Russian Army Order of Battle
In 2008 reforms were initiated by Russian Defense Minister Anatolii Serdyukov to fundamentally change the personnel composition and structure within the Ground Forces, to be finished by 2012. The new management system was borrowed from the NATO / US experience. In practice, however, these plans proved to be “unbaked” and required online corrections and removal of deficiencies.
The main change was a move from the current vertical chain of command of the Armed Forces, a military district - army - division - regiment structure, to a united strategic commands (USC) - operative command [Armies] - brigade regime, in order to increase efficiency by abolishing redundant elements. Except for some postwar changes, the Russian army's structure had remained virtually the same since 1945-1946. Four-regiment divisions were the main tactical units, while the recruitment system aimed to swell troop strength in wartime. But any local conflict can be won without resorting to mobilization.
The previous system comprising military districts, armies, divisions and regiments is giving way to another system that will consist of military districts, tactical commands and brigades. The brigade structure seemed to be more flexible and better suited for local conflicts because divisions are too cumbersome and regiments lack the required weaponry and equipment for conducting independent operations. Army brigades are supposed to be used as mobile permanent-readiness units capable of fighting independently with the support of highly mobile task forces or together with other brigades under joint command.
Mobile permanent readiness brigades, consisting of battalions, will be capable of operating tactical maneuver groups, either independently or together with other brigades under joint command. In addition, each military district established rapid response brigades, which will most likely be formed out of airborne units. The non-combat (‘cadre-strength’) units with a minimal / reduced manpower were eliminated, and all army units were ‘troops of permanent readiness’ (combat units). In 2009, the structure of the Armed Forces changed from division-regiment based to the brigade-based one (except the Airborne Landing Forces and Strategic Missile Forces). The mumber of Military Units in Russian Ground Forces went from 1,890 in 2008 to 172 by 2012.
Changes in the personnel composition of the Armed Forces include reducing the commissioned officers' (CO) numbers from more than 400,000 in 2008 (over 30% of the current 1,200,000 servicemen) to around 150,000 (15% of the future 1,000,000). The cutback would mostly affect Logistics and staff COs and Generals, while the number of First and Second Lieutenants will increase from 50,000 to 60,000. A reduction in CO numbers will be accompanied by a boost in the size of the sergeant corps. The sergeant corps will play a much larger role in the future Russian Army. Well-trained and experienced professional sergeants will ensure fast and effective training of privates, both contract soldiers and conscripts.
Many of the specialized support [non-manuever] "brigades" have staff headcounts of only a thousand troops or fewer. The 70th Separate Signal Brigade at Naro-Fominsk had fewer than 400 troops on hand when it was disbanded. Others appear to be no more than small command staffs - as of the year 2011 the 119th Logistics Brigade at Orlovskie Dvoriki had only 24 persons on staff. A number of the units designated as "regiments" in fact had only a few dozen troops on hand.
While it might be tempting to think of this as indicative of under-manned units, it would be more helpful to think of these small units as over-officered. The post-Soviet Russian Army had a massive over-supply of officers. While drafted privates and sergeants could painlessly melt away, a too-rapid down-sizing of the officer corps could have produced political problems for Russia's rulers. Even too much constraint on promotion opportunities could have produced problems. So the answer, much like the army of Myanmar, was to over-officer small units.
Span of command rationales are not entirely apparent. In the Eastern Military District the 5th Army, 35th Army and 36th Army are generally similar in organization, and are really divisions, rather than armies, while 29th Army has far more units than could be conveniently commanded from a single headquarters. The persistence of Machinegun Artillery formations is peculiar. In the Central Military District, the lopsided allocation of units between 2nd Army, a small formation which lacks maneuver brigades, and 41st Army, which has them in abundance, requires some explanation.
Denis Mokrushin’s blog reported in early 2014 on the establishment of an independent motorized rifle brigade (mountain), which may stand up in Tuva in 2015. The new 55th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade (Mountain) will be based in Kyzyl, capital of the ethnic Tuvan republic. It would be located at the geographic center of Asia, close to Central Asian states where it might deploy in a crisis.
