The Russian Defense Policy blog has an interesting look at the wages for Russian soldiers, and it does not look great. Corrected for inflation, the wages for Russian soldiers have dropped significantly over the last decade.
With RF inflation at roughly 8 percent this year, overall prices for essentials paid by Russian servicemen are now 90 percent greater than what they were in 2012.
This is a significant problem for Russia’s military leadership. It is in stark contrast to the official statements by president Putin and defense minister Shoigu about how they prioritize the wellbeing of their servicemen and military families. According to them, soldiers receive regular wage increases that ensure above average living standards. Russian Defense Blog does a great job of exposing the hypocrisy of these statements.
This is a worrying development for the Russian military. They can’t continue reducing the real wages of soldiers without serious consequences for their ability to recruit and keep personnel in the armed forces. So at some point the inflation will force them to make tough decisions about prioritizing salaries to soldiers at the expense of equipment or operational activities.