can give you a lot more, starting with the seemingly elementary. Why the soldier, who serves one year, sew parade output form, and it's a wool tunic, trousers, peaked cap, a set of shirts and shoes if he's gonna wear them at the same time? We got rid of the sewing of these kits to provide over half a million soldiers every year.

Therefore, I propose to discuss not flimsy the General thesis and the specific and pressing issues and Affairs. Just to say "defense spending is excessive" — to follow a long-past fashion. It's like in today's conditions of life to wear cripplingly jacket, which is considered the latest craze in 1972. And in General, as classic said, "let's argue on taste of oysters with those who ate them".

— Specific and down-to-earth question: do any of Russia, the abolition of compulsory military service?

In principle this is possible. But I do not think this solution is correct. I am absolutely convinced that a certain number of soldiers we should be anyway. In any sovereign state in addition to the existing military professionals must be available and the mobilization reserve of the citizens. Due to such a reserve in case of threat of the outbreak of war can be fast enough to reinforce our Armed forces. For the formation of such a reserve can be arranged military training of the male population.

Besides people have a sense of belonging to their country. And if the army will be perceived only as one of the ways to earn good money, this moral core they will not be exact.

Active military service, or conscription, is one of the most effective forms of military training of citizens, development of their military specialty in the army right. Nothing unusual and all the more terrible there. So it was throughout history, not only in Russia. In Israel, serve all boys and all girls! And this one is not perturbed. Another thing is that the Russian army will continue inevitably to professionalservices. We have today number of professionals among the enlisted men exceeds the number of those who came to serve the call.

In the future, the balance will further change in the direction of professionals. Proceed not from some abstract ideological principles, but from the very pragmatic considerations. There is a technique to service which can only be a specialist, whose training takes from eight to eighteen months. So the specialist just can't be recruit. We can't it eight months to prepare for the fact that he has served only four months!

And eliminated if in the army the problem of bullying?

— In the army now simply there is no ground for bullying. There are, of course, cases of domestic and barracks hooliganism. If you have a large desire these cases, you can raise a shield and wearing all the stage and rallies the markets. They say, look, one of the soldiers struck the other! But these situations are much more numerous among the civilians in any city. The main thing is that our vast army of crime on the right, again — an order of magnitude less than in any city with one million residents. And this dry statistics.

If you managed to overcome the collapse in the system of military education?

— Pleased that we were able to do with the system of military education, not only higher, but also pre-University. The second of September opened a new educational institution: Kemerovo presidential cadet school (we built it in just six months) and boarding in Saint-Petersburg. The new school will open next year in Kaliningrad, thus completing the execution of the order of the President on the establishment of each branch of the fleet Nakhimov naval College. We built a brand new Academy of the strategic Missile forces. This is one of the most modern educational institutions. Completed the reconstruction of Saint-Petersburg Military medical Academy and the establishment in its structure an ultra-modern multi-disciplinary clinic with the Department of cybernetic medicine for training specialists in the field of telemedicine. Now proceed to the creation of modern educational and scientific center of the Navy.

Almost completely changed the appearance and the training base at Ryazan higher airborne school. As a result of all of this and more we have reached our required level of a set of officers in our schools. And this year was the first full-fledged army needs the release of our academies and higher military schools. Let me remind you that everything is strictly synchronized with the supply troops in modern military equipment, and other weapons and establish a military and social infrastructure.

— Last year was created by the General political and military control. What caused this apparent return to the practice of the Soviet Glavpura?

— Soviet Of and the current military-political management is "two big differences". The establishment of a new management became apparent when we saw how aggressively the West climbs into the Affairs of the army — the climb absolutely arrogant and shameless. The army is the army. If you immerse yourself in the history, the collapse of many States began with the collapse of the army. We have special forces units that conducted special operations. In these operations, sometimes guys get injured and killed, as well as in other departments. And now imagine that some people on orders from abroad are beginning to climb in their family to go to the cemetery. Attempts to penetrate our networks every day amount to several hundreds. In the same way in the information space of our country and the world are thrown fake news about our Ministry and the Armed forces. We supposedly attacked the hospital, we are supposedly preparing to capture a particular country. We have dozens of coffins arrived somewhere, then we have someone from his superiors, the leadership of the Ministry of defense something they created. All this psychological pressure on soldiers. We have already talked about the hybrid war. This is one of the tools of hybrid wars, one used against us weapons. For example, in Tallinn, it was created the centre of excellence NATO in the field of computer security, in Riga the center for strategic communication NATO.

