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A Happy Year in Svetlyy

A Happy Year in Svetlyy

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Published by Chuck Thornton

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Published by: Chuck Thornton on Jan 15, 2010
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A Happy Year in Svetlyy
Krasnaya Zvezda
in Russian30 Dec 09by Vladimir MokhovAs we have already said, this crisis year that is coming to an end was very successful for TatishchevoMissile Formation under the command of Colonel Aleksandr Deryavko. Based upon its results, TamanMissile Division became the best formation in the RVSN [Strategic Missile Troops], which performs alertduty at fixed basing missile complexes. But 2009 did not pass without a trace for the missile personnel'shousing garrison with the attractive name of Svetlyy...
The One-Company Missile Town
The division is a unique type of city-forming installation for the closed administrative territorialentity (ZATO). They are inconceivable without each other. But if all of the formation's commandauthorities' efforts were primarily directed at the combat component this year, the Svetlyy Administration'sefforts were directed at the social component. The schools, kindergartens, apartment buildings, andboilers are in its sphere of responsibility. And since the problems of the so-called one-company towns,which are practically entirely linked to some or other industry, appeared with all of their urgency in Russiathis year, we must say that Svetlyy - is actually that same type of one-company town, only with its ownmissile slant. Here even an ordinary food store bears the proud name "Topol"...
The Division Commander and the Head of Administration: the Two Branches of Garrison Authority
In contrast to its civilian "colleagues", the one-company missile town survived this year more or lessserenely. No, the impact of the crisis certainly was felt even here (what and how - a bit farther below).But no special cataclysms whatsoever took place, if you don't consider the organizational-staff measuresto be such. Everything took its course. Well, and during my temporary duty assignment, I caught thedivision commander in the office of Aleksandr Lunev - the head of administration of Svetlyy ClosedAdministrative Territorial Entity Municipal District and, it was easy to figure out, a reserve officer.Together they were discussing some sort of current affairs and were developing the algorithm of thesolution of some sort of problems."We cannot separate the issues of a military and social welfare nature", Colonel Deryavko expressedhis opinion on that score. "The interests of combat readiness directly depend on how the servicemen'severyday lives and relaxation are organized, whether they have heat in their homes, and whether their children go to kindergarten and school. An officer - is that same man and we understand why he first andforemost has a headache. So, if there are strong rear services, there will also be high combat readiness!"The commander is certainly correct. Nevertheless, it is conspicuous in the example of Svetlyy that thefunctional division of duties doesn't simply exist but promotes the fact that each would be involved with hisown business. And that we have become accustomed to understand the traditional phrase "thecommander is responsible for everything" in such a way that we need to task him, the commander, for leaky roofs, for rotting pipes, and that Vasya Pupkin talked back to Mariya Ivanovna at school. The"division command authorities-ZATO administration" model permits us to set up that managementsystem, when "each person carries his own weight". The main thing is so that this diarchy would not turnout to be a bureaucratic squabble and a trite gripe session. Fortunately, there is not even a hint of that inSvetlyy today.In Colonel Deryavko's words, no changes whatsoever for the worse, just the opposite, have taken placesince the transfer of practically the entire garrison social infrastructure to the municipality's balancesheet. The command authorities have obtained the opportunity to focus entirely on combat readinessissues. And the targeted financial infusions into the Closed Administrative Territorial Entity along thefederal budget line permitted them to plug many of those holes, for which the Ministry of Defense haschronically not had adequate resources. This year alone, 90 million rubles went to the engineering andsocial infrastructure, R18 million was spent on the repair of the housing fund, and more than R40 million -for the renovation of the boiler and the water intake. The rest was dispersed for major repairs of theschool and kindergarten, and also to replace the heating lines. It is simply that none of these projectswould have been realized without the targeted money, which is arriving for the Closed AdministrativeTerritorial Entity's needs.
A Garrison-Wide Baby Boom
Olga Sedina, the deputy head of administration for social issues, said that the lion's share of theSvetlyy Closed Administrative Territorial Entity's budget goes for education and public health, and itisn't going in vain. Olga Grigoryevna illustrated that using the following examples."This year", she said, "our children won the oblast championship and the Russia's cup for futzal [indoor soccer] and won the competitions for lokobol [children's soccer]. Our 'Nadezhda' Dance Collective tooksecond place at the Delphic Games, which took place in Saratov, and received the grand prize at thecompetition, which took place in Dagomys. We have something to be proud of!
They Are Successfully Resolving the Demographic Problem in Svetlyy
The residents of neighboring villages are goodheartedly envious of how developed the social sphere isin Svetlyy. There are two full-fledged general education schools here, at which more than 1,000 childrenare learning. Three kindergartens, two of which have been renovated, have been made truly state-of-the-art. One other kindergarten is in the renovation phase, upon the completion of which it will scarcely bedistinguished from the capital's most advanced children's preschool institutions. The children receiveextended education at the children's creativity home, at the music and artistic schools, and at thechildren-youth sports school (DYuSh).Svetlyy's younger generation totals 2,600 people. That is, a large portion of it - is preschool children.The missile personnel's wives have recently been giving birth at a surprisingly active rate. At thebeginning of December, when I was in Svetlyy, they told me that 124 newborns have appeared this year.Their number is certainly even greater right now!The shortage of seats at the kindergartens is actually explained by this circumstance. There arecurrently 240 young garrison residents, more correctly their parents, on the waiting list. And if previouslythe question was even raised about the closure of one of the kindergartens due to the decline of the birthrate, now it is time to build a new preschool institution. Indeed, there are few officers' children on the listsince the priority was assigned precisely to them already prior to the issuance of the normative-legal acton the priority acceptance of servicemen's children at the kindergartens."We are doing everything so that the officers would serve in an orderly manner