Monthly Archives: March 2019

Defenders’ Day Promotions

RF President Putin signed out his promotion list for Defenders’ Day on February 22. He was generous to the MOD.

Twenty-seven officers were promoted to or within the general and flag ranks: one four-star, two three-star, six two-star, and 18 one-star promotions were handed out.

Putin’s National Guard got few promotions this time.

The big news, already discussed, was Ground Troops CINC Salyukov’s new army general (O-10) rank.

Main Combat Training Directorate Chief Ivan Buvaltsev and Central MD Commander Aleksandr Lapin became general-colonels.

Four new general-lieutenants included new 8th CAA Commander Andrey Sychevoy, 11th Army Corps Commander Yuriy Yarovitskiy, 68th Army Corps Commander Dmitriy Glushenkov, and 45th Air and Air Defense Army Commander Aleksandr Otroshchenko.

Just shy of 50, Sychevoy seems to be a mover. But he also appears to be camera shy, so no photo.

Yarovitskiy in the Baltic Fleet’s 11th Army Corps served in the First Chechen War and was chief of staff, first deputy commander of the 1st Tank Army, according to one bio.

Yuriy Yarovitskiy as a one-star

Yuriy Yarovitskiy as a one-star

New vice-admirals are Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Sergey Lipilin and a deputy chief of the NTsUO.

Lipilin wearing rear-admiral

Lipilin wearing rear-admiral

New one-stars included the:

  • Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 5th CAA;
  • Commander, 4th Air Defense Division;
  • Commander, 18th Machine Gun-Artillery Division;
  • Commander, 57th Motorized Rifle Brigade;
  • Chief, Recce Directorate, Central MD;
  • Chief; Organization-Mobilization Directorate (OMU), Eastern MD;
  • Chief, Combat Training Directorate, Southern MD;
  • Chief, EW Service, Eastern MD;
  • Chief, OMU, Northern Fleet;
  • Chief, 9th Directorate, MOD;
  • Deputy Chief, Military Academy of Radiological, Chemical, and Biological Defense (RKhBZ) Troops.

Headed by newly minted General-Major Sergey Parshin, the MOD’s 9th Directorate is one of the Russian military’s more secretive elements. It designs and builds silos, launch positions, command, control, and communications networks, and underground command posts and bunkers for the RVSN and Russia’s missile defense system.

Parshin as a colonel

Parshin as a colonel

There were seven promotees for which a position couldn’t be identified at this time.

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Russia’s “Strategy of Limited Actions”

Army General Valeriy Gerasimov

Saturday Russia’s quasi-governmental Academy of Military Sciences conducted its annual conference on military strategy. General Staff Chief Valeriy Gerasimov made the keynote address, but only drips and drabs of his speech have been publicized thus far.

Russian news agencies focused on his remarks about an alleged Pentagon “Trojan Horse” strategy to weaken and overthrow anti-U.S. regimes around the world.

More interesting, perhaps, were Gerasimov’s comments about a new strategy for foreign intervention and limited war in defense of Russian interests.

The General Staff Chief reportedly told his audience that the experience in Syria had allowed the MOD to distinguish this new, practical area of Russian strategy.

According to Interfaks-AVN, Gerasimov said:

“This is carrying out missions to defend and advance national interests beyond the borders of Russian territory in the framework of a ‘strategy of limited action.'”

“The foundation for implementing this strategy is the creation of self-sufficient troop groupings on the base of formations from one armed service which has high mobility and is capable of making the greatest contribution to carrying out the missions set forth. In Syria such a role was given to the formations of the Aerospace Forces.”

“The most important conditions for implementing this strategy are winning and maintaining information superiority, anticipatory readiness of command and control and comprehensive support systems, and also covert deployment of the necessary grouping.”

He didn’t mention them but Russia’s invasion of Crimea and war in eastern Ukraine also qualify as examples of Russia’s new “strategy of limited action,” its new limited war doctrine if you will. Or the deployment of ChVK Vagner mercenaries and MOD trainers in Africa.

Surprise and covert deployment are what Moscow has been best at lately.

But the Russian military is not as ready for expeditionary warfare in the Third World as it was politically, diplomatically, and militarily in the 1970s or 1980s. And a one-service operation abroad goes against the grain of traditional Soviet and Russian military thinking.

With ideology (beyond opposing alleged U.S. domination of the world order) gone from the equation, which Russian interests will be supported by the “strategy of limited actions?” The interests of the Kremlin-sponsored political and financial elite? The Putin regime’s interest in distracting Russia’s attention from its domestic problems?