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6th Army

25th Separate Motorized BrigadeVladimirskyy Lager
138th Separate Motorized BrigadeKamenka (Vyborg)
26th Missile BrigadeLuga
9th Artillery BrigadeLuga
5th Air Defense BrigadeNyunemyaki
15th Army Aviation BrigadePskov
132nd Separate Communications BrigadeAgalatovo
140th Separate Engineer RegimentKerro (Karelia)
95th C3 BrigadeChernaya Rechka
51st Separate Logistics BrigadeSt Petersburg

6th ArmyIn light of conventional forces balance, it would be possible to field a considerable conventional strike force against the Baltic countries with very little warning. A significant conclusion of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences "A National Strategy for Neighbouring Areas" research project is that NATO apparently would not be able to react quickly enough in case of a possible military conflict in the Baltic countries, but would be faced with a fait accompli. Latvia is not really planning serious defense of its territory, Latvian soldiers don't even have suitable uniforms for Latvian climate, but use desert uniforms that are meant for Afghanistan. Estonia on the other hand is preparing mostly for defending its territory.

The current ground forces east of the Baltic states and southeast of Finland are under the command of the Russian 6th Army Headquarters. The number of Russian troop units and troop strength in the former Leningrad MD has changed markedly since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The large decrease that took place in the late 1990s and at the start of this century has changed to an increased capability again. Starting in 2008, when Russia launched all-encompassing army reforms, many units in the Baltic region - the Pskov oblast, Leningrad oblast and Kaliningrad - have been disbanded, but many others have received significant reinforcements. Some new army bases have also been opened.

Perhaps most importantly is the concentration around Pskov, where the 76th Guards Air Assault Division is based. An elite paratrooper unit, the 76th Air Assault Division received new weaponry and equipment, but the most important thing is that the unit would be composed only of contract soldiers and professional NCOs. Pskov also hosts the 2nd Independent Spetsnaz Brigade. Both units have been kept fully manned, and the Spetsnaz brigade has seen major upgrades after 2008.

Putin made evident his interest in the Baltic States too by establishing an airbase for helicopters in Ostrov, Pskov Oblast near the borders of Latvia and Estonia. The airbase is intended for such military helicopters as Ka-52, Mi-34, Mi-28 and others. That is a recent development, and it of course, raises the question of why there is a need for such a base, especially given its geographic location. The base has an offensive capability.

The newly formed Russian army helicopter brigade began training flights in the northwest of the country near the borders with the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, a spokesman for the Western Military District said 30 April 2014. Helicopters of the army aviation brigade of the Western Military District, based in the Pskov region, have begun regular training flights in the skies over northwestern Russia, Col. Oleg Kochetkov said. Kochetkov said the flights involve dozens of Mi-28N Night Hunter and Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters as well as Mi-8MTV-5 and Mi-26T combat transport helicopters.

During the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, the number of helicopters, attack helicopters, stationed in that base tripled. NATO says the Russian base has 100 combat helicopters, including Mi-28N Night Hunters and Ka-52 Alligators.

The 15th army aviation brigade, formed in December 2013 and stationed at the Ostrov airbase, is fully equipped with new, recently-built helicopters. The brigade initially comprised three helicopter squadrons, with two more to be added in the near future. Media in the former Soviet Baltic states, as well as Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom, have expressed security concerns about Russias decision to station the 15th brigade near NATOs borders.

Another important development occurred in Luga, on the other side of Lake Peipus, which is home to the 9th Artillery Brigade and 26th Missile Brigade. Before the 2008 reforms it was only half-manned, but by 2014 it was fully-manned. The Artillery Brigade actually had enough weaponry to form a second artillery base in the event of crisis. The relevant personnel just have to be deployed there.

Since 2010, Iskander-M ballistic short-range missiles have been stationed with the Missile Brigade. The minimum range of these is 500 km, but based on some public sources, it could be 700-750 kilometers. It is a precision weapon system that can hit high-value strategic targets - bridges, bunkers, ports, airports, etc. The range extends to half of Latvia and quite easily up to northern Finland. Thus with very little warning, they can deal a major strike on strategic points in any part of Estonia or Latvia.

Tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles are assuming an increasing operational-tactical role and augment aviation strike forces well. The countrys military authorities have great expectations with regard to the Iskander missile system. In carrying out strategic strikes, the Luga Iskander missile brigade is of fundamental importance. Along with air power, its accurate strikes could be used to suppress any organized defence by opponents, taking advantage of their lack of readiness.

