Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Overview
 
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation ( Transliteration: Voruzhonnije Síly Rossíyskoj Federátsii) are the military services of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, established after the break-up of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. On 7 May 1992 Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 signed a decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces
Soviet Armed Forces
The Soviet Armed Forces, also called the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Armed Forces of the Soviet Union refers to the armed forces of the Russian SFSR , and Soviet Union from their beginnings in the...

 troops on the territory of the RSFSR under Russian Federation control. The Supreme Commander
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Armed Forces is the President of the Russian Federation.
Encyclopedia
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation ( Transliteration: Voruzhonnije Síly Rossíyskoj Federátsii) are the military services of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, established after the break-up of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. On 7 May 1992 Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 signed a decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces
Soviet Armed Forces
The Soviet Armed Forces, also called the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Armed Forces of the Soviet Union refers to the armed forces of the Russian SFSR , and Soviet Union from their beginnings in the...

 troops on the territory of the RSFSR under Russian Federation control. The Supreme Commander
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Armed Forces is the President of the Russian Federation. Although the Russian armed forces were formed in 1992, the Russian military dates its roots back to the times of the Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

.

As of 2007, the International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

 (IISS) estimated that the Russian armed forces numbered about 1,200,000 active troops and about another 754,000 reserves, but a significant military reform is underway which will cut the number of troops. According to an 2010 IISS estimate, Russia's annual defense spending stands at about $86 billion. Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 is one of the few countries in the world that has a fully indigenous defence industry, producing its own military equipment.

History

As the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 officially dissolved on December 31, 1991, the Soviet military was left in limbo. For the next year and a half various attempts to keep its unity and transform it into the military of the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 (CIS) failed. Over time, the units stationed in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and some other breakaway republics swore loyalty to their new national governments, while a series of treaties between the newly independent states divided up the military's assets. On 7 May 1992, Yeltsin appointed himself as the new Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n minister of defence, marking a crucial step in the creation of the new Armed Forces. By December 1993 CIS military structures had become CIS military cooperation structures with all real influence lost.

In the next few years, Russian forces withdrew from central and eastern Europe, as well as from some newly independent post-Soviet republics. While in most places the withdrawal took place without any problems, the Russian Armed Forces remained in some disputed areas such as the Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

 naval base in the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 as well as in Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

 and Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

. The Armed Forces have several bases in foreign countries, especially on territory of the former Soviet Republics.

A new military doctrine
Military doctrine of Russia
Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation is one of the main strategic planning documents in Russia and represents a system of officially state adopted views of preparation for the armed protection of Russia...

, promulgated in November 1993, implicitly acknowledged the contraction of the old Soviet military into a regional military power without global imperial ambitions. In keeping with its emphasis on the threat of regional conflicts, the doctrine called for a Russian military that is smaller, lighter, and more mobile, with a higher degree of professionalism and with greater rapid deployment capability. Such change proved extremely difficult to achieve. Under Defence Minister Pavel Grachev
Pavel Grachev
Pavel Sergeyevich Grachev , sometimes transliterated as Grachov, is a retired Russian Army General and the former Defence Minister of the Russian Federation; in 1988 he was declared the Hero of the Soviet Union...

, little military reform took place, though there was a plan to create more deployable Mobile Forces. Later Defence Minister Rodionov had good qualifications but did not manage to institute lasting change. Only under Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev
Igor Sergeyev
Igor Dmitriyevich Sergeyev was the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation from 22 May 1997 until 28 March 2001...

 did a certain amount of limited reforms begin, though attention was focused upon the Strategic Rocket Forces
Strategic Rocket Forces
The Strategic Missile Troops or Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or RVSN RF , transliteration: Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya Rossiyskoy Federatsii, literally Missile Troops of Strategic Designation of the Russian Federation) are a military branch of the Russian...

. Significant reforms were announced in late 2008 under Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov is a Russian politician and businessman.He has been the Defense Minister of Russia since February 15, 2007. He is known for launching major reforms in the Russian military....

