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The Caspian Flotilla, the naval component of the Southern Military District, was based in Astrakhan and ensures the national and state interests of Russia in the Caspian Sea region: it conducts anti-terrorism measures, deals with trade protection, and protects state interests in the oil field. The flotilla includes several brigades and divisions of ships, parts of coastal troops. The withdrawal of troops from Azerbaijan required Russia to establish military infrastructure in Astrakhan, providing a new base for the Caspian. Astrakhan is about 100 km from the Caspian Sea and ships need to pass the Volga Delta to enter the open sea. In winter the Volga Delta and the Northern part of the Caspian Sea often freeze over. The flotilla warships are of not reinforced ice class, and in a severe frost they risk to be icebound on the base.

Astrakhan Naval Base no longer suited the navy, because of Astrakhan’s commercial activity linked to the Volga River. The distance from Astrakhan to the town of Kaspiysk is about 400 km. The remaining 300 km to Kaspiysk vessels, going at maximum speed, will cut for another 6 hours at best. Thus, relocation to the new naval base can save valuable 12 hours for the flotilla to reach the designated area and be operational.

The Center for Combat Training and Combat Use of the Aerospace Forces is a unique combination of the aerospace forces, which includes three separate centers: fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft missile and radioengineering forces, as well as the Ashuluk and Telemba training grounds, where the largest exercises of aviation units and air defense units are held annually, as well as developing new forms and methods of combat employment of the Air Force and Air Defense units. On 22 February 2019, celebrations will be held on the embankment of Astrakhan dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Center for Combat Training and Combat Use of the Aerospace Forces.

Russia is preparing a new base for its Caspian Flotilla, which is set to become of the country’s most technically advanced naval facilities. The Black Sea Fleet’s former commander, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, welcomed the decision to relocate the Caspian Flotilla headquarters from Astrakhan to Kaspiisk in Dagestan as “strategically correct.” “From a strategic standpoint, all the neighboring countries are our good friends. Secondly, we are just moving the command and control headquarters there,” Komoyedov said 03 April 2018. He added that having the fleet’s strike force deployed up front is one thing and having its headquarters in the middle is another. “My guess is that in terms of the ships’ deployment and operation, including overseas ones, this might be a better way to go,” the admiral noted.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier had said that Russia will be closing the headquarters of the Caspian Flotilla in Astrakhan and moving to a new location in Dagestan. “Vast construction work is in progress there: piers, logistic facilities and housing. The number of our officers and other personnel will increase manifold," Shoigu said at a conference of senior Defense Ministry officials.

The transfer of the flotilla was scheduled for 2019, but may be postponed, depending on the readiness of the new facility. The Caspian Sea Flotilla's main task is to defend Russia's southern borders, secure its national interests and combat terrorism. The flotilla also plays an important role in preserving Russia's leadership in the world's largest enclosed seas.

In Astrakhan in 1949 a number of diesel-powered armored (and armed) landing barges came down the Volga and debouched into the Caspian. These craft had front opening ramps, and were known as model BDB-2. There were suficient of these craft based at Bakú to transport several divisions. The boats were built by Sormovo, Gorki. When city officials asked the purposeof these craft they were told that they were going into the Caspian "with the purpose of extending a brotherly hand to the Slavs in Persia."

The city of Astrakhan is the administrative center of the Astrakhan region, 1534 kilometers south-east of Moscow. Located on the Caspian lowland, on the Volga River, in the upper part of its delta. The climate is sharply continental, arid. The average January temperature is -10 ° C, July 25 ° C. Precipitation is 230 mm per year. There are river and sea ports of the Volga-Caspian basin, a transport hub of railway lines (to Saratov, Kizlyar, Guryev) and roads (to Volgograd, Stavropol and others), an international airport.

After the collapse of the Union, the region found itself in a new geopolitical situation, having received the status of the southern outpost of Russia. The main waterway, the Volga River, passes through it and waterways from the Caspian states to the Black, Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas pass through it. Astrakhan is a natural center of transit trade and a major transport hub at the junction of Asia and Europe.

Astrakhan is a modern city, which is developing as a fully developed complex, combining a geopolitical position, a developed industrial and economic zone, convenient transport approaches, and the necessary intellectual and human resources. The city is located on eleven islands, the occupied area is 20869 hectares, it is divided into 4 districts (Kirovsky, Leninsky, Sovetsky, Trusovsky); the population of the city as of January 1, 2015 is 532.7 thousand people. Representatives of more than 100 nationalities live in Astrakhan. History Astrakhan - the oldest city of the Lower Volga region, is one of 115 cities of the Russian Federation recognized as historically valuable.

In the area where Astrakhan is located, urban settlements have long been located, through which the trade routes of the Persians and Arabs went. For several centuries, despite the destruction, cities of the Khazars, Polovtsy, Tatar-Mongols constantly appeared. For the first time the city of Astrakhan is mentioned by historians, scientists, travelers from the XIII century. The old city was part of the Golden Horde. It was located 12 km above modern Astrakhan on the right bank of the Volga. At different times, it was called differently - Astarkhan, Ashtarkhan, Hadji Tarkhan. Haji Tarkhan played an important role in trade with Europe. Trade caravans transported silk, spices, and other goods from the east here.

According to some researchers, Itil was located near the modern city - the capital of the Khazar Khaganate, destroyed by Prince Svyatoslav in 965. In 1395, Astrakhan was burned by the army of Tamerlane. B1459-1556 Astrakhan is the main city of the Astrakhan Khanate. Finally, the city was occupied by Russian troops and annexed to the Russian state in 1556.