A new mech infantry unit - the 25th Independent Motor Rifle Brigade - was created in Vladimirsky Lager, between Pskov and Luga. Such a unit didn't previously exist there. It's a new formation which shows that the general staff feels this area is important enough that it needed to be reinforced. The Pskov Amphibious Landing Division is about as big as the peacetime ranks of the Estonian Defense Forces. So actually, there has never been a imbalance of forces here for the Russians.

In the St. Petersburg area, two key developments have occurred prior to 2014. S-300 BMU-2 Anti-aircraft defenses were moved close to St. Petersburg. With a range of up to 250 km, when placed in this position, they could be used systems to close all of Estonian airspace without leaving the Russian Federation borders, and target any plane in Estonian airspace. It is likely that in a matter of a few years one of the regiments in this missile brigade would be re-armed with even more powerful S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems, which have a theoretical range of up to 450 km.

Near St. Petersburg, the 138th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, which is on permanent stand-by. It took part in the massive exercises which took place right before the March 2014 invasion of Ukraine. There is also a Russian Air Force base north of the city, where fighter planes are based. There's also one mid-range AA brigade armed with a PUK anti-aircraft missile battery. Also near St. Petersburg, in Levaovo, there is a key army air base, with a combination helicopter and combat helicopter regiment. In 2014 a new type K-52 attack helicopters should arrived, Russia's newest combat helicopters. They could be called Russian Apaches.

One development in 2013 was the helicopter base that was re-opened in Ostrov, near the Estonian-Latvian border. A squadron's worth of assault helicopter were based there as of the end of 2013. In 2014 transport helicopter and K-52 attack helicopters also arrived. It's important for these Baltic NATO members, because previously they had to reckon with one helicopter base when defending their airspace, but now there are two of them. Double in quantity, and the new aircraft are also better in quality.

An Arctic Brigade, recruited from Spetsnaz special forces accustomed to Arctic conditions, was also to be established in Pechenga, according to an announcement by the commander of Russias ground forces in March 2011. Plans have since been postponed to 2015. It is too early to tell if the brigade will be an entirely new unit.

Readiness varies from one unit to the next. Most, like the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, the 2nd Independent Spetnaz Brigade and the 138th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade near Kamenka are actually at a high state of readiness. A week until combat operations. Some units probably have even a higher level of readiness. For example, the elite paratrooper division has a rapid response battalion that has always been at 12-hour readiness. The same is true for the Pskov division.

The Pskov Air Assault Division has 6,000-7,000 men. That fluctuates seasonally depending on the number of conscripts. There are two call-ups a year in Russia. The 2nd Spetsnaz Brigade has 1,000 men. The 25th Motor Rifle Brigade has about 3,000, the 138th Motor Rifle Brigade in Kamenka has about 3,000 as well. The Baltic Fleet Marine Brigade in Kaliningrad has about 3,500 men, and the motor rifle brigade there has about 2,500-3,000, while the Independent Motor Rifle Brigade has about 1,600-1,800 men.

6th Army History

The 6th Army was formed in August 1939 in the Kiev Special Military District. In September participated in the liberation campaign of the Red Army in the Western Ukraine. By the beginning of the war the army (6th and 37th Rifle Corps, the 4th and the 15th Mechanized Corps, 5th Cavalry Corps, 4th and 6th fortifications, artillery and a number of other parts) was deployed at the Lviv direction. Since the beginning of the war included in the South-Western Front, participated in the border battle northwest of Lviv in July - early August (from July 25, was part of the Southern Front) - in the Kiev defense operations. August 3 enemy managed to surround a large part of the troops of the 6th Army (along with parts of the 12th Army) in Uman. Some groups within these armies fought until August 13, breaking the east. 10 August 6th Army disbanded its army transferred to other armies. Commanders: Muzychenko JH (June - August 1941), Lieutenant-General.

Once again, the 6th Army was established in the end of August 1941 on the southern front on the basis of the 48th Rifle Corps. Originally it consisted of 169-I , 226 th , 230 th , 255th , 273rd , 275th Infantry Division, 26 th and 28 th Cavalry Division, 8th Armored Division, 44th Fighter Air Division, the number of artillery, engineering, and other parts. After the formation of the defending line on the left bank of the Dnieper River north-west of the Dnipropetrovsk. In late September, passed the Southwestern Front and its composition has participated in the Donbas operation, then Barvenkovsky - Lozovskaya operations and Kharkov battle in 1942 At the beginning of June 1942 management disbanded the army, as its troops out of the environment received the reserve Southeast Western Front.

