Seven Russian Organizations Receive Grants to Retrain Reserve Officers


December 14, 1999

Moscow, Russia--The Eurasia Foundation and the Open Society Institute awarded recently $220,480 to seven Russian organizations to retrain discharged military personnel for civilian positions. According to Vadim Kalinichev, director of the Partner Foundation, "over 500,000 officers have been demobilized in Russia since 1993. In 1998 alone, 2,000 more were discharged. We anticipate that in the future, more than 400,000 career officers will lose their jobs, bringing the total to over 1,000,000. The majority of these officers has advanced degrees and possesses valuable organizational and technical skills. They have strong management skills and are capable of making an important contribution to the process of reform in the Russian economy."

The projects, located in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, St Petersburg, and Kaliningrad, will develop programs to help former military personnel and their families adapt to civilian life. Five projects will focus on developing entrepreneurial skills among reserve officers and their families. The Regional Center for the Social Adaptation of Military Personnel, located in the city of Odintsovo, Moscow oblast, is one example. The center will train managers for small enterprises and develop new business ventures, which will be financed through newly established officers' credit union. The center will assist its clients to develop sound marketing strategies, and will provide on-going consultations on management issues.

Two other projects will focus on the development of civilian institutions in former military-base cities which were closed down after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In four cities, emphasis will be placed on developing local self-government agencies, creating systems for transferring property to civilian control, and other activities aimed at stimulating development.

At a conference planned to review results and implications of the overall program, a model program will be presented. Program results will be distributed by the Partner Foundation and the Partner-INFO center, and program participants will take part in workshops, roundtables, and internships conducted by organizations already working successfully in this field. Finally, an independent evaluation of the full program will be conducted at the end of the year to assess its effectiveness.

Additional information is available on the web sites of the Eurasia Foundation Moscow Regional Office ( and of the Partner Foundation (

About The Open Society Insitute (OSI)

OSI-Russia was established in 1987 to promote the development of a more open society in Russia. To that end, the foundation supports a variety of programs in the areas of telecommunications (Internet), science, art and culture, media, education, social, legal, human rights and health care reforms. Since 1987 OSI expenditures in Russia have totaled approximately $600 million.

About the Partner Foundation

The Partner Foundation was created by OSI-Russia and the PSAM Program (Social adaptation of discharged and retired military servicemen) to act as implementer of their joint program. In 1998, under the auspices of PSAM, five centers began working in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Smolensk, N. Novgorod, and Astrakhan regions. With support from the OSI Strategic Committee, in 1999 PSAM staff registered the PSAM program as an independent organization and called it the Partner Foundation.

About the Eurasia Foundation

The Eurasia Foundation was created by the US government in 1993 and is funded by USAID and other public and private donors. The Foundation is an independently managed grant and loan making organization headquartered in Washington, DC, with field offices in 12 of the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union. With an open-door policy designed to encourage initiative at the grass roots, the Foundation's field offices respond to local funding needs by providing financial support for economic development and civic reform, and helping the NIS build strong, market-driven economies within a solid democratic framework.

Examples of Russian Military Officers Training Programs Project List

Volodarsk Center for the Social Support of Military Servicemen (Nizhny Novgorod)

Support for business development and job creation in this isolated military base town through strengthening the institutional capacity of the local business incubator. Eighty former military servicemen will receive specialized business training. Five new businesses will be created within the business incubator and staffed by up to 60 of the newly trained officers. Twenty former officers will be placed with other businesses with the help of the incubator's improved job placement service.

Project Director: Vladimir Karasev
Tel: (8312) 37-55-13

Credit Consumer Cooperative-Credit Union, Garant (Moscow)

Support for credit cooperatives serving decommissioned military personnel in order to provide capital for new business development. The credit cooperatives plan to form a professional association in order to increase their effectiveness and institutional capacity. Credit cooperatives' staff will undergo specialized training in accounting standards, lending methodologies, operational efficiency, and loan risk assessment and processing.

Project Director: Elena Avramenko
Tel.: (095) 737-82-63
Fax: (095) 953-14-08

Educational Center (St Petersburg)

Support for job creation and sustainable business activity among decommissioned military officers and their family members through training, leasing and microfinance programs offered by Center for Citizens Initiatives. Sixty military officers and their family members from five military base towns in the region will receive specialized training in business management development, and no fewer than six new clothing manufacturing enterprises will be created.

Project Director: Tatiana Kovaleva
Tel.: (812) 327-55-99
Fax: (812) 327-97-99

Regional Center for the Social Adaptation of Military Servicemen (Odintsovo, Moscow oblast)

Support for job creation and business activity among decommissioned military officers through specialized training, consultation services, and assistance in obtaining micro-loans from a local credit cooperative serving this target population.

Project Director: Alexander Derkach
Tel.: (095) 599-91-35
Fax: (095) 599-05-34

Section: Engineering Issues of Stability and Conversion at Russian (Yubileiny, Moscow Oblast)

Support for specialized training in marketing technologies, innovative management, and related topics for up to 150 officers formerly serving at the Defense Ministry's Central Institute. All of these officers have senior level expertise in various high technology fields. As a result of the program, up to ten new businesses will be created, and up to forty of the officers will be placed in existing high-tech businesses.

Project Director: Yuri Shishkin
Tel: (095) 515-35-93
Fax: (095) 515-35-93

Center for the Social Adaptation of Military Servicemen (Kaliningrad)

Support for the establishment of residential self-governing committees in four formerly closed military towns. Committee leaders will undergo specialized training and participate in hands-on internships at leading residential committees in Kaliningrad and Moscow. Strategic plans for the towns, with an emphasis on creating mechanisms to involve citizens in community development, will be developed and discussed widely in public gatherings and in the media and within a newly established association of residential self-governing committees of formerly closed military towns. These town plans will subsequently be included in the strategic development plans for the region as a whole.

Project Director: Vladimir Stepanov
Tel.: (0112) 53-81-85

Nizhny Novgorod Center for the Social Adaptation of Military Servicemen (Nizhny Novgorod)

Support for the development of civilian institutions in three formerly closed military towns through the establishment of residential self-governing committees. Committee members will undergo hands-on internships at leading residential committees in Nizhni Novgorod and Moscow. Strategic plans for the towns, with an emphasis on creating mechanisms to involve citizens in community development initiatives, will be developed and discussed widely in public gatherings and in the media.

Project Director: Mr. Igor Ivanovich Gruzdev
Tel: (8312) 75-91-99
Fax: (8312) 75-91-90

************************* For further information:

Elena Vasilieva
Program Coordinator
The Eurasia Foundation
Moscow Regional Office
119842 Moscow, ul. Volkhonka 14, 4th floor
Tel: 095/956-1235
Fax: 095/956-1239
Web site:

Last updated:    January 2000

A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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