In 1556, without much labor, the governors of Ivan IV took Astrakhan. Another subsidiary state of the Golden Horde has fallen - the Astrakhan Khanate. A year later, the ruler of the Great Nogai Horde voluntarily swore allegiance to the Russian sovereign. The Volga River has become Russian throughout its length. After the annexation of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates to Ivan IV, the Bashkir embassies arrived with petition for citizenship. By 1557, the whole of Bashkiria became part of Russia. Entered into the citizenship of Russia and Udmurtia. Since then, Russians, Tatars, Chuvashs, Mordovians, Maris, Bashkirs and Udmurts began to live in a multinational Russian state.

The annexation of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates strengthened the security of the Russian state in the southeast, opened the way for direct trade relations with eastern countries, but also caused sharp discontent of the Ottoman sultan. The Crimean Khan, instigated by the Ottoman Sultan and the Polish king, raided several times the Russian lands and terribly ravaged them.

Some advisers to Ivan IV persistently recommended that he conquer Crimea for Russia and thereby end forever the danger that threatened from there. But at that time it was almost impossible to conquer Crimea, which was in alliance with the Ottoman Empire, one of the most powerful military powers in the world. Therefore, Ivan Vasilievich planned to return to Russia the shores of the Baltic Sea that she lost.

In 1558, on the left Volga coast, on the Zayachy hill, or Dolg, the first Astrakhan governor Cheremisinov laid the foundation of a Russian wooden fortress. In 1582, stone walls with 8 large and small towers were built. A caravanserai was built in Astrakhan. The settlement of Astrakhan went quickly: the remoteness of the region, the need for labor attracted the masses of Russian immigrants who formed settlements around the city: Sianova, Bezrodnaya, Terebilovka, Soldatskaya, Yamgurcheeva, (or Ogrucheevo); Tatars who settled in the vicinity of the city formed the Tatar, Armenians - the Armenian settlement.

For about four hundred years, the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin has witnessed the most important historical events in the life of the city. In 1605-1606 Astrakhan was captured and plundered by the Don and Terek Cossacks. Since 1619, a large influx of traders from Asia has been noticed in Astrakhan. In 1625, Indians living in the White City took part in the construction of an Asian sitting room.

By the middle of the XVII century, Astrakhan was one of the border fortresses of the Russian state, guarding the mouth of the Volga. Since 1668, Indian merchants have a permanent residence in the city and enjoy various benefits as people useful in the development of trade. In 1670, Astrakhan was captured by the troops of Stepan Razin; in 1670-1671. It was ruled by Cossack chieftains V. Us and F. Sheludyak.

For almost three centuries, Astrakhan was the main administrative center through which trade and political relations of the Russian state with the countries of the East, Transcaucasia and the North Caucasus were carried out.

After the collapse of the Union, our region found itself in a new geopolitical situation, having received the status of the southern outpost of Russia. The main waterway, the Volga River, passes through it and waterways from the Caspian states to the Black, Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas pass through it. Astrakhan is a natural center of transit trade and a major transport hub at the junction of Asia and Europe.

In the 1860s, in connection with the development of oil fields in Baku, the Astrakhan port became one of the largest in the country. In 1873, the world's first oil tanker appeared on the Caspian Sea. It was created by the Astrakhan shipowners Artemyev’s brothers, pouring oil for transportation directly into the hold of their sailing ship “Alexander”. This technical solution was used by the Swedish industrialists, the Nobel brothers, who had their own factories in Astrakhan and were engaged in oil development in the Caspian. Two years later, they built the world's first steam tanker.

The Astrakhan transport hub is part of the global transport system - due to its geographical position, the region is the main Russian section of the North-South intermodal corridor, which can significantly reduce the duration of cargo transportation from Southeast Asia to Western Europe compared to the traditional sea route through the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal.

A great advantage is the possibility of intermodal organization of cargo transportation, which allows combining the advantages of all available modes of transport: sea, river, rail, road and aviation. The shortest routes pass through the Caspian Sea, connecting Europe with the countries of Central Asia, India and Pakistan, and the countries of the Indian Ocean basin. There are objective prerequisites for the transformation of the Caspian Sea and coastal territories into an important transit center for the exchange of goods through Iran, Uzbekistan, Western China, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and other Asian countries that have restrictions on access to ocean communications for carrying out business projects with Europe.

Astrakhan gained the greatest fame thanks to the fishing industry. Caspian sturgeon species are unique. Red fish and black caviar are the visiting card of Astrakhan. The fishing industry makes up a significant part of the total food industry in Astrakhan. The production of canned food is increasing, and the range of fish products that can withstand competition not only in Russia but also abroad is expanding. Astrakhan Shipbuilder OJSC produces oil and gas drilling rigs for exploration of oil and gas fields on the offshore shelf, marine and river auxiliary fleets, and also carries out repairs and modernization of floating cranes.

The sights of the city are the Astrakhan Kremlin (1580 - 1620), the picture gallery named after B.M.Kustodieva (founded in 1918), the house-museum of V. Khlebnikov, the city’s culture museum (the former house-museum of N.G. Chernyshevsky), the cultural and entertainment complex “Oktyabr” with a unique winter garden-arboretum and entertainment complex "Dair", a historical and architectural museum-reserve (a collection of historical monuments of the Khazars, the Golden Horde and the development of the lower reaches of the Volga by Russians).

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Page last modified: 17-11-2019 19:08:23 ZULU