Tag Archives: Andrey Tretyak

New GOU Chief

General-Lieutenant Zarudnitskiy

President Medvedev’s decree today formally dismissed General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak, Chief of the Main Operations Directorate (GOU) and Deputy Chief of the General Staff, from military service. 

Recall 52-year-old two-star Tretyak was one of the “general troyka” whose early departure from the army was debated in the media this summer.

Taking Tretyak’s place at the GOU is General-Lieutenant Vladimir Borisovich Zarudnitskiy.  Here are some of his particulars courtesy of RIA Novosti.

The 53-year-old general-lieutenant was born on February 6, 1958 in the Abinsk, Krasnodar Kray. 

  • In 1979, he graduated the Ordzhonikidze Higher Combined Arms Command School in Vladikavkaz. 
  • He commanded a platoon and a recce company in the GSFG until 1985. 
  • In 1985-1987, he was recce chief in a GSFG regiment.
  • He attended and completed the mid-career Frunze Military Academy in 1988-1989.
  • In 1991-1994, he picked up his career in the Far East MD as chief of staff, then commander of a regiment.
  • In 1997-1999, he was chief of staff, then commander of an independent motorized rifle brigade in the North Caucasus MD. 
  • He graduated from the General Staff Academy in 2003, and commanded the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division in the Volga-Ural MD until early 2005.
  • Until early 2007, Zarudnitskiy was chief of staff, first deputy commander of an army in the Siberian MD, and then commanded the Siberian MD’s 36th Army based at Ulan-Ude until April 2009.
  • From 2009-2011, he was chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Moscow MD.  

When the six existing MDs were reformed into four, and the Moscow MD disappeared, Zarudnitskiy was assigned as deputy commander of the Southern MD until his appointment as GOU Chief today.

Zarudnitskiy’s a troop general, not a staff officer.  Like several other generals who’re moved upward, he served some time directly under General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov in the Siberian MD.

Once larger in size and stature, the GOU must be a tough assignment these days.  Zarudnitskiy is the organization’s fourth chief in four years.

Advertisements

Not Decembrists

Returning to the three generals’ resignations . . . the Defense Ministry press-service came out quickly denying any “scandalous” general officer discharges. 

The press-service said General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak, General-Lieutenant Sergey Skokov, and General-Major Oleg Ivanov requested discharges for health reasons at different times.  But it also indicated the Central Attestation Commission (TsAK, or ЦАК) is reassigning generals to duties in the military districts under Defense Minister Serdyukov’s policy of rotating officers through different posts, and away from Moscow in particular.

A Defense Ministry source told ITAR-TASS the generals’ discharges are not part of any mass dismissal of officers from the Defense Ministry’s central apparatus.

The press was skeptical about three young and vigorous generals suddenly seeking a medical discharge, and it focused on their intent to avoid undesirable reassignments.  Newsru.com and Moskovskiy komsomolets reported in this vein. 

A Defense Ministry source told news agencies one in three requests for early retirement involves officers who are being reassigned from Moscow to a military district post.  The source claimed these cases are usually incorrectly characterized as opposition to military reforms.  Tretyak himself told Interfaks his resignation is not connected with Armed Forces reforms or disagreements with the leadership.

Then Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov talked to Rossiyskaya gazeta, giving a version of events varying from the press-service’s initial report of  discharges for health reasons.

Pankov told the paper Skokov and Ivanov were offered several good options including troop command duties or General Staff Academy positions, but chose retirement.  In Tretyak’s case, health was the issue, according to Pankov.  And Pankov called any thought of them leaving over dissatisfaction with army reform “farfetched,” or dissatisfaction with General Staff Chief Makarov “utter stupidity.”

What did military commentators say?

In IA Regnum and Gazeta.ru, Anatoliy Tsyganok said the generals’ resignations show things aren’t quite right in the Defense Ministry, but also called reports of problems with Makarov a falsehood.  He said the incident shows it’s not just military retirees who bring attention to poorly thought out reforms.  At the same time, he doesn’t get the focus on Makarov when he just implements Serdyukov’s plans.