A multi-service force is being created to protect Russia's national interests in the Arctic. The combined arms element of the force will incorporate two Arctic motorized infantry brigades, Ground Forces Commander Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov told reporters on 01 October 2014. "A separate [Arctic] motorized infantry brigade has almost been formed in the Murmansk region. The second Arctic brigade will be formed in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region during the year 2016," Salyukov said. The brigades will accomplish coast patrolling missions, protect sites and territories on the coast of the northern seas and the Arctic Ocean, support and escort ships sailing along the Northern Sea Route, and demonstrate the military presence in the Arctic, he said. "The Arctic formations will be equipped with off-highway vehicles: two-section transporters, snowmobiles and hovercraft," Salyukov added. The armaments and special-purpose gear will help the successful accomplishment of missions in northern latitudes, he said. "Combat training will be organized with due account of climatic conditions," the commander stated.
By October 2014 Russia's Defense Ministry was drafting amendments to the federal Law On Defense that would allow for the creation of several reservist armies. These forces would consist of men who have performed their compulsory military service or enlisted as contract servicemen. They would report for training on a monthly basis while continuing to work at their civilian jobs. Initial reports did not cite any figure either for the number of such armies or of their optimum strength. Advocates predicted that this innovation would enhance the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces as a whole and ensure that in the event of unanticipated hostilities, conscripts would not be used as "cannon fodder" (as was the case during the initial advance on Grozny during the 1994-96 Chechen war).
Skeptics warned that in the long term, the creation of a network of regional armies not directly subordinate to the federal Defense Ministry could create more problems than it solved. The Bolshevik victory in 1917 was largely thanks to the extensive network of such reservist battalions.
Nor is it yet clear in which Russian regions these planned new forces would be based. The one regional leader who was most likely to embrace this idea wholeheartedly is Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov. But the stipulation that only men who had performed their military service would be eligible to serve in the reservist armies automatically disqualified most Chechen men in their 20s and 30s, given that since the early 2000s no young men from Chechnya, and only a few from other North Caucasus republics, had been drafted.
The Russian Defense Ministry planned to create a new tank army in the Western Military District by December 2015 and another, combined army, will in fact be formed anew. "According to a directive of the chief of the General Staff, the 1st Guards Tank Army and 20th Guards Combined Army are to be formed within the western military district by December 1, 2015," a senior source at Russia’s General Staff said.
The 1st Tank Army will incorporate the Tamanskaya Mechanized Infantry Division and the Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, as well as the 27th Sevastopolskaya Mechanized Infantry Brigade and the 6th Tank Brigade. Major-General Alexander Chaiko had been appointed commander of the 1st Tank Army. Before, he was in charge of the 20th Army. The latter’s new commander is Major-General Sergey Kuzovlyov (previously chief of staff of the 58th Combined Army).
The existing 20th army will in fact be formed anew. A large share of its units - notably the Tamanskaya Mechanized Infantry Division and the Kantemirovskaya Tank Division - would be transferred to the yet-to-be formed tank army. New ones will be formed in their place.
There will be no great difference in the make-up of the 1st and 20th armies. Each will have one reconnaissance and one air missile brigade, as well as a logistics brigade, missile and artillery units a helicopter regiment and other units, including reconnaissance and attack drone units. The tank army will have more tanks and the combined army, mechanized infantry combat vehicles.
The 1st Guards Tank Army, which Russia is establishing, and the newly-formed 20th Combined Arms Army will be the first to receive the newest Armata tanks and Kurganets infantry fighting vehicles. During 2016-2017, work will begin to rearm the 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army with the newest armor. In particular, the operational tanks will be replaced with Armata tanks. These armies will also be the first to receive the Kurganets IFVs.
Three new army divisions will be formed in 2016 to reinforce the Russian military in the western part of the country, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said 12 January 2016. The new units will be formed amid NATO’s continuing build-up across Eastern and Central Europe. "I cannot but mention such a critical task which is the formation of three divisions in the western theater. The task is extremely important," TASS reported Shoigu as telling journalists.
Shoigu also added that alongside the creation of the new divisions, the army will have to set up proper infrastructure including barracks, firing ranges and military hardware depots. While details of the new formations are unknown, the minister’s announcement came amid a US and NATO military build-up in Central and Eastern Europe – against what Washington and its allies call “Russian aggression.”