, and major structural reorganisation began in 2009.

Key elements of the reforms announced in October 2008 include reducing the armed forces to a strength of one million by 2012 (planned end-date was 2016
); reducing the number of officers; centralising officer training from 65 military schools into 10 'systemic' military training centres; reducing the size of the central command; introducing more civilian logistics and auxiliary staff; elimination of cadre-strength formations; reorganising the reserves; reorganising the army into a brigade system; and reorganising air forces into an air base system instead of regiments.

The number of military units is to be reduced in accordance with the table:
Arms and branches 2008 2012 Reduction
Ground Forces
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

 
1,890 172
Air Force
Russian Air Force
The Russian Air Force is the air force of Russian Military. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota , or AV-MF).The Air Force was formed from...

 
340 180
Navy 240 123
Strategic Rocket Forces
Strategic Rocket Forces
The Strategic Missile Troops or Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or RVSN RF , transliteration: Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya Rossiyskoy Federatsii, literally Missile Troops of Strategic Designation of the Russian Federation) are a military branch of the Russian...

12 8
Space Forces 7 6
Airborne Troops 6 5


An essential part of the military reform is its down-sizing. By the beginning of the reform, there were about 1,200,000 active personnel in the Russian army. Largely, the reductions falls within the officers. Personnel are to be reduced according to the table:
Category of military men September 1, 2008 December 1, 2009 Planned for 2012 Reduction
General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

/Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 
1,107 780 877 −20.8 %
Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

/Captain 1st Rank 
25,665 9,114 −64.5 %
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

/Captain 2nd Rank
19,300 7,500 −61 %
Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

/Captain 3rd Rank
99,550 25,000 −75 %
Captain/Captain Lieutenant
Captain Lieutenant
Captain lieutenant or captain-lieutenant is a military rank, used in a number of different navies worldwide.It is generally equivalent to the Commonwealth or US rank of lieutenant, and has the NATO rank code of OF-2, though this can vary....

 
90,000 40,000 −56 %
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

/Senior Lieutenant
Senior lieutenant
Senior lieutenant is a military grade between a lieutenant and a captain. Sometimes senior lieutenant is called a first lieutenant....

 
30,000 35,000 +17 %
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

/Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 
20,000 26,000 +30 %
Officers in total 365,000 150,000 −61 %
Praporshchik
Praporshchik
Praporshchik is a rank in the Russian military.-Imperial Russia:Praporshchik was originally a name of a junior commissioned officer rank in the military of the Russian Empire equivalent to ensign...

/Warrant Officer
90,000 0 0 −100 %
Warrant officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

 
50,000 0 0 −100 %

Organization

The Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation serves as the administrative body of the Armed Forces. Since Soviet times, the General Staff has acted as the main commanding and supervising body of the Russian armed forces: U.S. expert William Odom said in 1998, that 'the Soviet General Staff without the MoD is conceivable, but the MoD without the General Staff is not.' However, currently the General Staff
General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the military staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is the central organ of the Armed Forces Administration and oversees operational management of the armed forces under the Russian Ministry of Defence.The staff is...

's role is being reduced to that of the Ministry's department of strategic planning, the Minister himself, currently Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov is a Russian politician and businessman.He has been the Defense Minister of Russia since February 15, 2007. He is known for launching major reforms in the Russian military....

 may now be gaining further executive authority over the troops. Other departments include the personnel directorate as well as the Rear Services of the Armed Forces of Russia
Rear Services of the Armed Forces of Russia
The Rear Services of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is a rear of the Russian Armed Forces. It encompasses mainly the Rear Services' Staff, 9 main and central departments and 3 services.-History:...

, railroad troops and construction troops. The Chief
Chief of the General Staff (Russia)
The Chief of the General Staff is the chief of staff of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He is appointed by the President of Russia, who is the commander-in-chief. The position dates to the period of the Russian Empire...

 of the General Staff
General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the military staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is the central organ of the Armed Forces Administration and oversees operational management of the armed forces under the Russian Ministry of Defence.The staff is...

 is currently General of the Army Nikolai Makarov.

