Russian Military Reforms
|1.||Russian military reforms in 1992-2008||5|
|1.1.||The first military reform 1992-1999||5|
|1.2.||The second military reform 2003-2008||8|
|1.3.||The third military reform 2008||10|
|2.||The restructuring stages of the Russian armed forces||12|
|2.1.||The first stage. Reorganization 2008-2009||12|
|2.3.||The third stage. Optimization and Rearmament 2012-2020||15|
|3.||Russiaꞌs military after the reform and its influence to the international security||19|
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited most of the Soviet’s military power. However, the Russian armed forces have become a shadow of the “Soviet war machine”. Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, needed the armed forces only for maintaining his power. He did not do anything to harm the old corrupted military system. Sensible changes occurred during Vladimir Putin’s presidency 2000-2008. Putin realized the importance of the army and tried to convert Russia’s massive army, based on a conscript system, into a professional, well-equipped and trained mobile force, which could fight 21st century wars. In order to make any changes, president Putin had to overcome the resistance of high ranking officials. Because of their importance in the Soviet Union and in Russia afterwards, the military did not have the will to support the military reforms. They were satisfied maintaining the status quo. The reason was clear: they enjoyed their administrative and operational autonomy and did not want to lose control over it. To mange this situation and limit the military’s freedom, Putin appointed Sergey Ivanov, as minister of defense. In 2003, President Putin and Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov showed a plan for transformation of the Russian armed forces. The plan was adopted in April 2003. The problem with this plan was that Putin and Ivanov saw military reform in isolation, and did not have the perception that the military cannot be isolated from other government structures.
The five-day war with Georgia exposed Russian military weaknesses in its command and control system, training, and equipment. This war showed that previous attempts to modernize the Russian military did not produce the desired results. Thus, the newly elected President Medvedev ordered a speed up of military reforms which will encompass: downsizing the armed forces from 1.2 million to 1 million, further changes of the command and control system, and a structural change from four to three levels - abolishment of armies, divisions, and regiments and the introduction of BCTs (brigade combat teams), a move to professionalize the armed forces, and an introduction of NCOs. Additionally, the armed forces will be rearmed with high precision weapons.
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