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BARS Special Combat Army Reserve

Special Combat Army Reserve [Boevoy Armeyskiy Rezerv Strany - BARS = Leopard] is the project to which the military commissariat invites active ambitious citizens who are in reserve. The total number of BARS according to the military commissar of Karelia, Colonel A. Artemyev – up to 100 thousand people. The Southern Military District accounted for 38% of BARS reservists, and this suggested that this district was preparing to attack Ukraine.

Who and by what decision created a new structure in the Ministry of Defense in Russia was initially unknown. Messages about the recruitment of reservists as part of the BARS-2021 project (Combat Army Reserve of the country) began to appear on the websites of local administrations in Russia. These messages are stylistically and informationally very different from each other. For example, the prefecture of the Northern District of Moscow posted on its website a detailed informational material about "citizens in the most mobilization-ready state" (as reservists are called in the prefecture), and in Veliky Novgorod they filmed a short video about young people who came to sign up for the reserve to the military commissar.

In early August 2021, Konstantin Zapatotsky, head of the organizational and mobilization department of the Southern Military District, said that by September it was planned to create a combat army reserve of 38,000 people in the Southern Military District. Earlier in the Southern Military District, the mobilization manpower reserve was about 400 people.

The mobilization manpower reserve is a part of the citizens who are in reserve, who are kept in the most mobile-ready state. That is, these are civilians who voluntarily entered into an agreement with the RF Ministry of Defense. According to its terms, in peacetime they participate in classes and training camps, and when mobilized, they independently arrive at their military unit. A feature of the terms of the contract is the ability to combine the main civilian work with military activities and fees. During periods of such events, the state compensates the enterprise where the reservist works, the amount of his average earnings.

Volunteers who have entered into a contract with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on staying in reserve, thanks to their participation in the planned activities of combat training of units and subunits, are in a prepared mobilization state. This is achieved by attaching each of them to a specific military unit for a specific military position with periodic training sessions to restore or acquire military skills and abilities, additional training at military training camps according to training plans for formations and units, and participation in military exercises.

All the armies of the world have such a reserve in one form or another - civilians with military training. In the event of war, they must be drafted into the Armed Forces. Until recently, the entire male population of the country was almost automatically enrolled in this reserve in Russia.

Until recently, the number of trained reservists in Russia was incomparably lower than the number of combat reserves in some foreign countries. So, in China it had 600,000, in Israel - 430,000, in the USA - 374,000, in Germany - 85,000 reservists. In 1991, on the eve of the war with Iraq, the Americans immediately put 250,000 reserves into combat formation. And in November 2012, the Israeli government gave permission to its defense department to put 75,000 reservists under arms for just one military operation against Hamas militants. This became possible due to the fact that both the United States and Israel have established mass reserve training systems.

For example, in the United States there are three lines of mobile reserve. The first stage includes an organized reserve and an individual combat-ready reserve. The reservists belonging to the second component are exempted from regular combat training and are only occasionally involved in summer camp gatherings. The reserve of the 2nd stage consists of citizens who have served in the army and navy for at least six years and decided to remain in the reserve. They can only be called to active duty when war is declared or a national emergency is declared by Congress. In the reserve of the third stage - retired servicemen who have not reached the age of 60. The total number of American reserve troops is estimated at about 5.5 million people.

The Special Combat Army Reserve is tens of thousands of "fresh" reservists who voluntarily passed a close selection in the military registration and enlistment offices and signed contracts with the defense department. Those who have recently been transferred to the reserve and have not yet lost their army skills in the most popular military registration specialties (VUS) have an advantage. By calling for service in the active reserve, the Department of Defense promises volunteers a unique opportunity to receive additional education, financial incentives, and qualified medical care. As noted in the press service of the Ministry of Defense, citizens enrolled in the mobilization human reserve are provided with modern equipment, cash payments, all types of allowances, as well as qualified medical care.

According to the training plans with reservists, monthly training sessions will be held for 2-3 days and military training once a year, as a rule, for 20 days. At training sessions and military camps, reserve fighters will be trained in shooting from all types of weapons and driving military equipment, and other practical actions in their combat specialties.

