In addition to the permanent readiness units where ordinary military personnel serve, more than 60 brigade storage bases have been created in the Armed Forces, on the basis of which formations are deployed during the war. In the event of hostilities, the reserves would constitute the personnel of the newly formed brigades. The mobilization manpower reserve is a part of the citizens who are in the reserve, who are kept in the most mobilized state. That is, these are civilians who voluntarily entered into an agreement with the RF Ministry of Defense as part of the Combat Army Reserve of the Country (BARS - boevoy armeisky reserve strany).
As with many other militaries, the Russian Army has two types of reserve forces, but the differentiation is obscured by similary nomenclature: mobilizacionnaya ludskoy reserv [Mobilization Human Reserve]; and mobilizacionnaya chelovechesky resurs [Mobilization Manpower Resource]. Full synonyms are rare, usually there are slight differences in shades of meaning, as well as in compatibility with different words. In particular, this also applies to the words "ludskoy - chelovechesky", both of which are commonly translated as "human".
The cadre-and-reserve units of the Russian Armed Forces are maintained at a low readiness with a limited number of professional staff and conscripts, with the expectation that they would be staffed with reservists in the event of mobilization. Along with the active army, today in Russia there is theoretically a reserve of about 31 million people. These are the people who at one time completed military service by conscription. In practice, the reserve is generally calculated at 2,000,000.
In addition to the current mobilization reserve of the Russian army, there is also a potential and organized one. The number of people who can be called up to serve in the Russian army in the event of mobilization in 2010 was 31 million. But the potential reserve is gradually decreasing. Experts predict a further decrease in this figure. According to preliminary data, by 2050 the potential reserve of the Russian army will be reduced by 4 times.
There are very capable people in the reserve who do not think about a career in the army. They consider volunteer training as a hobby, so their training is very cheap. People who consider reservist activity their hobby are usually very motivated, unlike many professionals. Reservists are usually provided with second line equipment that is no longer used by regular troops or is an older version of what is currently in use. The reservists will also have little experience with new weapon systems. Reservists in the sense of retired military personnel are sometimes considered less motivated than regular troops.
The Russian Federation Ministry of Defense has been tinkering with wide-scale reforms of the military reserve system for several years. According to a 2019 RAND analysis, Russia only had 4,000 to 5,000 troops in what would be considered an active reserve in the Western sense, meaning soldiers attending regular monthly and annual training. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu repeatedly stated that the Russian Armed Forces hoped to have 80,000-100,000 active reserve members.
Judging by the statements of representatives of the military command, at least 50-53 thousand people must be recruited into the BARS units. For Russia, this is a completely new structure, although it has been successfully operating in many countries for quite a long time. The idea with the mobilization manpower reserve is that civilian specialists who have served in the army maintain their military skills and receive new ones by regularly and frequently going through training camps and exercises. The head of the Main Organizational and Mobilization Directorate of the General Staff, Yevgeny Burdinsky, reported that the new reservist service could be compared with the Israeli counterpart, but it would perform slightly different functions.
Since late October 2021, Western mass media and intelligence agencies and Ukraine’s security officials began warning of the amassing of Russian troops along the Russo-Ukrainian border. At the same time, the Kremlin called for service tens of thousands of reservists on a scale unprecedented for the post-Soviet period.
The military enlistment offices and organizational and mobilization departments of the military districts and the Northern Fleet in 2021 began the mass recruitment of the mobilization reserve, concluding contracts with young people for military service in the reserve. This is the first time this has happened in post-perestroika Russia. It is planned that for each district the combat army reserve would amount to several tens of thousands of people.
According to its terms, in peacetime they participate in classes and training camps, and when mobilized, they independently arrive at their military unit. By order of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation of 2007 No. 185, reservists are placed at the points of deployment in units or field camps during the period of training and training. The contract is concluded for 3 years without interruption from the main place of work.
On the basis of federal laws of March 31, 1996 No. 61-FZ "On Defense" and of March 28, 1998 No. 53-F3 "On military duty and military service" Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of July 17, 2015 No. 370 created a mobilization manpower reserve. In military expert circles, it was called an experiment, which on a national scale was not so large that it was possible to draw any conclusions about the benefits of such an approach.
The purpose of the Concept for the creation of a mobilization reserve, which was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2007, was "to ensure guaranteed staffing of the Armed Forces and other troops with military-trained mobilization human resources both during the period of mobilization and to resolve crisis situations." In the development of this topic, only in July 2015, the head of the Russian Federation signed Decree No. 370 “On the creation of a mobilization human reserve of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”, and it was planned to conduct an experiment on the formation of a brigade of reservists in the Russian army.