A senior source in the General Staff told TASS the 20th general purpose army in the district had to be created from scratch, as most of its original forces had been handed over to the 1st tank army. The 20th army is to be stationed in five regions in the west of Russia. Its headquarters are Voronezh.
|57th Separate Motorized Brigade||Bikin|
|59th Separate Motorized Brigade||Sergeevka|
|60th Separate Motorized Brigade||Sibirtsevo/Lipovtsy|
|70th Separate Motorized Brigade||Ussuryysk|
|8th Air Defense Brigade||Razdolnoe|
|80th C3 Brigade||Ussuryysk|
|58th Engineer Regiment||Razdolnoe|
|101st Separate Logistics Brigade||??|
|36th Separate Motorized Brigade||Borzya|
|39th Separate Motorized Brigade||Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk|
|11th Separate Commando Brigade||Sosnovyy Bor (Ulan-Ude)|
|83rd Separate Commando Brigade||Ussuryysk (Far East)|
|14th Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Ussuryysk (Far East)|
|18th Air Defense Brigade||Kyahta|
|140th Air Defense Brigade||Domna/Telemba (Chita)|
|75th C3 Brigade||Chita|
|165th Artillery Brigade||Nikolskoe (Belogorsk)|
|200th Artillery Brigade||Gornyy/Drovyanaya|
|305th Artillery Brigade||Severnyy (Ussuryysk)|
|338th MLRS Brigade||Novosysoevka|
|20th Missile Brigade||Spassk-Dalnyy|
|103rd Missile Brigade||Drovyanaya|
|107th Missile Brigade||Birobidzhan, Semistochnyy|
|16th Separate NBC Defense Brigade||Galkino (Khabarovsk)|
|101st C3 Brigade||Chita|
|104th C3 Brigade||Knyaze-Volkonskoe|
|76th Separate Signal Brigade||Komsomolsk|
|92nd Separate Signal ELINT Brigade (OSNAZ)||Arseniev (Primorskyy)|
|50th Communications Brigade|
|50th Separate Communications Brigade||?|
|106th Separate Communications Brigade||Dalnerechinsk|
|154th Separate Communications Brigade|
|7th Separate ECM Regiment OSN||Artem|
|17th Separate ECM Brigade||Matveevka|
|53rd Separate Logistics Regiment||Chita|
18th Machinegun Artillery Division
|Goryachie Klyuchi (Sakhalin)|
|46th Machinegun Artillery Regiment||Lagunnoe|
|49th Machinegun Artillery Regiment|
|38th Separate Motorized Brigade||Belogorsk-Ekaterinoslavka|
|64th Separate Motorized Brigade||Khabarovsk|
|69th Separate Motorized Sustainment Brigade||Babstovo (JAD)|
|71st Air Defense Brigade||Srednebelaya (Amur)|
|54th C3 Brigade||Belogorsk|
|37th Engineer Regiment||Berezovka|
|103rd Separate Logistics Brigade||??|
|Logistics Brigade||Arkhara (Amur)|
|5th Separate Tank Brigade||Ulan Ude|
|37th Separate Motorized Brigade||Kyakhta|
|75th C3 Brigade||Borzya|
|27th Engineer Regiment||Yasnaya|
|449th Separate Fireworks Division||Vatutinko|
|27th Separate Motorized Brigade||Vidnoe-4|
|2nd Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Promezhits|
|16th Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Tambov|
|49th Air Defense Brigade||Elnya|
|53rd Air Defense Brigade||Kursk|
|202nd Air Defense Brigade||Naro-Fomisnk|
|112nd Missile Brigade||Shuya|
|79th MLRS Brigade||Tver|
|7th Separate Engineer Regiment||Belev (Tula)|
|145th Engineer Regiment||?|
|27th NBC Defense Brigade||Kursk|
|39th Separate Signal ELINT Brigade OsN||Orenburg|
|82nd Separate ELINT Brigade (OSNAZ)||Vyazma|
|146th Separate ELINT Brigade (OSNAZ)||St Petersburg|
|146th Separate ELINT Brigade OsN||Bugry|
|16th Separate ECM Brigade||Kursk|
|1st C3 Brigade||Sertolovo|
