Sergei Ivanov

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Sergei Borisovich Ivanov (Сергей Борисович Иванов in Russian) (born January 31, 1953, Leningrad) is the Defence Minister of Russia.


[edit] Career timeline

[edit] Ivanov as Defence Minister

On September 9, 2000 Vladimir Putin approved the Doctrine of Information Security, which had been developed under Ivanov's supervision. One of the main provisions of this doctrine is the reinstatement of some of the elements of state censorship. Ivanov claimed that this document was not about restrictions on freedom of speech, but a guarantee of citizens' constitutional right for personal or family privacy, privacy of correspondence via different means of communication, telephone conversations etc. Ivanov said that this doctrine would not cause revision of the media law or creation of the "ministry of truth". He noted, however, that Russian democracy was still quite young and part of the Russian media was somewhat "unbridled".

In September of 2000, mistakenly considering Slobodan Milošević's victory in presidential elections as predetermined, Ivanov advised President Putin to support him and send a Russian squadron to the Mediterranean Sea in order to prevent Western interference in the course of events and assistance to the opposition forces.

On October 4, 2001, during joint Russian-Ukrainian firing practice at the 31st test center of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea a Ukrainian missile shot down a Russian passenger airplane from Jerusalem en route to Novosibirsk instead of a military target, killing 78 people. Initially, the Ukrainian military including Defense Minister Alexander Kuzmuk tried to deny the accident and were supported by Sergey Ivanov. Later on, however, Ivanov managed to conceal the fact that the exercises had been joint and that the Ukrainian missile had been fired from the Russian military base.

In October of 2001, Ivanov took responsibility for President Putin's decision to dismantle the radar center in the Cuban town of Lurdes.

In August and September of 2002, Ivanov made a few harsh statements about the way the Republic of Georgia had been dealing with the Chechen rebels, calling Georgia a safe haven for international terrorism and suggesting possible preventive air strikes against the Chechens on its territory.

On November 26, 2002, Ivanov suggested that the President support his initiative to rename Volgograd into Stalingrad and return a five-pointed star on the banner of the Russian Armed Forces. The latter proposition was approved by Vladimir Putin.

Ivanov states that switching the Russian army to a contract military service may take up to 10 years, not a couple of years, as many observers believed. Ivanov insists on increasing the draft of students and, hence, on reducing the number of military departments in the universities. In 2001, Ivanov introduced the system of "forced recruitment" of the draftees. It implied verification of IDs and detention of young men on the street, which had already reached the call-up age or had been dodging the draft. After trying it out in Moscow in 2001, Ivanov ordered similar trials in other big cities.

Ivanov considers international terrorism as a principal threat to stability in the world and believes that terrorist actions are well coordinated. He also says that Putin's counter-terrorist operation in the Chechen republic removed the threat of disintegration of the Russian state and created necessary conditions for improving the overall situation in Chechnya and all of the Caucasus region.

Ivanov does not seem to enjoy the support of the career military people like former Defence Minister Igor Rodionov, who consider him to be holding "the wrong post". In February of 2003, a number of organizations, such as Officers' Union, Soviet Officers' Union, Army Support Movement, Cossacks' Union, Association of the Veterans of the Special Forces Units, came forward with the initiative to impeach Ivanov as Defence Minister.

Ivanov remains a close political ally of Putin, and according to a 2001 article published by The Guardian, he is "increasingly seen as the unofficial and unelected vice-president". [1] Critics have cited Ivanov's powerful role in Russia's government and his close relationship with Putin as an example of Putin's threat to democracy in Russia.

In January 2006 Ivanov was criticized for downplaying the bullying of Russian conscripts after an 18-year old soldier's legs and genitals had to be amputated due to the vicious beatings and abuse he suffered. [2]

[edit] Personal

Ivanov is an FSB colonel-general in reserve. He is fluent in English and Swedish as well as speaking Norwegian, and some French. He married in 1976 and has had two sons: Alexander Sergeyevich Ivanov aged 28, works at Vneshekonombank and Sergei Sergeyevich Ivanov, 24, a vice president at Gazprombank. Ivanov is a huge fan of The Beatles, and an interview with him can be viewed on the DVD of Paul McCartney's 2002 concert in Red Square.

Preceded by:
Igor Sergeyev
Defence Minister of the Russian Federation
Succeeded by:

[edit] External links

de:Sergei Borissowitsch Iwanow

et:Sergei Ivanov fr:Sergueï Ivanov ko:세르게이 이바노프 nl:Sergej Ivanov (politicus) ja:セルゲイ・イワノフ pl:Siergiej Iwanow ru:Иванов, Сергей Борисович fi:Sergei Ivanov

Sergei Ivanov

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