and would be satisfiedwith their rear services", Olga Sedina said.For Svetlyy ZATO, the entire population of which consists of nearly 13,000 people, the augmentation of nearly 150 newborns is very significant, especially while taking into account that only 102 children wereborn here in 2008. They didn't get beyond a total of 60-70 newborns approximately 5-6 years ago. Butthere is such a baby boom here! Perhaps the young mothers with the baby carriages, who are strollingthrough the garrison, are now Svetlyy's primary sign. But then again, many have begun to give birth totheir second or third children. Olga Grigoryevna explains that by the payment of "maternity capital" andby the fact that they have made marvelous children's playgrounds in the residential area. And the mainthing is that everyone has a roof over their heads, even if it isn't their own. A new dormitory opened at theZATO this year, in which they settled 14 junior officers' families.So, should we be surprised that the lieutenants' wives have also become the primary "driving force" of the current baby boom? When people see the real concern of the state and their native commander, theyrespond to that with deeds and with the desire to serve. The commander cited these figures: the number of officers, who have expressed a desire to extend their contracts with the Ministry of Defense, totals 95-98% in the division. Today there is no talk about the massive outflow of officer cadres, which wasobserved in the 1990s. Right now people are staying in the service.Well and to give birth to children - that is no less important nowadays than to go on alert duty!It is no accident that the garrison is proud of the fact that the ZATO residents' average age has reached30-32 years of age. That is, Svetlyy is not aging, but getting younger. They need to create conditions for a normal life for the young people. And first of all that concerns jobs.The head of administration reported that the problem of the officers' wives job placement is graduallybeing resolved. Of course, the status of the one-company missile town does not promote that, but thebranch of the Saratov Employment Center that has been organized at the ZATO still helps people to findwork both in Svetlyy itself and also in the neighboring rayon center of Tatishchevo and, of course, in
Saratov. Today 53 people are registered at the employment center and they are not losing hope of finding jobs.
We Need To Help the Talented People
In the words of Svetlyy ZATO Municipal District Head of Administration Aleksandr Lunev, the municipalauthorities' primary task - is to create all of the conditions to provide vital services for servicemen'sfamilies. Several dozen issues, for which the administration is responsible, are featured in the federal lawon local self-rule. And they cannot ignore any of them.The engineering infrastructure requires especially large investments. The division will celebrate its 50
anniversary in two years. The residential buildings at the garrison were built, the pipelines were laid, andthe water input was made nearly 50 years ago. These facilities were not touched in the last century. Atthe same time, the major repair period arrives already after 25-30 years based upon all of the normativedocuments. The targeted resources that are arriving from the federal budget right now are, putting itmildly, inadequate. They were adequate only to repair the roofs on the apartment buildings and toreplace a portion of the heating lines, water pipes, and sewage pipes.This year, R20 million arrived for major repairs of the boiler and just as much money arrived - for theconstruction of a new water intake. Thanks to that, they are building a new water tower and they arereplacing the water tanks. So, as they say, progress has been made. The main thing is so it would notstop now.The shortage of seats at the kindergartens - is not the only problem in Svetlyy. There are also notenough buildings for institutions of extended education - the art school and the children-youth sportsschool. Leasing floor space for them erodes the ZATO budget by R2 million per year, which they coulddirect to other purposes.After the recent tragic events in Perm, MChS [Ministry for Affairs of Civil Defense, EmergencySituations, and Elimination of Natural Disasters] representatives are more forcibly compelling the ZATOAdministration to deal with the unsatisfactory fire prevention situation of the building, in which thechildren's art school and children's drama theater are located. Of course, they have installed anautomatic fire alarm here, they have built an additional staircase to the second story, and they havefulfilled the firemen's other requirements. But what else can the Administration do if this building wasinitially of a prefabricated beamless plate structure? Only send letters to the governor and to other levelsof authority. Because the crisis "has consumed" the R34 million, which is required for the major renovation of the building and to erect brick walls and install reinforced concrete floors here. They did notallocate it this year, although there is a renovation project.And wouldn't it still be better to build a new building for the children's art school? Really, the nearly 700children, who are studying here, deserve that, as the school itself deserves that, which is 42 years old thisyear. But then again, the popular Actor Yevgeniy Mironov studied here at one time. Having visitedSvetlyy recently, he walked across the threshold of the art school with an emotional thrill. It is preciselyhere that he received his music education. Yevgeniy reacted in an especially touching manner to hisdancing teacher. So, will an institution, which gives the country such talents, as before really live under the threat of closure? Not to mention already that 40 people will be left without jobs in this case...Actually, one could eliminate many of these problems, having transferred the Russian Army House oCulture building to the municipality. You could accommodate many of these institutions there. But thenagain, the Ministry of Defense does not oppose that - as we all know, today the military department isactively freeing itself of "non-core assets". The House of Culture building has long been in need of repair but there are not enough resources to do that. The municipality is prepared to take up the resolution of this task. But the matter has ground to a halt because... there is no technical certificate for the building.They also need to pay in order for the BTI [Technical Information Bureau] to prepare it. The militarydoesn't have money to do that and the civilians have the authority, they are immediately being accused of the non-targeted use of resources. And no one knows how to negotiate this sticky wicket.We also need to assist the athletes. Right now Svetlyy ZATO is attempting to end up in the FederalProgram for Soccer Field Infrastructure Development. Still there are more than enough soccer players inthe garrison! The garrison itself is unable to undertake this project, approximately R15 million is requiredto do that. But then again, here they would like to obtain that field at the existing stadium. Otherwise,they will have to make it on the municipal land, which is located between two schools. And there the

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