Defense Ministry reports employee turnover in Kazakhstan

General news correspondent
Қазақстан әскерінің әлеуметтік жағдайы
The agency believes that the reason for the turnover is low salaries / Photo: Shutterstock

The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan is concerned about military personnel turnover. According to Sultan Kamaletdinov, the first deputy defense minister, this is happening because the ministry is underfinanced.

«The turnover of military personnel causes particular concern as the situation hasn’t been improving for several years now. One the key reasons for this is low salaries,» Kamaletdinov said during a meeting of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security of the Mazhilis (the lower house of the country’s parliament).

As the official noted, more than 17,000 troops have left the army over the past four years. To compensate for these losses, the military has hired 14,000 new personnel, which is not a sufficient number to mitigate negative consequences related to this turnover.

«The current disproportion in salaries may turn out to be one of the demotivating factors during wartime because all troops will become part of the Defense Ministry and the ministry will pay them in accordance with its rules,» the deputy defense minister said.

He gave an example: a low-ranking military under the Ministry of Defense has a salary of $198 per month, while a private soldier in the National Security Committee (KNB, which supervises the Border Service) receives $411 per month. A military captain has a salary of $612, while their peer in the Border Service under the KNB receives $826 per month.

According to Kamaletdinov, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kazakhstani military has been struggling with lower salaries and social support.

Earlier this year, the country’s parliament approved deploying 430 Kazakhstani troops in a U.N. peacekeeping mission. Kazakhstan is going to take part in the international peacekeeping mission under its flag for the first time in history. As the Defense Ministry noted, Kazakhstani peacekeepers’ salaries would increase threefold in addition to payments by the U.N. of $1,448.

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