HomeThe Integration of Russian and CIS Recruits in Contemporary Foreign Armies

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The Integration of Russian and CIS Recruits in Contemporary Foreign Armies

L'intégration des recrues de l'ex-URSS dans les armées étrangères contemporaines

Pipss.org Issue 11, call for contributors

Appel à contribution pour le n°11 de Pipss.org

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Published on Monday, February 08, 2010


Depuis de nombreuses années déjà, du fait de l’immigration, d’une plus grande liberté de circulation ou du développement du mercenariat, de nombreux individus originaires de Russie et de la CEI, civils ou militaires sont amenés à servir dans les armées de leur nouveau pays d’accueil. Ce numéro 11 de pipss.org se propose d’étudier les valeurs et les comportements des soviétiques, des russes ou des citoyens de la CEI dans les environnements différents que constituent les armées étrangères.


The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, # 11, December 2010

An electronic journal of social sciences

Call for PAPERS :

“The Integration of Russian and CIS Recruits in Contemporary Foreign Armies”
(Cross-cultural studies / diversity studies / immigration studies...)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, citizens of almost all the former USSR states have been able to travel freely within their home country and abroad. Although Putin has curtailed other basic freedoms in Russia, freedom of movement has not been challenged. Russians and other nationals of the former Soviet Union are now fully fledged members of the globalized world, one of whose fundamental characteristics is movement from one country to another. There has been a consequent wave of immigration out of the former Soviet Union.

One specific aspect of this phenomenon is what we might call “military immigration”. Indeed, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, etc.) and Central Asian soldiers have begun to populate “foreign armies”, a phenomenon often mentioned in newspapers and academic publications, but that has never been studied for itself.

In this 11th issue, we would like to examine the values and behaviors of Soviet, Russian and CIS citizens in the various environments of foreign armies.

This issue could raise questions such as: how important is the phenomenon of military immigration? Is it possible to characterize the behavior of these “immigration” soldiers in the host military organization?

How do these men and women, with their own past, civic culture, values and habitus, react in face of traditions, a relationship to the state and to the army, different from what they are accustomed to? Does the legacy of their past help them integrate into these armies?

Does the way young recruits were socialized in the Soviet and post-Soviet period affect their behavior in the host army? The Soviet period was marked by deep respect for the army and military traditions, whereas perestroika, characterized by the denunciation of violence in the armed forces, has generated distrust towards the military institution. Is the generation raised under perestroika more inclined to disobedience and insubordination? Are we witnessing a transposition of draft avoidance strategies and/or a higher rate of evasion (in practice in the country of origin) in the host country?

Is the experience of dedovshchina (violent hazing) in particular, but also of zemliachestvo (ethnic rivalries) conditioning their behavior in the host armies? Can we say that these phenomena are being transposed? Is it possible to speak of the import of the officers’ management method into the host armies?

What is the motivation behind becoming an immigrant soldier (financial - better career opportunities – ideological, etc.)? Do veteran soldiers from Afghanistan and Chechnya play a significant role in this phenomenon?

How do the hosting armies cope with these military immigrants? Are they obliged to implement changes in their philosophy and practice of training and education? to implement a new language policy? Have recruiting policies towards citizens from Russia and the CIS evolved with time?

Are the values and mentalities of Russian and CIS nationals more adaptable to certain types of forces rather than others? Are they thus predisposed to occupy particular functions?

Do foreign countries open their senior officer positions to men born in Russia or the CIS? Which army corps are most valued by these men? Which corps are reserved for them? Depending on what kind of experience (Afghanistan, Chechnya)?

Do immigrant soldiers feel patriotism/loyalty towards the country/organization they serve?

How does the Russian Federation cope with the phenomenon of “military drain”? Is it a source of concern?

In other words, the phenomenon of the “Russian” immigrant soldier might touch upon the fundamental scientific question of “nature versus nurture” - a specific issue related to the study of Russian immigration, and more generally, to globalization, and which could be a useful addition to the discussion of the management of diversity (in terms of values and behavior) in military organizations that has been so intensively studied in the context of postmodern military organizations.

This number 11 of pipps.org invites potential authors to reflect on the practice of military immigration of individuals originating in the former Soviet Union and their reception in their host military organization.

We deliberately keep the subject as broad as possible:

  • We consider as host military organization: private military companies, traditional (national) military organizations as well as informal mercenary practices.
  • We consider the following categories of military personnel: those who have no military experience in their home country (i.e. candidate conscripts), people who have had military experience in their home country (i.e. veterans of the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Angola and other Third World countries, people who have formerly served as officer or soldiers in their home country as well as reservists), as well fresh recruits who study in foreign military schools and choose to stay in that country.
  • We consider women as well as men an important subject of study.
  • Finally, we also consider ex-members of secret services working as analysts or advisors in their new homeland.

As possible host countries we suggest, among others: France (the French Foreign legion), Israel, Germany, Serbia, the United States, etc. 

Biographical studies as well as (general) country studies are welcomed in this issue of pipss.org

The following closely related topic is also welcomed in this issue:

  • Russian recruits in Central Asian and Baltic Armies

Convinced that there are other aspects worth studying in the context of this subject, we encourage potential contributors to contact the board of editors to suggest other topics.

Guidelines for article submission

The journal will be published in three languages (French, English and Russian with a 100-word abstract in English) thanks to which most authors will be able to write in their mother tongue. This will ensure greater precision in the articles and avoid a decrease in scientific quality. But we draw your attention to the fact that most pipss.org readers are essentially English speakers, therefore we do encourage articles in English in order to reach an audience as broad as possible. 

The articles submitted to pipss.org for publication should be original contributions and should not be under consideration for any other publication at the same time. Manuscripts should be attached as Microsoft Word format. References should be given in footnotes. (For more details about the guidelines for article submission please check http://www.pipss.org or contact the Editorial Board). There should be a cover page stating the author's background and affiliation, full address.  

If you wish to submit an article, please first contact the editorial board and send a 100-word abstract in English.

The deadline for article submission is July 15th, 2010, with publication in Autumn 2010.

Final decisions on publication will be made by the Editorial Board. 

Please send your contributions or inquiries to: 

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, Chief Editor, contact@pipss.org  

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, Joris Van Bladel (11th Issue Editors)


  • Thursday, July 15, 2010


  • Russie, CEI, service militaire, immigration, intégration,


  • Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] kozlowski [at] ehess [dot] fr

Information source

  • Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] kozlowski [at] ehess [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Integration of Russian and CIS Recruits in Contemporary Foreign Armies », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, February 08, 2010, https://calenda.org/200184

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