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Old 01-31-2004, 08:47 AM   #1
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Georgian government cancels usage of Soviet era uniforms?

This is based on a rumor / story I heard today and I would like to hear what you think.

A friend of mine with connections in the central-asia ex-USSR republics told me that the new leadership in Georgia has decided to stop the usage of old Soviet eraa uniforms as well as any uniforms inspired by ex-USSR Russia and instead develop a new uniform type, different from all old, or at least, not the same design as before.

The result would be, according to the rumor, that huge amounts of old jackets and hats would be sold out for prices cheaper than dirt.

That's the end of what I have heard. Now for some analysis:
- Do they really change it all this late? Havn't the storages been cleared out already?
- How much equip is it? Georgia is not that big. The person "who knew" talked about huge mountains of uniforms.
-It sounds too good to be true.

Has anyone else heard about this? Is it time to rent a truck and book tickets to Georgia? I have no other source than word from mouth.

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Old 02-03-2004, 09:14 AM   #2
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I hope it is just a rumour. I would not be amused to think that Georigia has the money to waste contemplating new uniforms. If you are an economic basket case looking for global handouts (IMF and WB) then you had better prove that you are spending the little money you have on better things than old uniforms!!!

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Old 02-04-2004, 03:37 AM   #3
Chuck In Oregon
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The US is finishing up training the last of 600 Georgian soldiers, winding up in May. As part of their training, they have issued US-style uniforms to the new soldiers, who often showed up in not much more than rags. I would be astonished to learn that Georgia has gone over wholesale to US/western uniforms, as much because there is no money for them as anything else. The Georgians use the full range of 1970s-80s Warsaw Pact weapons and equipment, including uniforms and commo.

Money is in critically short supply here. Otlitchnik's phrase "economic basket case", while a little ugly is also correct. This is a desperately poor nation that just went through a revolution last November and a reformist election last month. They are arresting many of the old guard, including an ex-minister just this morning. The crimes are almost invariably economic crimes. A lot of people have to explain where an awful lot of money went.

I am pretty sure that they will use up any supplies of old uniforms that they can get before any change to western suppliers. I don't think that they have the luxury of throwing anything away or selling it cheap in order to replace it with expensive stuff. Their budget is under some pretty strict international scrutiny, including IMF, World Bank, EU, EBRD and others. Changing uniform stlye may be a hard case to make in lieu of, say, paying pensions and salaries and debt to the Paris Club.

When I first got here in 2001, there were a lot of Soviet collectibles available. People were selling them to pay for food and power, such as it is. I still find some, through a pretty large network of scouts, but the open supply has shrunk dramatically.

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