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Russian Military Districts - 1998 Restructuring

President Yeltsin signed a new defense policy document on 1 August 1998. The concept establishes a single system of military-administrative division of Russia's territory, replacing the previously existing military districts with six integrated strategic areas or zones. The new zones were as follows:

  1. Northwestern Zone -- within the borders of the Leningrad Military District
  2. Western Zone -- within the borders of the Moscow Military District
  3. Southwestern Zone -- within the borders of the North Caucasian District
  4. Central Asian Zone -- within the borders of the Volga and Urals Military Districts
  5. Siberian Zone -- within the borders of the Siberian Military District
  6. Far Eastern Zone -- within the borders of the Far Eastern Military District

Of these, five were designated "operational-strategic" commands on important strategic directions: Northwestern (LeMD); Western (MoMD); Southwestern (NCMD); Southern (SiMD) and Far Easterrn (FEMD). The eight former military districts were the Northern, Moscow, Volga, North Caucasus, Ural, Siberian, Transbaikal, and Far Eastern.

Among the specially designated units, the Operational Group of Russian Forces in Moldova (also known as the Group of Russian Forces in the Dnestr Region) is part of the ground forces, but operationally the group is directly subordinate to the Ministry of Defense. This command arrangement probably derives more from political than military concerns. The second force group, the Group of Russian Forces in the Transcaucasus, stationed in Armenia and Georgia, is operationally subordinate to the ground forces command. The Northwest Group of Forces is an administrative title given to ground forces headquarters in Kaliningrad, whose troops are under the command of the 11th Independent Army. That army, in turn, is operationally subordinate to the ground forces.




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