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Foreword by Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski and Aude Merlin (8 issue editors)

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1We are pleased to introduce to you our last issue (8 issue) on “Military Justice in Russia”. Three original articles, two exclusive interviews, two reprints, and four book reviews are devoted to this topic.

2In Russia, as in the ex-USSR in general, judiciary reform has concerned itself very little with the subject of military justice, a domain at the crossroads of several disciplines: military history, political history, the history of criminality and of criminal justice. Yet whereas these branches have expanded in recent years, military justice has not been sufficiently dealt with, in particular by the social sciences.

3The reform of military justice is of major importance in the creation of a state under the rule of law: an independent and impartial judiciary system operating without outside interference or pressure is vital for a democratic state. The aim of this issue is therefore to assess the mutations taking place in this domain in Russia.

4In his introduction, Professor Peter H. Solomon, University of Toronto, assesses the changes in the Russian military justice system.

5Leonid Golovko’s article is concerned with the status and the main characteristics of military jurisdiction in Russia.

6Nikolai Kovalev’s work focuses on the use of lay-decision makers in military jury. In particular, he analyses two cases in which two Russian officers were acquitted.

7Both articles cover the history of military justice in Russia and allow us to explore the Russian judicial tradition and to understand in what ways this “cultural” heritage remains present in Russia.

8Amandine Regamey’s study focuses on the Budanov case and public opinion support. Colonel Budanov is the first Russian military officer convicted by a Russian Court.

9Two reprints are presented in this issue. Both articles bring an invaluable historical perspective on military justice in contemporary Russia. We would like to thank the Slavic Review published by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for giving the authorization to reprint Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter’s article on prereform military justice. We are also very grateful to the Russian Review and Blackwell Publishing for allowing to reprint William C. Fuller’s article on civilians in the Russian military courts in the XIXth century – beginning of the XXth century.

10Aude Merlin has conducted for us two interviews in Moscow : the first one with Shota Gorgadze, lawyer. He describes how he defended the case of a kontraktnik sent to Yugoslavia who never received his allowance. The second one is an interview of Stanislav Markelov, human rights lawyer, specialised in military cases. Among others, he has defended the Kungaev family in the Budanov case.

11We would like to draw your attention to four reviews of books on military justice and related topics.

12Three more articles on various topics are presented

13Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski studies the resurgence of Shefstvo (patronage) under Yeltsin and Putin.

14Taline Papazian’s article views the process of state-building in Armenia in the context of the Karabakh conflict.

15Nona Shakhnazarian’s article is an anthropological approach of the Karabakh war, based on interviews with former child soldiers.

16Four more book reviews covering periods from Imperial Russia to the present time are presented in this issue.

17Finally, we would like to thank the authors of the above-mentioned articles who trusted our journal with their work, the book reviewers, the anonymous referees and the editorial board members for their help with this issue. A special thanks to Iulia Nekipelova for a precious help with the transcription of both interviews.

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

Aude Merlin

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Electronic reference

« Foreword by Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski and Aude Merlin (8 issue editors) », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 8 | 2008, Online since 15 July 2008, connection on 23 January 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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