Russia’s Military Districts
It’s official. At least it will be on January 1, 2021.
On December 21, RF President Vladimir Putin signed out an ukaz “On the Northern Fleet” recognizing it as “an inter-service strategic territorial large formation [obyedineniye / обьединение]” carrying out the missions of a military district. Russia’s most important fleet will be guided by the Regulation on the Military District (itself confirmed by presidential ukaz in 2017).
This has been done “for purposes of effecting measures to defend the integrity and inviolability of Russian Federation territory,” according to the verbiage.
Break out your map of Russia’s Far North.
Recall the stage was set in June when Putin signed an ukaz “On the Military-Administrative Division of the Russian Federation.” That decree put the Northern Fleet in charge of the Republic of Komi, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk oblasts, and Nenets autonomous district (all previously part of the Western MD).
We have to wonder a couple things.
1) If or when Russia’s Pacific Fleet might also gain the status of a military district. With all the Kremlin’s attention to the northern latitudes, can the Pacific Fleet with Yakutia and Chukotka not merit the same regard? And this even without pointing to the rest of the fleet’s immense AOR.
2) What about Krasnoyarsk kray and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district currently under the administration of the Central MD? Which Russian military strategic entity should control planning and operations for the Kara Sea and this part of the Arctic? It seems the Northern Fleet does, though not officially its AOR.
This military-administrative reorganization probably isn’t over.
It’s worth reminding that this represents some unwinding of the 2010 reform that reduced the number of MDs to four and put the fleets under the control of those army-dominated MDs.