Presidential (Kremlin) Regiment
One of the main tasks of the Presidential (Kremlin) Regiment is the protection and defense of the Moscow Kremlin, the official residence of the president, as well as other facilities that are protected by the Federal Protective Service (FSO). The mission of the Guard of Honor of the Presidential regiment, created in it present form in 1976, is to accompany the highest state events and serve in the honored guard of the Eternal Flame at the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb. The personnel of the Guard have participated several times in the events dedicated to the President’s inauguration, in the solemn guard mountings and international military festivals in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and other countries.
A special, ceremonial uniform was created for the Squadron of the Special Guards of the President’s Regiment, with some elements of the outfit corresponding to the Russian Imperial Guard’s uniform of 1909 – 1913. Bearskin, epaulettes of different configuration, jacket with a special colored lapel, colored cuffs with embroidery, all this details that emphasize the historical continuity of the ceremonial outfit. The Squadron of the Special Guards of the President’s Regiment is armed with an autoloading SKS carbine used during ceremonies.
The basis for the ceremony military uniform of the Cavalry was the parade uniform of the Life Guards of the Dragoon Guards. The ceremony uniform Kremlin’s Dragoon has been joined with the infantry uniform of the Squadron of the Honor Guard, as the dragoons were initially allowed in both infantry and cavalry. The Honored Cavalry Escort is armed with cavalry swords of 1881. The Honor Escort has participated in the inauguration ceremony of the President of Russia, in numerous festive events on the Red Square and guard mounting ceremonies in the Kremlin.
The weekly changing of the guard ceremony of the Horse Guard and Foot Guard of the Presidential Regiment was first established in 2005, and reflects centuries of Russian military tradition, bringing together the most beautiful elements of military rituals. A brass band regales the regiment as it demonstrates precision drilling techniques using their rifles. Another component of the parade features the 'horse carousal', drilling using live horses.
The Presidential Regiment is a unique military unit, dedicated to defending top public officials, and maintaining the Kremlin's historical traditions. The regiment is part of the Federal Protective Service, has the status of a security service and reports directly to the Russian president. Its motto is 'Loyalty. Honor. Duty.'
Since 2009, a company of guards from the Presidential Regiment and the Presidential Orchestra have opened the Spasskaya Tower Festival, which features honor guards units and military bands of Russia and countries from around the world; that festival takes place on Red Square in late August and early September.
The changing of the Kremlin guard ceremony has existed in Russia since the days of Grand Prince Ivan III, in the 15th century. Their beginnings coincided with the construction of a new brick Kremlin. Russia's first constitutional code of 1649, the Sobornoye Ulozheniye, included the formulation of standards for Kremlin ceremonies, including the changing of the guard ceremony.
The new Kremlin buildings are military facilities being constructed in 2013 for the Presidential Regiment commanded by Maj. Gen. Oleg Galkin. One of them was commissioned in 2013 — a sports complex located near the new helipad. After a morning run in the Taynitsky Garden, soldiers of the Presidential Regiment will be able to warm up there. This is the first and only open-air sports complex in the Kremlin.
A permanent stable for the Kremlin Cavalry was built in the Taynitsky Garden. Previously, when the guards need horses for parades, these must be brought in from the countryside. Altogether, the Cavalry Honor Regiment consists of two squads of 108 horses — actually one squadron. The residents can usually see, at best, between 12 and 24 riders during Saturday's ceremonial guard ride on Red Square and Cathedral Square.
The Presidential Regiment passes conscripts young people in most regions of the country. Among the soldiers and sergeants of the regiment representatives of Kuzbass and Siberia, the Urals and the Volga region, the central region of Russia, Stavropol Territory. They are former students of schools, technical schools, colleges, workers, workers of agricultural production. They are all different, but at the same time, they share a passionate love for the motherland, the pursuit of high quality to perform assigned tasks honestly and conscientiously fulfill their duty.
There is a real competition for the right to get onto the list of candidates to the regiment. At first, the conscripts are selected at the military registration and enlistment office, and then competitions are held—in marching, running, pull-ups, push-ups, assembly and disassembly of a submachine gun—and an aptitude test is given, as well.
After three months of conscription service, the best soldiers may be transferred to contract military service. They are provided with a room in a dormitory. The soldiers also have the possibility of enrolling as part-time students at the Moscow State University (MSU) or at the Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk). In the long-term, they may rise to the rank of warrant officer, and, after graduating, they may receive their commissions as officers.
Cadets of this regiment serve virtually in all the departments and divisions of the FSO [Federal Protective Service of the RF], as well as in the Ministry of Defense and in various detachments of the Special Forces. From this regiment, many men have risen to the rank of general, or, in civilian life, became mayors and directors of factories.
Previously, officers only carried Makarov pistols, but now they also have Yarigin pistols. Previously, they had only SVD sniper rifles, but today they also have two new sniper complexes — for short and long distances. They have optical devices for Kalashnikov machine guns and new telescopic sights. They have switched to new body armor and radio-equipped helmets. All of this equipment is produced in Russia. The swords for the Cavalry Escort of Honor are also special ordered from Zlatoust [Russia’s traditional center for the manufacturing of cold steel, located in the Urals].
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