Tag Archives: Airborne Troops

Airborne Data Point

Collect data points wherever you can. You never know when they’ll become useful, especially if you gather them over the long term.

Parade at the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School named for Army General V. F. Magelov

Parade at the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School named for Army General V. F. Margelov

In early November, Interfaks-AVN reported on a Russian MOD press-release stating that more than 40,000 airborne troops had just gone through a final examination for the 2019 training year.

The MOD statement said:

More than 40,000 servicemen in all formations, military units and sub-units of the VDV deployed in the Western, Central, Southern and Eastern military districts participated in the final examination.

So that’s 40,000 personnel in four divisions, four brigades, units, and sub-units. If we count only those eight formations, that’s certainly no more — probably significantly less — than 5,000 per division or brigade.

If 40,000 is right, then there hasn’t been much expansion of the VDV despite a 2014 report that the elite Russian force could grow by 20,000 troops from a base level somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000.

VDV Rotation at Kant

Last Friday ITAR-TASS indicated that two companies from the VDV’s 45th Independent Reconnaissance Regiment of Special Designation (Spetsnaz), based at Kubinka near Moscow, were the units sent to reinforce Russian military facilities in Kyrgyzstan on 8 April.

Two companies from the VDV’s Ulyanovsk-based 31st Independent Air-Assault Brigade rotated in on Friday to relieve those from the 45th.  The VDV’s spokesman has said the contingent numbers 160 contract personnel.

Moscow has been low-key on the deployment of extra troops, denying plans to evacuate dependents, and downplaying threats posed by the political unrest there.

But the Russians must have taken the situation seriously, sending the ‘elite of the elite’ to Kant in the first days of unrest in Kyrgyzstan.