The Southern Military District became an experimental platform for the implementation of the new project of the Ministry of Defense BARS (Special Combat Army Reserve). By the beginning of September 2021, a mobilization reserve of 38,000 people had been formed here.

BARS provides an opportunity to take part in large-scale maneuvers, exercises and army games, to acquire excellent physical shape, skills in handling modern types of weapons and military equipment. In addition, participation in the project is also a simplified entry into military service under a contract, including for officer positions on the recommendations of the relevant commanders and superiors. Service in the mobile reserve provides an opportunity to undergo training, retraining or advanced training in 35 universities of the Russian Ministry of Defense in 159 civilian specialties and professions.

The work of municipal military commissariats in selecting citizens for the active reserve is organized in two stages. First, there is an individual selection of citizens who have military service behind them by conscription or contract, then they go through a medical commission, after which they submit the necessary documents. During the second stage, personal files are drawn up, and candidates are sent to military units to conclude a contract. A feature of the organization of this work in the Southern Military District is the direct participation of representatives of military units in the selection of reservists already at the first stage.

In accordance with the Federal Law of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2012 No. 288-FZ, a contract is envisaged for the stay in the mobilization human reserve with reserve officers of the 1st category, warrant officers, sergeants, soldiers - 1 and 2 categories. The age criteria here are as follows: junior reserve officers - up to 47 years old, senior reserve officers (major, lieutenant colonel) - up to 52 years old, colonels - up to 57 years old, warrant officers, sergeants, reserve soldiers - up to 42 years old.

Volunteers who have entered into a contract with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on staying in reserve, thanks to their participation in the planned activities of combat training of units and subunits, are in a prepared mobilization state. This is achieved by attaching each of them to a specific military unit for a specific military position with periodic training sessions to restore or acquire military skills and abilities, additional training at military training camps according to training plans for formations and units, and participation in military exercises.

From the point of view of the country's military leadership, this is not a preparation for war, but a planned activity to increase the country's defense capability and maintain its Armed Forces in readiness to fulfill the tasks assigned to them. Volunteers who have entered into a contract with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to stay in the reserve, thanks to their participation in the planned activities of combat training of units and subunits, are in a prepared mobilization state.

In addition, the defense department believed that such military service meets both personal and state interests. On the one hand, this is an opportunity to show one's life position and readiness to defend the Motherland as a trained specialist. On the other hand, at the present difficult time it is very important to regularly and consistently receive additional payments from the state for being in the active military reserve, both at training sessions and training camps, and at home.

The BARS training program also provides for financial compensation for employers of reserve fighters - capitalism dictates its own rules. When called up for military training and training sessions, the enterprise provides for monetary reimbursement of the expenses of the enterprise to pay for the average earnings of reservists working there. There is a minimum wage for the unemployed. During training sessions and military training, three meals a day are provided. The reservist is provided with new modern-style uniforms for the entire period of being in the mobilization reserve.

The Southern Military District (SMD) became an experimental site for the implementation of the new BARS project. As the military commissar of the Rostov region, Colonel Igor Yegorov, explained, the military registration and enlistment office of the region stood at the origins of the creation of a mobilization manpower reserve in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Since 2015, he has been participating in an experiment to introduce a new system for recruiting troops by citizens who have signed a contract to stay in the mobilization human reserve. The first unit staffed with reservists was a company of territorial troops of the Southern Military District.

In the Southern Military District, by the beginning of September, the country's combat army reserve of 38,000 people had been formed. At the locations of military units and reserve units, the preparation of stationary field camps and storage sites for military equipment intended for training camps of BARS territorial defense units is being completed. At 9 training grounds of the district, 23 objects of the educational and material base were deployed, 240 officers and sergeants were selected to work with reservists.

"From all sides in his service, the reservist will be protected, as well as the active military personnel," Colonel Konstantin Zapatotsky, head of the organizational and mobilization department of the Southern Military District, explained to Zvezda. The state guarantees appropriate payments to the reservists. So, for three days in the classroom, an officer will receive up to 10 thousand rubles, a sergeant-soldier up to 5 thousand rubles. For 30 days at a military training camp, an officer will receive from 30 to 75 thousand rubles, a soldier up to 25 thousand rubles. When concluding the first contract, a lump-sum payment of up to 66,000 rubles will also be made to an officer, up to 39,000 rubles to a soldier-sergeant, depending on the term of the contract. The contract is concluded with the preservation of the main place of work of the reservists. In addition, if necessary, they are guaranteed free medical care and insurance payments. After the end of the first three-year contract and at the conclusion of a new one, reservists are entitled to a one-time cash payment in the amount of a monthly salary, monthly bonuses for continuous stay in the reserve in the amount of 10% are provided. For a similar experience from 5 to 10 years, the allowance increases to 20%.

