Putin signed out an amendment to the law “On Defense” [subpoint 10.1] in early April allowing the RF President to appoint any citizen, nonmilitary ones included, to military duties requiring a higher officer (general or flag officer) under the established TO&E.
In keeping with the RF legal understanding of military service and servicemen, this means not just the RF Armed Forces but “other troops, military formations and organs . . . .” Any militarized ministry or service from MChS to FSO to FSIN to MVD.
The measure could aim to let Putin put civilian loyalists in charge of his private army Rosgvardiya. These latter-day MVD Internal Troops are the first-responders in case of regime-threatening domestic disturbances.
But the amendment is also a potential blow to the professionalism and autonomy of the armed forces. High-ranking civilians have been confined to the MOD’s administrative side to this point. We’ll see if or when Putin injects a civilian into the military chain of command.
There are interesting questions associated with this development, but the Defenders’ Day promotions — made in the normal fashion — remain to be plumbed.
The February list included one three-star, seven two-star, and fourteen one-star officers. There were five promotions in RF National Guard (a two-star, four one-stars) by comparison.
Sergey Kuzovlev, now commanding the Russian contingent in Syria, made general-colonel and looks like a contender for future MD commander. He’s commanded three different armies (albeit briefly), and he reportedly led the insurgent DNR 1st Army Corps in Ukraine during 2014-2015.
New two-stars included Yakov Rezantsev and Vladislav Yershov commanding the 49th and 6th CAAs respectively.
Another two-star is Dmitriy Kasperovich. At 44, he’s young not just for his rank but also his position as First Deputy Chief of GOMU. He fought in the Second Chechen War and was wounded twice by “bandits” while commanding the 17th MRB. He received his Hero of the Russian Federation in 2014 or 2015, making it fairly obvious he fought with Russian militias in eastern Ukraine.
The commander of the Caspian Flotilla got a second star as did the deputy chief of the corruption-plagued Main Directorate of Communications and the director of the MOD’s State Defense Order Support Department.
One new general-lieutenant, probably an aviator, could not be identified in a post.
Most interesting among one-star promotees is 51-year-old General-Major Vladimir Belyavskiy, first deputy commander of the Eastern MD’s 68th Army Corps on Sakhalin and the Kurils. He’s commanded naval infantry brigades in the Pacific and Black Sea Fleets. He received his Hero of Russian Federation in 2006 for action with the Caspian Flotilla’s 77th NIB during the Second Chechen War.
The commander of the 4th Kantemir Tank Division, 43-year-old Vladimir Zavadskiy, made general-major.
Ildar Akhmerov became a one-star admiral. He’s chief of staff for the Northern Fleet’s Kola Mixed Forces Flotilla. Akhmerov is a surface warrior with extensive experience in the Pacific Fleet and Caspian Flotilla.
Commanders of the 25th and 26th Air Defense Divisions became general-majors.
A deputy commander of the Caspian Flotilla was promoted to rear-admiral.
Air defense logistics officer Konstantin Miruk got his first star. His father was First Deputy CINC of Air Defense in the 1990s, and commander of the Leningrad-based 6th Air Defense Army in late Soviet times.
Other new one-stars include the probable deputy chief of staff for communications in the Southern MD, one fuel service officer, and the chief of Railroad Troops in the Western MD. The chief of the Pacific Fleet’s Technical Directorate (nuclear power) also made admiral.
Three new general-majors couldn’t be connected with a billet presently.
The Russia Day promotion list should appear in less than two months.