The Russian military is divided into the following branches: the Russian Ground Forces
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

, the Russian Navy, and the Russian Air Force
Russian Air Force
The Russian Air Force is the air force of Russian Military. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota , or AV-MF).The Air Force was formed from...

. There are also three independent arms of service : Strategic Missile Troops, Military Space Forces, and the Russian Airborne Troops. The Troops of Air Defence, the former Soviet Air Defence Forces, have been subordinated into the Air Force since 1998. The Armed Forces as a whole seem to be traditionally referred to as the Army (armiya), except in some cases, the Navy.
As of late 2010 the Ground Forces as well as the Air Forces and Navy are distributed among four military district
Military district
Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are often more responsible for administrative than operational matters, and in countries with conscript forces, often handle parts of the conscription cycle.Navies have also used...

s: Western Military District, Southern Military District, Central Military District, and the Eastern Military District which also constitute four Joint Strategic Commands - West, South, Central, and East. Previously from 1992 to 2010, the Ground Forces were divided into six military district
Military district
Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are often more responsible for administrative than operational matters, and in countries with conscript forces, often handle parts of the conscription cycle.Navies have also used...

s: Moscow
Moscow Military District
The Moscow Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Leningrad Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District.-History:In the beginning of...

, Leningrad
Leningrad Military District
The Leningrad Military District was a military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Moscow Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District.-History:...

, North Caucausian
North Caucasus Military District
The North Caucasus Military District was a military district of the Russian Ground Forces, which became in 2010 the Southern Military District and lately also includes the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla....

, Privolzhsk-Ural, Siberia
Siberian Military District
The Siberian Military District was a Military district of the Russian Ground Forces. In 2010 it was divided between the two newly formed Central and Eastern Military Districts.- History :...

n and Far Eastern and Russia's four fleets and one flotilla were organizations on par with the Ground Forces' Military Districts. These six MDs were merged into the four new MDs, which now also incorporate the air forces and naval forces.

There is one remaining Russian military base, the 102nd Military Base
102nd Military Base
The Russian 102nd Military Base is a Russian military base in Gyumri, Armenia, part of the Transcaucasian Group of Forces. It was formerly the Soviet Army's 127th Motor Rifle Division of the Soviet Seventh Guards Army. The base is about north of the Armenian capital, Yerevan.The 102nd Military...

, in Armenia left of the former Transcaucasus Group of Forces. It may report to the Southern Military District.

The Navy consists of four fleets and one flotilla:
  • Northern Fleet
    Northern Fleet
    The Red Banner Northern Fleet is a unit of the Russian Navy that has access to the Barents and Norwegian Seas, the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and is responsible for the defense of northwestern Russia. It was established in 1937 as part of the Soviet Navy...

    (HQ at Severomorsk
    Severomorsk
    Severomorsk is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located about north of Murmansk along the Kola Bay. Population: This is the main administrative base of the Russian Northern Fleet. Severomorsk has the largest drydock on the Kola Peninsula....

    ) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command West.
  • Baltic Fleet
    Baltic Fleet
    The Twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet - is the Russian Navy's presence in the Baltic Sea. In previous historical periods, it has been part of the navy of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union. The Fleet gained the 'Twice Red Banner' appellation during the Soviet period, indicating two awards of...

    (HQ at Baltiysk
    Baltiysk
    Baltiysk , prior to 1945 known by its German name Pillau , is a seaport town and the administrative center of Baltiysky District of Kaliningrad Oblast, located on the northern part of the Vistula Spit, on the shore of the Strait of Baltiysk separating the Vistula Bay from the Gdańsk Bay. Baltiysk...

     in the exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast
    Kaliningrad Oblast
    Kaliningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated on the Baltic coast. It has a population of The oblast forms the westernmost part of the Russian Federation, but it has no land connection to the rest of Russia. Since its creation it has been an exclave of the Russian SFSR and then the...

    ) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command West.
  • Black Sea Fleet
    Black Sea Fleet
    The Black Sea Fleet is a large operational-strategic sub-unit of the Russian Navy, operating in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea since the late 18th century. It is based in various harbors of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov....

    (HQ at Sevastopol
    Sevastopol
    Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

    , Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

     subordinated to Joint Strategic Command South. (In 1997, the Ukrainian government agreed that Russia would be allowed to lease several base areas around Sevastopol until 2017.) This lease has been extended by 25 years through 2042 with an option for an additional five years through 2047.
  • Caspian Flotilla
    Caspian Flotilla
    The Caspian Flotilla is the oldest Russian military flotilla, stationed in the Caspian Sea. It was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1945.-Establishment:...

    (HQ at Astrakhan
    Astrakhan
    Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

    ) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command South.
  • Pacific Fleet
    Pacific Fleet (Russia)
    The Pacific Fleet is the part of the Russian Navy that is stationed in the Pacific Ocean, which formerly secured the Far Eastern borders of the Soviet Union. The fleet headquarters is located at Vladivostok and a number of fleet bases are located in the Vladivostok area...

    (HQ at Vladivostok
    Vladivostok
    The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

    ) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command East.


There is also the Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad is a seaport and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea...

 Special Region, under the command of the Commander Baltic Fleet, which has Ground & Coastal Forces, formerly the 11th Guards Army
11th Guards Army
The 11th Guards Army was a Soviet field army active from 1943 to 1997, which traces its origins to the formation of the Soviet 16th Army in June-July 1940.-History:...

, with a motor rifle division and a motor rifle brigade, and a fighter aviation regiment of Sukhoi Su-27
Sukhoi Su-27
The Sukhoi Su-27 is a twin-engine supermanoeuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth generation fighters, with range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high manoeuvrability...

 'Flanker', as well as other forces.

Similarly, there is the Northeast Group of Troops and Forces, headquartered at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, comprising all Russian Armed Forces components in the Kamchatka Oblast
Kamchatka Oblast
Kamchatka Oblast was, until being incorporated into Kamchatka Krai on July 1, 2007, a federal subject of Russia . To the north, it bordered Magadan Oblast and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Koryak Autonomous Okrug was located in the northern part of the oblast...

 and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , or Chukotka , is a federal subject of Russia located in the Russian Far East.Chukotka has a population of 53,824 according to the 2002 Census, and a surface area of . The principal town and the administrative center is Anadyr...

 [district] and subordinate to the Commander Pacific Fleet headquartered in Vladivostok.

In mid 2010 a reorganisation was announced which would consolidate military districts and the navy’s fleets into four Joint Strategic Commands (OSC). Geographically divided, the four commands will be:
  • Joint Strategic Command West - Western Military District
    Western Military District
    Western Military District is one of the four operational strategic commands of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The district was formed in Presidential Decree № 1144 signed on September 20, 2010...

     (HQ in St. Peterburg), includes the Northern and Baltic Fleets;
  • Joint Strategic Command South - Southern Military District
    Southern Military District
    The Southern Military District is one of the four operational strategic commands of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The district was formed in accordance with Presidential Decree № 1144 signed on September 20, 2010...

     (HQ in Rostov-on-Don
    Rostov-on-Don
    -History:The mouth of the Don River has been of great commercial and cultural importance since the ancient times. It was the site of the Greek colony Tanais, of the Genoese fort Tana, and of the Turkish fortress Azak...

    ) includes the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla;
  • Joint Strategic Command Center - Central Military District
    Central Military District
    The Central Military District is one of Russia's Military Districts. The district was formed in Presidential Decree № 1144 signed on September 20, 2010. The district includes the territories of the former Siberian Military District...

     (HQ in Yekaterinburg
    Yekaterinburg
    Yekaterinburg is a major city in the central part of Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District with a population of 1,350,136 , making it Russia's...

    );
  • Joint Strategic Command East - Eastern Military District
    Eastern Military District
    The Eastern Military District is one of the four operational strategic commands of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The district was formed in Presidential Decree № 1144 signed on September 20, 2010...