The meaning of such actions is to try to create in the army, sentiments such as those that existed, say, in the army in 1916. It requires a very vigorous reaction. And to provide this resistance, and established the office, which you dubbed "the new Glavprom". I want to assure you: unlike its Soviet predecessor "a new Of" will not go into the personal files of servicemen, which is not necessary to climb. Instead, he is establishing normal life in the garrisons. Cultural and creative life, the relationship between officers and soldiers, young people's attitudes to the army — all this is within the competence of the new office. For example, we began to create parks "Patriot". Seemingly simple thing, but very effective. Three years ago we started to create Warmia, and today it has more than 500 thousand boys and girls. This year we decided to create a youth Patriotic camp — summer activities and sports. Thousand six hundred sixty of such camps appeared in this year. It is also the responsibility of the "new Glavpura".

— Let's return to high politics. In recent years, Russia and America can not establish a dialogue at the highest political level. And how easy it is to find a common language for professional military of the two countries?

— Where required — for example, in Syria, every day we are in contact. And we clearly understand each other and do not cross that line that we agreed not to cross. In Syria, we are in constant contact not only with the US military, but also with the military of Turkey and Israel. And here everything is debugged. With the us military we also have contacts at the level of the General staff. Also, these contacts, in General, is quite constructive. I really hope that we USA will contact a higher level. Of course, we have to consider the occurring change of defense Ministers from the United States and its allies. When creating a close working relationship, it causes certain difficulties.

In 2015, the Turkish military shot down our bomber. Today, we provide Turkey with our most advanced weapons systems. I understand that public interests are constantly changing and do not tolerate sentimentality. But not turn in the future our cooperation with Turkey against us?

— I consider, that you are for the most part replied to your question: nothing stands still. To say you will add only the old folk wisdom: we cannot choose our neighbours. You can choose a wife and friends, but not neighbors. With neighbors it is better to live in peace and harmony and somehow work together to ensure the safety of the overall space. In today's terms, Russia and Turkey have common interests and common threats in the form of hordes of terrorists. With these common threats, as practice shows, it is better to fight together.

— This autumn will be seven years since your appointment to the post of defense Minister. Do you remember your first thoughts and emotions after the President offered you the job?

Of course I do. By this time I was working on a post of the Governor of the Moscow region. Tuned in to a job that would allow me to create, implement, finally, the projects that were in my head, including the line of the Russian geographical society. Frankly, the President's proposal to take the post of Minister of defense was very unexpected for me. And I felt a huge burden of responsibility. I understand that the President has given me great confidence, which I try to justify it.

— I know you don't like to criticize his predecessor Anatoly Serdyukov. But as you can appreciate the baggage that you have inherited a legacy? Whether this baggage is mostly positive or mostly negative?

You are right that I never engaged, not engaged and will not engage in critical public assessment of their current and former colleagues and predecessors. Stick to this rule because like no other you know how difficult and complex work. Of course, this work can be mistakes and miscalculations. They certainly have with us. The only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing, that in itself is a big mistake.

— You are simply the major survivor of the Russian government. You are a Minister, who for many years has maintained an amazing level of popularity in society. As such, "the phenomenon of Shoigu" explained Shoigu himself?

— I think that would be wrong and totally weird if I start to talk about the "phenomenon". I can tell you one thing: wherever, have always sought to operate with maximum efficiency and achieve results. Maybe it is because I was raised my parents, or my first construction work that requires the specific result of the commissioning of the enterprise. I'm more worried about how I and effective. Much more important to talk about the popularity of the Armed forces. To achieve this goal, make great efforts, tens of thousands of my colleagues, whom I am very grateful for it. We have established a decent corps commanders of branches of Armed forces, commanders of military districts and the armed forces. Together we have very many turns.


In the current period of political deterioration particularly popular bright, loud, but not necessarily supported by any real facts "revelations" of various political figures. It touched you... How do you feel about that?

— As for my personal relationship to the spread of false rumors — you can often hear: apply to the court. But the current situation is absurd — someone you screwed up and you have to go to court and then for months, to the delight of the customers, to analyze this lie in public, but still needs to prove that he fouled you on purpose. If you draw a dollar on toilet paper, you will have no doubt that he's not real. And certainly you will not go to court to prove that it is fake! So why the blatant lie in the newspaper must be submitted to the court? There is something to do without it. Their cases, flaws and exploits enough! Strangers, and especially invented — do not!

I've never been a supporter of the discussion of rumors, gossip, and slander. But his attitude to these slanders I'll tell you. It's pretty simple, but may seem somewhat unexpected. It reminds me the repetition of the campaign of mass denunciations in 1937. Why, then, wrote denunciations? Someone wanted to take the place of the one to whom he wrote. Someone pursuing a different goal. Same thing today: we have a lot of public denunciations from internal and external customers.

Say that you have a lot of state awards. If not secret, then how many? And do I understand correctly that a few days ago, was 20 years old, how did you get the Star of the Hero?

— Many or few awards I've earned — it's not for me to judge. In General, we have not accepted to discuss such things. If I say that the awards I have enough, then everyone will say: what a squirt! If I say that a lot, people will say: look at him, he brags! I have no awards "birthday". They are all very dear to me and honor. Particularly proud of the order, which is now gone, "For personal courage". Proud star of the Hero, which is really 20 years.