The full presidential decree on the creation of a mobilization reserve had not been published anywhere in open sources, because the formation and organization of the activities of mobilization resources is a closed topic. Although experts unequivocally stated that this is a very costly project for Russia. In the open part of the document, there was no data on how many people are supposed to be involved, in what time frame to make the reserve, and how much money to spend on it. State Duma deputies suggested that during the experiment on the formation of a mobilization human reserve (MLR), we can talk at least about a brigade of about 5 thousand reservists, and its maintenance would cost the budget about 1.5 billion rubles. in year. At the same time, the reservist does not serve daily as a military man, but is regularly involved in military training and exercises throughout the year, during which he improves his training. For this he receives a monetary allowance. The experiment on the formation of the MLR was never carried out.
The total duration of military training for citizens in the reserve cannot exceed two months. The total duration of military training, to which a citizen is involved during his stay in the reserve, cannot exceed 12 months. In addition, citizens who are in the reserve may be called up for military training no more than once every three years. Employees and civil servants of law enforcement agencies, fire fighting services, customs and citizens "booked for public authorities" are not subject to military training. Also exempt from conscription are employees of aviation and railway transport, the floating composition of ships of the sea and river fleet.
The stay of citizens in the mobilization human reserve provides for appointment to a military position, assignment of a military rank, attestation and qualification exam, as well as participation in operational, mobilization and combat training events during military training, with cash payments and social benefits. The executive authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation were tasked with ensuring the implementation of measures related to the admission to the reserve of citizens of the Russian Federation who are in the reserve.
The main task of creating a mobilization reserve is the possibility of promptly replenishing the RF Armed Forces with motivated and trained specialists. Now priority is given to recruiting entire units with reservists, which makes it possible, when mobilization is announced, to get well-coordinated and combat-ready military units by the end of the first day. Gatherings are held once a year, and classes are held monthly. The duration of the training camp with reservists is 10-30 days, and training sessions - up to 3 days.
Units in which reservists serve are also deployed in peacetime. Thus, in 2016, the 47th territorial defense division was formed in Sevastopol, whose fighters help law enforcement agencies fight terrorists and saboteurs, protect strategically important facilities and, if necessary, eliminate the consequences of natural disasters and catastrophes. It is based not on regular soldiers and officers, but on reservists, whom the military department calls for training several times a year.
In April 2021, Russia announced the call for military training of citizens who are in reserve. According to the decree, military training would be held in the Russian Armed Forces and the Federal Security Service. The last time military training for those in the reserve was held in June 2020. Then these events were also organized in the troops of the National Guard and state protection agencies.
Each year, a different number of "partisans", as the military themselves ironically call the reservists, are called up: from 5 to 15 thousand. Citizens called up from the reserve are sent to combat units for training. Previously, they were involved in various exercises, for example, in 2008, as part of the Stability-2008 command-staff exercise, as the military stated, for the first time in the post-Soviet era, a tank division was deployed due to the call-up of reservists. To do this, it was necessary to call on 10 thousand people, mainly from the Perm Territory. Then the tankers even made a march from Perm to the Totsky training ground near Orenburg.
Now reservists participate only in military training, which are divided into training and testing. The first ones take place in military units, where reserve officers are temporarily appointed to positions corresponding to their military registration specialties. At the test camps, the combat and mobilization readiness of military units and military registration and enlistment offices is assessed (that is, their ability to pull recruits out of their homes and distribute them to military units during or on the eve of the war).
Such gatherings can also be held in the form of training sessions with reservists who have signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense to stay in the mobilization manpower reserve. They are introduced to changes in military service, weapons and military equipment. They must undergo appropriate military retraining in order to use these skills if necessary. In addition, there are fees associated with the training of citizens for military positions or with the maintenance of emergency supplies.
On 18 February 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree calling up Russian citizens who are in reserve for military training in 2022 - Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of February 18, 2022 No. 67 "On the draft of citizens of the Russian Federation who are in reserve for military training in 2022". The document is "To call in 2022 citizens of the Russian Federation who are in reserve to undergo military training in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the troops of the National Guard of the Russian Federation, the state security bodies and the bodies of the Federal Security Service". The Government of the Russian Federation and the executive authorities of the constituent entities were instructed to ensure the implementation of measures related to the conscription of citizens for military training and the holding of these training camps.
Gatherings of citizens of the Russian Federation who are in the reserve of the Armed Forces are a planned event to improve the combat skills of reservists and are held annually. The President of the Russian Federation signs a decree on calling up reserve servicemen for training camps. Based on the decree of the head of state, the mobilization department of the Ministry of Defense prepares an appropriate directive, which is sent to the military registration and enlistment offices of the regions. Only after that, the dispatch of subpoenas to citizens in the reserve begins.
The call for training applies to both those who have already completed military service, and those who have been exempted from it or had a deferment. More likely to be in the ranks again for those who, during military service or studying at a university, have mastered the demanded army specialties. The leadership of law enforcement agencies determines which military registration specialties are called up for and in what quantity.
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