Also in Gazeta.ru, Aleksandr Khramchikhin asks where this ‘opposition’ to reform has been:

“But where were they earlier?  Reform’s already been going on for three years.”

Svpressa.ru wrote that no Decembrists remain in the army.  It quoted Konstantin Sivkov:

“The thing is in the Defense Ministry and Genshtab generally there are no longer any people capable of standing up for their opinion, if it diverges from the leadership’s viewpoint.  They still existed several years ago.  Recall General Rodionov, Ivashov.  They slowly disposed of them.  The only ones remaining are those who loyally hang on the words of the minister and Genshtab chief.  A negative selection has occurred.  And what remains . . .  Only those that agree with everything.”

Viktor Baranets told Vesti FM:

“The Genshtab chief proposed to all three figures that they leave Moscow, smell the powder a little, become greater practitioners.  My sources don’t deny that all of the generals’ troyka requesting retirement had relations with Makarov that weren’t very simple.  But all issues were decided behind closed doors, without cursing and throwing down reports [retirement requests] on the table.”

General Resignation

Tomorrow’s Nezavisimaya gazeta reports Defense Ministry sources claim several young, promising generals have tendered their resignations because of problems with General Staff Chief, Army General Nikolay Makarov.  NG says they include Deputy General Staff Chief and Main Operations Directorate Chief, General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak, First Deputy Ground Troops CINC and Main Staff Chief, General-Lieutenant Sergey Skokov, and Genshtab Electronic Warfare Directorate Chief, General-Major Oleg Ivanov, and others.

The paper describes these guys as the Russian Army’s future leaders.  So why do they want to quit?  The reasons, unfortunately, haven’t been advertised (yet).

NG points out that, if Tretyak leaves, the GOU (the cerebral cortex of the “brain of the army”) will have its third chief in four years.  Skokov has been a key man working on automated C2 (YeSU TZ or ЕСУ ТЗ).  A “highly-placed” anonymous officer says it’s because of their disagreement with army reform steps taken by Makarov.  And explicitly not because of any problem with Defense Minister Serdyukov, whom they regard as an effective manager. 

They feel the Armed Forces, during Makarov’s tenure, have been in a provisional, experimental state, living on projects and according to unconfirmed directives (basic instructions and combat regs).  And after three years of “development,” the Genshtab Chief still can’t determine their final shape.  There are no confirmed decisions on service or branch TO&E structures, or their basing areas.  NG’s anonymous contact says the condition of the troops, and their “fantastic” combat training about which Makarov likes to talk, is “a fiction, which could be the topic of a separate conversation.”

The source implies time, money, and other resources have been wasted trying to develop automated C2 for old-fashioned, World War II-type operations.  And this is why Skokov requested his discharge.

NG’s sources believe this “scandal” will have political consequences.  The paper wonders whether President Medvedev will choose to get involved.  A source claims Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov is supposed to meet with the generals who want to quit, and discuss their problems with Makarov “from the point of view of the state’s interests.”

Collegium on MDs and Antiterrorism

Last Thursday, Defense Minister Serdyukov conducted an extramural ‘board of directors’ meeting in St. Petersburg.  The agenda had two publicized items — forming the new Western Military District (MD) and antiterrorism.

Deputy Defense Minister, General-Colonel Dmitriy Bulgakov (effectively chief of material-technical support) and acting commander of the new Western MD (ZVO or ЗВО), General-Colonel Arkadiy Bakhin reported on the new district.  Genshtab GOU Chief, General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak reported “On the Condition of Antiterrorist Work in the RF Armed Forces and Measures to Neutralize Terrorist Threats.”

In its coverage, ITAR-TASS noted that recommendations from forming the ZVO will be applied to the new Southern, Central, and Eastern MDs. 

After the collegium, General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov told journalists that work on the ZVO was being closely analyzed, and all issues had been resolved in the main.  But its command doesn’t fully recognize the importance of its tasks, and its combat training demands higher quality work.  Makarov called this a consequence of the fact that, for 15 to 20 years, almost 85 percent of officers in command and control organs didn’t command troops. 