     (HQ in Khabarovsk
    Khabarovsk
    Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It is located some from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. The city became the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia...

    ), includes the Pacific Fleet.

The plan, was put in place on December 1, 2010, and mirrors a proposed reorganisation by former Chief of the General Staff
Chief of the General Staff (Russia)
The Chief of the General Staff is the chief of staff of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He is appointed by the President of Russia, who is the commander-in-chief. The position dates to the period of the Russian Empire...

 Army General
Army General (Russia)
Army General is the second highest military rank in the Russian Federation, inferior only to a Marshal and superior to a Colonel General...

 Yuri Baluyevsky for a Regional Command East which was not in fact implemented. The four commands were set up by a decree of President Medvedev on 14 July 2010. In July 2011, an Operational-Strategic Command of Missile-Space Defence has also been established on the basis of the former Special Purpose Command
Special Purpose Command
The Special Purpose Command was a formation of the Russian Air Force, the strongest among the tactical aviation and anti-aircraft groupings. Its zone of responsibility amounted to 1.3 million km², taking in 40 million people, as well as the country's capital, Moscow...

 of the Russian Air Force
Russian Air Force
The Russian Air Force is the air force of Russian Military. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota , or AV-MF).The Air Force was formed from...

. It is expected to be operational on December 1, 2011. A decision whether the VKO will be subordinated to the Air Force or the Space Forces has yet to be taken. Commander of the VKO is General-Lieutenant Valery Ivanov. A Presidential decree of January 2011 named commanders for several of the new organisational structures.

Russian military command posts, according to Globalsecurity.org
GlobalSecurity.org
GlobalSecurity.org, launched in 2000, is a public policy organization focusing on the fields of defense, space exploration, intelligence, weapons of mass destruction and homeland security...

, include Chekhov
Chekhov, Moscow Oblast
Chekhov is a town and the administrative center of Chekhovsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia. Before 1954, it was named Lopasnya , after the Lopasnya River. Population: 56,000 ....

/Sharapovo about 80 kilometre south of Moscow, for the General Staff and President, Chaadayevka near Penza, Voronovo in Moscow, and a facility at Lipetsk all for the national leadership, Mount Yamantaw
Mount Yamantaw
Mount Yamantau is in the Ural Mountains, Bashkortostan, Russia. The name means bad mountain in the Bashkir language . It is also known as Mount Yamantaw. It stands at 1,640 metres and is the highest mountain in the southern Urals...

 in the Urals, and command posts for the Strategic Rocket Forces
Strategic Rocket Forces
The Strategic Missile Troops or Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or RVSN RF , transliteration: Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya Rossiyskoy Federatsii, literally Missile Troops of Strategic Designation of the Russian Federation) are a military branch of the Russian...

 at Kuntsevo in Moscow (primary) and Kosvinsky Mountain in the Urals (alternate). It is speculated that many of the Moscow bunkers are linked by the special underground Moscow Metro 2
Moscow Metro 2
Metro-2 in Moscow, Russia, is the informal name for a purported secret underground metro system which parallels the public Moscow Metro. The system was supposedly built, or at least started, during the time of Joseph Stalin and was codenamed D-6 by the KGB...

 line.

Russian security bodies not under the control of the Ministry of Defence include the Internal Troops
Internal Troops
The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs ; alternatively translated as "Interior " is a paramilitary gendarmerie-like force in the now-defunct Soviet Union and its successor countries, particularly, in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan...

 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Border Guard Service of Russia
Border Guard Service of Russia
The Border Service of Russia , also called the Border Force of Russia is a branch of Federal Security Service of Russia tasked with patrol of the Russian border. In English, the terms "Border Guards" and "Border Troops" are frequently used to designate this service...