Commanders: R. J. Malinowski (August - December 1941), Major-General, in early November 1941, Lieutenant-General Gorodnyansky AM (January - May 1942), Major General, from the end of March 1942 Lieutenant General. The composition of the beginning of the Kharkov operation in 1942: 41th Rifle Division , 45th Rifle Division , the 103rd Rifle Division , 248th Rifle Division , 253rd Rifle , 266 Rifle Division , 337th Rifle Division , 411th Rifle Division , 21 th TC ( 64th Tank Brigade , 198th Tank Brigade , 199th Tank Brigade ), the 23rd TC ( 57th Tank Brigade , 131st Tank Brigade , 23th IDB )

The third time the 6th Army was established was at the beginning of July 1942 (after renaming the 6th Army Reserve). It includes the 45 th , 99 th , 141 th , 160 th , 174 th , 212 th , 219 th and 309 th Infantry Division, 141st Infantry Brigade, a number of artillery and other units and units . As part of the Voronezh, from December 19, 1942 Southwest (from October 20, 1943 the 3rd Ukrainian) fronts participated in Voronezh - Voroshilovgrad Srednedonskoy defensive and offensive operations, attack on the direction of the Donbass and the reflection of the German counter-offensive - Nazi troops south of Kharkov, in the Donbass operations in 1943, the winter and spring of 1944 - in Nikopol - Krivoy Rog, Bereznegovatoe - Snigirevskoj and Odessa offensive operations. In June 1944, the 6th Army transferred to the 37-th and 46-th Army, Office of the front output in reserve, on July 18 - to reserve the Supreme Command. In December 1944, management of the 6th Army transferred to the 1st Ukrainian Front and near Sandomierz took some of the troops from the 3rd Guards and 13th Armies. In January - February 1945, the army was involved in Sandomir - Silesia and Lower Silesia offensive operations in March - early May was fighting to eliminate the encircled enemy in Breslau.

Commanders:

  • Kharitonov FM (July 1942 - May 1943), Major-General, with December 1942, Lieutenant-General
  • Shlemin Ivan T. (May 1943 - May 1944), Lieutenant-General
  • Kulishev FD (June-August and September-December 1944), Maj.-Gen.
  • Tsvetayev VD (September 1944), Colonel-General
  • Gluzdovsky VA (December 1944 - May 1945), Lieutenant-General.

The composition of the 6th Army as of 1.12.1942g.:

  • 15th ck ( 172nd Rifle Division , 267th Rifle Division , 350th Rifle Division );
  • 127th Rifle Division , 160th Rifle Division , 219 Rifle Division , 270th Rifle Division , 309th Rifle Division ;
  • 106th Rifle Brigade , 1st iptabr, 2nd iptabr, 6th opbr;
  • Artillery RGC - 8th hell , 875 th rang, 1109-th popes, 462 th and 1176-iptap th, 45 th, 87 th and 97 th Guards. minp, 241st zenap;
  • The armor fur. troops - 17th TC , ( 66th Tank Brigade , 67th Tank Brigade , 174th Tank Brigade , 31th UICC ), 115th Tank Brigade , 34th separate armored train;
  • Engineering - 15th MBP MBP 23rd, 123rd MBP 370 th OPB.

Officially there were listed three formations of the 6th Army during the war, in fact, four of them: the first died in Uman cauldron, surrounded by a second near Kharkov, and the third, which was renamed from the 6th Army Reserve 07/08/1942. However, she gave 01/06/1944 all troops in the 37th and 46th Army 3rd Ukrainian Front, its field command displayed in the front of the reserve, and then Stakes, and was there for six months right up to December 1944, after which 07.12.1944 received new troops from the 3rd Guards Army and the 13th Army in the 1st Ukrainian Front and continued to fight until victory Sandomierz bridgehead.

The 6th Tank Army was formed on the basis of the decision of the Supreme Command January 20, 1944 at the 1st Ukrainian Front. Initially, the 6th Panzer Army were part of the 5th Guards Tank and 5th Mechanized Corps, a number of separate parts. In the 1 st Ukrainian, from February 22 - 2nd Ukrainian Front took part in the Korsun - Shevchenko, Uman - Botoshanskoy, Iasi - Chisinau offensive operations, the liberation of Romania, in Debrecen and Budapest offensive operations. At the end of January 1945 reserve bred in the front, in the middle of March passed the 3rd Ukrainian front and in its composition took part in the Vienna operation. In mid-April, was reassigned to the 2nd Ukrainian Front and participated in the Bratislava - Prague Brnovskoy and offensive operations. In the summer of 1945 the army redeployed to the Mongolian People's Republic, is included in the Trans-Baikal Front and participated in Khingano - Mukden operation. For Military Merit was transformed into the 6th Guards Tank Army (September 1944), and units of the Army awarded orders, many of them were awarded honorary titles, tens of thousands of soldiers of the army were awarded orders and medals, 75 awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and A. Kravchenko and SF Shutov awarded the title twice.




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