After staying in the reserve for more than a year, a reservist who has a military rank lower than that stipulated by the military position in which he is located is certified for the next military rank. A reservist's allowance is accrued on the basis of military rank and military position, for being in a mobile reserve and separately for each day of training sessions and annual military training.

The practice of serving in the combat reserve of volunteers in parts of the Southern Military District showed: in 2020, the company commander with the rank of major received more than 90 thousand rubles, the platoon commander with the rank of senior lieutenant - 85 thousand rubles, the deputy platoon commander with the rank of sergeant - 61 thousand rubles, the commander departments with the rank of sergeant - 55 thousand rubles, a machine gunner with the rank of private - 46 thousand rubles.

As for the specific use of territorial troops, in the formation of which the Southern Military District has real experience, in the event of mobilization, their primary task will most likely be the protection and defense of especially important military and state facilities in the rear, maintaining law and order in settlements, providing assistance to local population during evacuation. That will allow not to divert personnel units and subdivisions for these purposes.

By the way, General of the Army Alexander Dvornikov, commander of the Southern Military District, praised the actions of the district's reservist company in an exercise that was recently held at a military facility of the Baltic Fleet. He set the task of providing for the participation of the command of units and units of the territorial defense of the Southern Military District in all battalion and regimental tactical exercises. It is possible that the most trained fighters of the combat reserve of the district will take part in the major military maneuvers of this year "West-2021". The training and material base of the reserve military units prepared in the district, their weapons and military equipment make it possible to conduct the first training camps with the district's LARS units in the second half of September this year according to new, capacious and dynamic plans. Most of them will be held in the format of field exercises and tactical exercises.

As far as one can understand, the campaign to form BARS is not limited to the south of the country. Information about the reception of reservists was posted by the military registration and enlistment offices of several cities near Moscow. And in St. Petersburg, even a joint conference of the leadership of the military commissariat of St. Petersburg and the District Cossack society "Cossack District of St. Petersburg" was held on the topic of the entry of the Cossacks into the country's Combat Army Reserve. Petersburg Cossacks are always happy to take part in any undertaking of the authorities.

It would seem that in six years the recruitment of reservists should turn into a regular routine. However, it is not. It's all about the number of participants. Putin's decree continued the "experiment" begun back in 2013, according to which the reserve was to be formed from 5,000 privates and three hundred officers. Now, in the Southern Military District alone, it is planned to recruit 38,000 reservists. If we keep in mind that the recruitment takes place in the other three districts, we can assume that we are talking about creating a reserve of no less than 100,000 people. In this case, the campaign acquires a completely different scale, and with them a completely different meaning.

In August 2021, the Southern Military District was tasked with bringing the number of reservists to 38 thousand people. From them it was possible to form a whole army corps - and this is taking into account the fact that three combined arms armies are already deployed in the district. It is not known exactly how many were recruited in reality, but it was reported that training camps and exercises were already held with the reservists in the fall. The formation of the MLR would continue in the next three years. And if in 2021 it was planned to use 7.3 billion rubles from the budget under the item “Mobilization and non-arms training”, then in 2022–2024 more than 16 billion rubles would be spent for these purposes every year.

According to official data, the population of the regions that make up the Southern Military District is more than 26 million people. From this composition, given the low wages and the unemployment factor in many republics of the North Caucasus, it would apparently not be difficult to recruit the required number of reservists. However, the speed of the process attracts attention. In fact, only a month is allotted for the selection of personnel (officers, sergeants, military specialists, etc.) for an entire army corps. These are the standards of the Great Patriotic War. What is the reason for such a prompt recruitment of MLR in the Southern Military District and other military districts is not reported.

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Page last modified: 11-03-2022 19:38:01 ZULU