 (part of the Federal Security Service), the Kremlin Regiment
Kremlin Regiment
Kremlin Regiment is a unique military regiment, a part of Russian Federal Protective Service with the status of a special unit. The regiment ensures the security of the Kremlin and its treasures and guards the highest state officials...

 and the rest of the Federal Protective Service (Russia)
Federal Protective Service (Russia)
In the Russian Federation, the Federal Protective Service is a federal government agency concerned with the tasks related to the protection of several, mandated by the relevant law, high-ranking state officials, including the President of Russia, as well as certain federal properties...

, the Federal Communications and Information Agency
FAPSI
FAPSI or Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information was a Russian government agency, which was responsible for signal intelligence and security of governmental communications...

, and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the country's civil defense service since 1995 and successor to earlier civil defense units.

Personnel

, some 480,000 young men are brought into the Army via Conscription in Russia
Conscription in Russia
Conscription in Russia is presently a 12 month draft, mandatory for all male citizens age 18-27, with a number of exceptions. The mandatory term of service was reduced from 18 months at the beginning of 2008.- Russian Empire and earlier times :...

 in two call-ups each year. The term of service is 12 months. Eligible age is 18 to 27 years old.

Deferments are provided to undergraduate and graduate students, men solely supporting disabled relatives, parents of at least two children and - upon Presidential proclamation - to some employees of military-oriented enterprises. Men holding Ph.D. as well as sons and brothers of servicemen died or disabled during their military service are released of conscription.

There are widespread problems with hazing
Hazing
Hazing is a term used to describe various ritual and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group....

 in the Army, known as dedovshchina
Dedovshchina
Dedovshchina is the name given to the informal system of subjection of new junior conscripts, formerly to the Soviet Armed Forces and today to the Russian armed forces, Interior Ministry, and FSB border guards, as well as the military forces of certain former Soviet Republics, to brutalization...

, where first-year draftees are bullied by second-year draftees, a practice that appeared in its current form after the change to a two-year service term in 1967. To combat this problem, a new decree was signed in March 2007, which cut the conscription service term from 24 to 18 months. The term was cut further to one year on January 1, 2008.

Thirty percent of Russian Armed Forces' personnel were contract servicemen at the end of 2005. For the foreseeable future, the Armed Forces will be a mixed contract/conscript force. The Russian Armed Forces need to maintain a mobilization reserve to have manning resources capable of reinforcing the permanent readiness forces if the permanent readiness forces cannot deter or suppress an armed conflict on their own.

The ranks of the Russian military are also open to non-Russian citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

, of which Russia is the largest member. By December 2003, the Russian parliament had approved a law in principle to permit the Armed Forces to employ foreign nationals on contract by offering them Russian citizenship after several years service. Yet up to 2010, foreigners could only serve in Russia’s armed forces after getting a Russian passport. Under a 2010 Defence Ministry plan, foreigners without dual citizenship would able to sign up for five-year contracts and will be eligible for Russian citizenship after serving three years. The change could open the way for CIS citizens to get fast-track Russian citizenship, and counter the effects of Russia’s demographic crisis on its army recruitment.

Awards and decorations of the Armed Forces are covered at Awards and Emblems of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

On 17 November 2011, General Nikolai Makarov
Nikolai Makarov
Nikolai Makarov is a retired ice hockey player who played in the Soviet Hockey League. He played for Traktor Chelyabinsk. He is the elder brother of the Soviet hockey legend Sergei Makarov....

 said that Russia had reached a crisis in the conscript service where there simply were not sufficient able bodied men to draft and was forced to halve its conscription.

Budget

In 1988 military spending was a single line item in the Soviet state budget, totaling 21 billion rubles (687.77100 million U.S. dollars). Given the size of the military establishment, however, the actual figure was considered to be far higher. However, between 1991 and 1997 newly independent Russia's defence spending fell by a factor of eight in real prices. Between 1988 and 1993 weapons production in Russia fell by at least 50% for virtually every major weapons system.

In 1998, when Russia experienced a severe financial crisis, its military expenditure in real terms reached its lowest point— barely one-quarter of the USSR’s in 1991, and two-fifths of the level of 1992, the first year of Russia’s independent existence.