Many of my subordinates in the Ministry of defence more awards than I have. And this state of Affairs, I consider it absolutely correct. Timely and fair assessment of the work of subordinates is my duty. But if you are interested in, then during the work of the defence Minister I have received two state awards and are proud of them.

— What does your family — wife and daughter?

— I don't like to let anyone in my personal life. And, with all due respect to you, you I'm going to not let you. Let me just say that my family members live quite a normal, decent life, doing the thing they love. Of course, it has never been easy. Imagine that for my life one of my daughter changed six schools in different cities and the other four schools. To say that they had a sweet life with the father, is not necessary. Very proud of my daughters.

— Is it true that you entered in the Ministry of defence "prohibition"?

It's difficult to do in any Ministry. In my experience, there were certainly several cases of the introduction of "dry law". Such cases were in Neftegorsk on Sakhalin island, in the Lena, when it was necessary to perform the assigned task by the President for the construction of housing for victims in the flood more than 40 thousand people in 100 days...

As for the Ministry of defence, I do not drink myself at all. But the defense establishment is a structure, in which taking the example of the leader. Gradually we got it all applies to all links.

— You play hockey and is rumored to not hold back emotions. What do you do in cases when you attack the President or someone from the "Olympic"?

— Neither the President nor anyone from the "Olympic" do not attack me, because we're playing on the same team. As for the members of the opposing team, that is, of course, is another matter. Hockey is hockey, a game is a game. But those with whom we play, it's the people who understand that hockey is not our main job and not our main occupation. Our heads — working tool. It is not "paired organs", they should be protected. Naturally, we will never become professional hockey players. But we like to play hockey, we basically like to play sports. For us the game of hockey is first and foremost a collective communication, it's a locker room, it talks, communication to soccer, to hockey, this discussion of sports news. When the NHL holiday, then we usually play Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk... the Game play is reminiscent of the joke: "How to get to Deribassovskaya?" — "Go straight, and she crosses you..." and here: rip in peace ice-skating, and the puck itself will arrive to you.

2016, the three forwards: Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Shoigu, Alexander Ovechkin.

Playing with legends is, of course, amazing! What range of emotions you experience when you sit on a bench with Alexander Sergeyevich Yakushev. To see him play, say, in the series in 1972, I walked passed several kilometers and the owner of the TV dug-per-view match a few sacks of potatoes on his plot. Now Alexander over 70, but he still goes on the ice, and he's handsome.

And if you have time to chat with old friends? And if so, who are they?

— Of course, I talk with old friends. Not as often as I would like, but we communicate. However, someone is no longer alive. It so happened that I was at a fairly young age, I was in charge of the construction. And my friends and teachers, then, as a rule, were older people. I cherish the relationships and memories of working together. And when I come to the edge, be sure to meet with them.

1987. The Company "Abakanvagonmash". Sergei Shoigu, the Chairman of Gosstroy of the USSR Yury Batalin, the Minister of heavy and transport machine building of the USSR Sergey Afanasiev.

It will soon be 30 years since I became a member of the Russian Government. I appreciate the relationship with Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin and Yevgeny Primakov. Believed to their their older colleagues and in many respects teachers. Of course, I have during that time made many friends. Sergei Lavrov we often rest together, play sports together and discussed all our Affairs. He, incidentally, is always a source and a wonderful storyteller the latest jokes.

Over the years of my work in the Ministry of defence we have formed a great team of my deputies, where each in his area of responsibility is a real professional and a reliable friend. The special relationship of trust we have with Valery Gerasimov. A very wise man and my friend.

Without friends it is impossible. Friends are supposed to be. My close friends — Yuri Vorobyov Ruslan Tsalikov, which I really appreciate. Jura now — Deputy Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko in the Federation Council with which I am also friends for many years.

— What is the biggest dream of the Minister of defence of Russia?

— Go back to Siberia. This is my main dream. And I am convinced that it will be implemented. I want to go back in the days of my youth. I have great nostalgia for the Soviet Union — not some slogan-separate things, and in that mood, that spirit which then reigned in those days, especially in those places. When in Bratsk people stood for hours in the cold, under the open sky to listen to the verses of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a poem "Brotherly hydroelectric power station". He tore off a voice, where microphones were not, and women wiped tears... "the proud spirit of citizenship". Very often think about it, very often improve your spirits memories of those times.

In our present life, fortunately, again there is a place for realization of such big projects, what was once Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Krasnoyarsk and Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant, the Baikal-Amur mainline, large complexes in the Irkutsk region, Bratsk hydroelectric power station. Without the implementation of such projects is difficult to instill in young people a sense of creation. Remember how sincerely people went on these settings!

I really want to go back to Siberia and to build there one or two more cities! And I believe that my dream will come true!

Talked Mikhail Rostov


RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security