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.
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 Presidential Regiment of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant Service FSO (the official full name of the Presidential Regiment) is part of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. It consists of three battalions, two companies of the Special Guard, an Honorary Cavalry Escort and Special Forces. Each formation has its own characteristics and specificity. The 1st company of the guard of honor is considered the most famous. The soldiers who serve in it stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many are eager to come, but less than half of the candidates are selected. The soldiers' barracks are located in the historic Arsenal building. Separate divisions are scattered across the territory of the Moscow region. The daily routine of a soldier differs little from the schedule of soldiers of other regiments. Wake up at 6 am, then build and exercise.
The company of the special guard of the Presidential Regiment provides events of national importance. Servicemen participate in the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Russian Federation, the solemn divorce of horse and foot guards, in international military festivals. Hundreds of Russians and foreign citizens visit the Eternal Flame every day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where Kremlin soldiers are on duty. The regiment allocates an honor guard for meetings of foreign delegations. The regiment is deployed in five locations.
The presidential regiment, which in 2021 celebrated its 85th anniversary, is called by officers and soldiers "the face of the army and the country," because they serve at the walls of the Moscow Kremlin and ensure the safety of the top officials of the state. The presidential regiment is the most elite unit in the country, it is the face of the Russian army. The best serve here, and the best of the best serve in the special guard company. A regiment is, first of all, a professional unit of constant combat readiness. The transition to contract service is fraught with great difficulties, but the regiment will be professional. Since a contract professional is a different level of awareness, this is a completely different person.
In 2002, a cavalry honorary escort, which was formed on the basis of the 11th cavalry regiment, the so-called Mosfilmovsky, was introduced to the Presidential regiment with the aim of reviving traditions - gradually reviving, because one cannot gallop in this problem. With the gradual transition of the regiment to a contract basis, we will increase the equestrian structure to participate in protocol festive events, in particular, in the setting of foot and horse guards. The equestrian structure will increase, and the number on foot will decline.
A spetsnaz company is created in the regiment. When performing any mission, a commander of any rank must have a reserve at hand. We are not creating any special Kremlin special forces. Our 11th company is strong, athletic, trained guys who can shoot and use weapons. This is precisely the reserve, which is needed to fulfill the tasks assigned to the regiment to protect and defend the official residence of the president.
The most powerful superweapon in any military unit is military tradition. The most expensive uniform - 60-80 thousand rubles - is the cost of ceremonial uniforms for the Company of the special guard, the so-called historical costumes. They are specially designed on the basis of the ceremonial military uniform of the Life Guards units of the 1907-1913 model, created on the direct orders of Nicholas II for the celebration of the anniversary of victory in the war of 1812. The emergence of a historically motivated dress uniform for the Life Guards at that time was considered one of the most important tasks. The army, which experienced the bitterness of defeat in the Japanese campaign, needed an excuse to raise the military spirit of the army and rally around great-power ideas during the period of the brewing turmoil. A dress uniform of a similar cut was worn by participants in the Victory Parade on Red Square in 1945.
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 location of the unit can be accessed not only from the Kremlin, but also directly "from the street", bypassing the Kremlin gates, - from Red Square, through an extension to the Nikolskaya Tower. Outside of the metal detectors, there is a passage to the architectural monument of the 18th century - the Arsenal of the Moscow Kremlin, chosen as the "headquarters" of the Presidential Regiment. Zeughaus, built by order of Peter I, was supposed to serve as a warehouse of weapons, ammunition, and a museum of military glory. The arsenal inside is rather austere: long corridors with many doors ("Secret Service", "Material Service", "Class", "Photolaboratory", "Guard Room", "Unit History Room" ...), walls painted with beige paint, carpet track. The age of the building is given by vaulted ceilings more than four meters high and the thickness of the walls is almost three. In the closed perimeter of the courtyard of the Arsenal, there is a parade ground and a gymnasium of the regiment.
In addition to the main "headquarters" in the Kremlin Arsenal, the Presidential Regiment has several bases in the Moscow region. For example, natives of the Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Region, who have the ability to handle horses in their blood, are more likely to get to the village of Kalininets, where the Honorary Cavalry Escort "lodges". Mostly contract soldiers serve there, so that the horse gets used to one rider. There are more than a hundred horses of Russian riding and Trakenin breeds in the regiment. An operational reserve battalion is located near Noginsk, which requires daily training at the shooting range. Servicemen of the Special Guard are undergoing a two-month training in the Kupavna area. A model of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built for them, exactly corresponding to the original. Without many hours of experience in carrying the training guard, not a single soldier can be admitted to this monument. Before the "baptism of fire" - a test in the Alexander Garden, which is taken at night, without prying eyes.
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.
Dynasties are welcomed into the regiment. Many soldiers come here after their fathers and brothers. the Presidential Regiment has dozens of true dynasties, when the fathers' work is continued by the sons. Among the famous "graduates" of the regiment: Gennady Zaitsev - Hero of the Soviet Union, former commander of the FSB special unit "Alpha"; Mikhail Barsukov - in 1991-1995, the commandant of the Kremlin, in 1995-1996 - director of the FSB; writer Vladimir Soloukhin. Many former Kremlinites have now become mayors of cities, deputies in regional legislative bodies.
It is more difficult to get into the Presidential Regiment than into the Airborne Forces, and the requirements for conscripts are as strict as possible. Among the selection criteria for recruits for service in the Presidential Regiment: height from 175 to 190 cm, good knowledge of the Russian language, absence of speech defects and tattoos on the body, excellent health and physical development, as well as the presence of secondary (complete) general education.
Prevention of hazing is a huge set of measures, not only in the Presidential Regiment - positive experience can be found in any part of the Armed Forces. First of all, it is necessary that each soldier understands why he came to serve, understand his role and place in the unit. Psychologists work in the battalions of the regiment. Each psychologist has a "risk group" - servicemen who are harder than others to adapt to the military collective. They work with them individually. Priests also work in the battalions, that is, there is another address where a soldier can turn, bypassing the commanders. There will always be a person to whom one can pour out your hopes and troubles, but this soldier will not go to the commander. But after talking with the priest, he will serve normally. Of the bad habits, only smoking is not prohibited. Alcohol is out of the question.
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].
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|