Defence spending is consistently increasing by at least a minimum of one-third year-on-year, leading to overall defence expenditure almost quadrupling over the past six years, and according to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin
Alexei Kudrin
Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin was the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 18 May 2000 to 26 September 2011. After graduating with degrees in finance and economics, Kudrin worked in the administration of Saint Petersburg's liberal Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. In 1996 he started...

, this rate is to be sustained through 2010. Official government military spending for 2005 was US $32.4 billion, though various sources, have estimated Russia’s military expenditures to be considerably higher than the reported amount. Estimating Russian military expenditure is beset with difficulty; the annual IISS Military Balance
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

 has underscored the problem numerous times within its section on Russia. The IISS Military Balance comments - 'By simple observation..[the military budget] would appear to be lower than is suggested by the size of the armed forces or the structure of the military-industrial complex, and thus neither of the figures is particularly useful for comparative analysis'. By some estimates, overall Russian defence expenditure is now at the second highest in the world after the USA.
According to Alexander Kanshin, Chairman of the Public Chamber of Russia on affairs of veterans, military personnel, and their families, the Russian military is losing up to US$13 billion to corruption every year.

On 16 September 2008 Russian Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 announced that in 2009, Russian defence budget will be increased to a record amount of $50 billion.

On 16 February 2009 Russia's deputy defence minister said state defence contracts would not be subject to cuts this year despite the ongoing financial crisis, and that there would be no decrease in 2009. The budget would still be 1,376 billion roubles and in the current exchange rates this would amount to $41.5 billion.

However, later that month, due to the world financial crisis, the Russian Parliament's Defence Committee stated that the Russian defence budget would instead be slashed by 15 percent, from $40 billion to $34 billion, with further cuts to come. On 5 May 2009, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the defence budget for 2009 will be 1.3 trillion rubles (US$39.4 billion). 322 billion rubles are allocated to purchase weapons, and the rest of the fund will be spent on construction, fuel storage and food supply.

Procurement

About 70% of the former Soviet Union's defence industries are located in the Russian Federation. Many defence firms have been privatized
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

; some have developed significant partnerships with firms in other countries.

The structure of the state defence order under President Putin changed. Priority was given to the acquisition of sophisticated modern weapons, in light of the events in Chechnya. Previously, financing of strategic nuclear deterrence forces had been a priority, and up to 80% of assignments for the state defence order were spent on their needs. It was planned that beginning from 2000 the state defence order would comprise two priority directions: assignments for the nuclear deterrence forces, and assignments for purchase of conventional arms including the precision guided weapons.

The recent steps towards modernisation of the Armed Forces have been made possible by Russia's economic resurgence based on oil and gas revenues as well a strengthening of its own domestic market. Currently, the military is in the middle of a major equipment upgrade, with the government in the process of spending about $200 billion (what equals to about $400 billion in PPP dollars) on development and production of military equipment between 2006-2015 under the State Armament Programme for 2007-2015 (GPV - госпрограмма вооружения). Mainly as a result of lessons learned during the August War, the State Armament Programme for 2011-2020 was launched in December 2010. Prime Minister Putin announced that 20-21.5 trillion roubles (over $650 billion) will be allocated to purchase new hardware in the next 10 years. The aim is to have a growth of 30% of modern equipment in the army, navy and air force by 2015, and of 70% by 2020. In some categories, the proportion of new weapon systems will reach 80% or even 100%. At this point, the Russian MOD plans to purchase, among others, up to 150 ICBMs, 600 aircraft, 1,000 helicopters, 18 submarines, 15 frigates, 35 corvettes and 62 air defense battalions. Several existing types will be upgraded.