Of course, Makarov considers himself a ‘troop general’ and that 85 percent figure makes it easy for him to oversee cutting the officer corps by 50 percent.

Makarov said the terrorist attack near Buynaksk was being closely analyzed, and noted that commanders didn’t take measures necessary to protect their people.  But the tasks essential to countering terrorist threats have been identified.

Krasnaya zvezda reported that Serdyukov met human rights organization representatives during a break in the collegium.  More on this later.

GOU Chief Tretyak Speaks, A Little

General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak

In today’s Krasnaya zvezda, the new Main Operations Directorate (GOU) chief speaks on the anniversary of his organization.  On 20 February, the GOU will trace its lineage back 308 years to Prince Shakovskoy.  Shakovskoy was general-quartermaster in 1702 (early in Petr Velikiy’s Great Northern War) and he began the establishment of organs of operational command and control with the basic missions of preparing proposals for planning troop employment and providing command and control during combat.

Tretyak says the missions standing before the GOU today are imposing and large-scale.  The GOU has to help transition the armed forces to a new level, and create a modern, combat-capable, and mobile army that won’t allow anyone the chance to threaten Russia or its allies.

He continues saying the deep transformation of the army was objectively necessary and the short period for the transition was dictated by the development of ‘leading armies’ and the threats facing Russia.  In 2009, the shift to a three-layer command system and permanent readiness formations and units was completed.  Tretyak says the tasks today are to complete their combat coordination (слаживание) and installations (обустройство).

Addressing the world geopolitical situation, Tretyak says, although a large-scale war is a low-probability event, many other threats have appeared.  For instance, the widening of conflict zones into areas that affect Russia’s vital interests.  He cites South Ossetia as an example.

So the General Staff constantly analyzes and evaluates the world’s military-political situation and develops practical measures to keep the armed forces ready to carry out their missions to guarantee Russia’s military security.  The main part of this job falls on the General Staff, responsible as it is for strategic planning, military organizational development, armed forces development, and the military organization of the state overall, as well as for coordinating the activity of all troops and military formations in the area of defense.  

The General Staff works with the country’s military-political leadership, federal executive organs, other state and military structures, and with the defense-industrial complex.  According to Tretyak, the most important role in this connection goes to the GOU, the history of which is inseparable from that of the Russian Army and the General Staff.

All this sounds a bit doctrinal and it is, but it gives the new top man’s view on how and where his people fit in.  It’s a bit like the new boss issuing a mission statement.

After a longish history lesson, Tretyak reminds that great military leaders have come from the post he now occupies.

Of course there’s nothing about his most recent predecessors Rukshin and Surovikin.  They didn’t fare terribly well.  And there’s the near-debacle in the five-day August 2008 war, i.e. many press reports saying that the GOU had been moved out of its spaces and just dismissed Rukshin had to be begged to run a lot of the war effort.  Afterwards, many have claimed it was the planning previously done by Rukshin that kept the war from becoming a total fiasco for Moscow.  And there’s nothing about cutting the GOU from 550 officers to 150 while its workload is unchanged, or perhaps even increased.  See Segodnya.ru for reporting on this.  Tretyak’s got his work cut out for him.

More details from his bio:  born 11 March 1959, so he’ll soon be 51, in Magdeburg, East Germany.  Graduated from the Kiev Higher Combined Arms Command School in 1980.  Platoon and company commander in the GSFG, then battalion chief of staff, and battalion commander in the Belorussian MD.  After graduating the mid-career Frunze Military Academy in 1991, he became deputy chief of the operations section for a division staff, chief of staff-deputy commander for a regiment, commander of a regiment, commander of a brigade, and division chief of staff in the Far East MD.  He completed the General Staff Academy in 2001, and commanded a division in the Siberian MD.  Here he was also chief of staff-first deputy commander of a corps and an army.  Then he commanded an army (probably 22 CAA)  in the Moscow MD.  From April 2008, he was chief of staff-first deputy commander of the Leningrad MD before taking up his current duties in January 2010.