|119th Logistics Brigade||Orlovskie Dvoriki|
|25th Separate Motorized Brigade||Vladimirskyy Lager|
|138th Separate Motorized Brigade||Kamenka (Vyborg)|
|26th Missile Brigade||Luga|
|9th Artillery Brigade||Luga|
|5th Air Defense Brigade||Nyunemyaki|
|132nd Separate Communications Brigade||Agalatovo|
|140th Separate Engineer Regiment||Kerro (Karelia)|
|95th C3 Brigade||Chernaya Rechka|
|51st Separate Logistics Brigade||St Petersburg|
|4th Separate Guard Tank Brigade Kantemirov||Naro-Fominsk|
|5th Separate Guard Motorized Rifle Brigade Tamanskaya||Kalininets|
|6th Separate Tank Brigade||Dzerzhinsk|
|9th Separate Motorized Brigade||N Novgorod/Sormovo|
|448th Missile Brigade||Durnevo/Kursk|
|288th Artillery Brigade||Mulino|
|250th Separate ELINT Regiment (OSNAZ)||Ostrogozhsk|
|9th C3 Brigade||Mulino|
|119th Missile Brigade||Elanskyy|
|297th Air Defense Brigade||Alkino (Ufa)|
|91st C3 Brigade||Roschinskyy|
|153rd Communications Brigade||Verkhnyaya Pyshma|
|105th Separate Logistics Brigade||Roschinskyy|
|201st Military Base [Motorized Brigade]||Dushanbe, Tajikistan|
|7th Separate Tank Brigade||Chebarkul|
|15th Separate Motorized Brigade||Roschinskyy (Samara)|
|21st Separate Motorized Brigade||Totskoe|
|23rd Separate Motorized Brigade||Samara|
|28th Separate Motorized Brigade||Ekaterinburg|
|32nd Separate Motorized Brigade||Novosibirsk|
|35th Separate Motorized Brigade||Aleisk|
|55th Separate Motorized Brigade (Mountain)||Kyzyl, Tuva|
|74th Separate Motorized Brigade||Yurga (Kemerovo)|
|3rd Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Tolyatti|
|24th Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Novosibirsk|
|28th Air Defense Brigade||Chebarkul|
|61st Air Defense Brigade||Yurga|
|92nd Missile Brigade||Totskoe|
|120th Artillery Brigade||Yurga|
|385th Artillery Brigade||Totskoe|
|29th NBC Defense Brigade||Ekaterinburg|
|35th C3 Brigade||Kochenevo (Novosibirsk)|
|59th C3 Brigade||Ekatirenburg|
|4th Military Base [693rd Separate Motorized Brigade]||Dzhava-Tskhinval (South Ossetia)|
|17th Separate Motorized Brigade||Shali|
|18th Separate Motorized Brigade||Khankala|
|19th Separate Motorized Brigade||Sputnik (Vladikavkaz)|
|136th Separate Motorized Brigade||Buinaksk (Dagestan)|
|205th Separate Motorized Brigade||Budennovsk|
|100th Separate Recce Brigade||Mozdok|
|67th Air Defense Brigade||Volgograd|
|34th C3 Brigade||Vladikavkaz|
|8th Separate Motorized Brigade (Mountain)||Borzoi|
|20th Separate Motorized Brigade||Volgograd|
|34th Separate Motorized Brigade (Mountain)||Storozhevaya-2|
|33rd Detached Recce Brigade (Mountain)||Maikop|
|56th Separate Commando lite Brigade||Kamyshin|
|10th Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Molkino (Krasnodar)|
|22nd Separate SPETSNAZ Brigade||Aksai (Rostov)|
|66th C3 Brigade||Stavropol|
|1st Missile Brigade||Krasnodar|
|439th MLRS Brigade||Znamensk|
|291st Artillery Brigade||Troitskaya|
|21st NBC Defense Brigade||Kamishin|
|175th C3 Brigade||Aksai|
|176th Communications Brigade||Novocherkassk|
|154th Separate ECM Brigade OSN||Izobilny|
|Separate Logistics Brigade||Stavropol|
|76th Separate Motorized Brigade||Gyumri, Armenia|
|73rd Separate Motorized Brigade||Erevan (Armenia)|
|988th Air Defense Regiment||Gyumri (Armenia)|
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