As of 2011, Russia's chief military prosecutor said that 20% of the defence budget was being stolen or defrauded yearly.http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/24/us-russia-defence-idUSTRE74N1YX20110524

Nuclear weapons

According to some sources, Russia possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, although the United States has superiority in the number of deployed nuclear weapons. Other sources claim that the stockpile of the USA is larger. Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces
Strategic Rocket Forces
The Strategic Missile Troops or Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or RVSN RF , transliteration: Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya Rossiyskoy Federatsii, literally Missile Troops of Strategic Designation of the Russian Federation) are a military branch of the Russian...

 controls its land-based nuclear warheads, while the Navy controls the submarine based missiles and the Air Force the air-launched warheads. Russia's nuclear warheads are deployed in four areas:

  1. Land-based immobile (silos), like R-36
    R-36
    The R-36, is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was produced under the Soviet industry designation 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp...

    .
  2. Land-based mobile, like RT-2UTTKh Topol-M.
  3. Submarine based, like RSM-56 Bulava.
  4. Air-launched warheads of the Russian Air Force
    Russian Air Force
    The Russian Air Force is the air force of Russian Military. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota , or AV-MF).The Air Force was formed from...

    s' Long Range Aviation Command
    37th Air Army
    The 37th Air Army of the High Supreme Command was the strategic bomber force of the Russian Air Force from 1998 to 2009...



Russian military doctrine
Military doctrine of Russia
Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation is one of the main strategic planning documents in Russia and represents a system of officially state adopted views of preparation for the armed protection of Russia...

 sees NATO expansion as one of the threats for the Russian Federation and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional aggression that can endanger the existence of the state. In keeping with this, the country's nuclear forces received adequate funding throughout the late 1990s. Russia, with approximately 16,000 warheads, possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads. The number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and warheads on active duty has declined over the years, in part in keeping with arms limitation agreements with the U.S. and in part due to insufficient spending on maintenance, but this is balanced by the deployment of new missiles as proof against missile defences. Russia has developed the new RT-2UTTKh Topol-M (SS-27) missiles that are stated to be able to penetrate any missile defence, including the planned U.S. National Missile Defence. The missile can change course in both air and space to avoid countermeasures. It is designed to be launched from land-based, mobile TEL units and submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s. Russian nuclear forces are confident that they can carry out a successful retaliation strike if attacked.

Because of international awareness of the danger that Russian nuclear technology might fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue officers who it was feared might want to use nuclear weapons to threaten or attack other countries, the Federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 and many other countries provided considerable financial assistance to the Russian nuclear forces in early 1990s. Many friendly countries gave huge amounts of money in lieu for Russian Arms purchase deals which kept Russian Agencies functioning just like they used to earlier with high efficiency. This money went in part to finance decommissioning of warheads under international agreements, such the Cooperative Threat Reduction programme, but also to improve security and personnel training in Russian nuclear facilities.

In the late evening of September 11, 2007 the fuel-air explosive
Fuel-air explosive
A fuel-air explosive device consists of a container of fuel and two separate explosive charges. After the munition is dropped or fired, the first explosive charge bursts open the container at a predetermined height and disperses the fuel in a cloud that mixes with atmospheric oxygen...

 AVBPM or "Father of all bombs" was successfully field-tested
Live fire exercise
A live fire exercise or LFX is any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In the popular lexicon this is applied primarily to tests of weapons or weapon systems that are associated with the various branches of a nation's armed forces, although the...

. According to the Russian military, the new weapon will replace several smaller types of nuclear bombs in its arsenal.

According to 2011 data from New START
New START
New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms...

Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms facts sheet, the United States now has nuclear superiority over Russia, with 300 more deployed weapons.

Further reading

  • Galeotti, Mark, ‘Organised crime and Russian security forces: mafiya, militia and military’, Journal of Conflict, Security and Development, issue 1:2, 2001.
  • Ivanov, Henry, ‘Country Briefing: Russia—Austere deterrence’, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 28 April 2006
  • Turbiville, G., ‘Organized crime and the Russian armed forces’, Transnational Organized Crime, vol. 1, issue 4, 1995, pp. 55–73;
  • Waters, T., ‘Crime in the Russian military’, CSRC Paper C90, (Camberley: Conflict Studies Research Centre, 1996).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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