Category Archives: Military Leadership

What Russian Army Doing?

Recall NAFO making fun of a Russian blogger who asked “What air defense doing” after Ukraine attacked Saky airfield in August?

In Topwar.ru this week, Roman Skomorokhov essentially asked “What Russian Army doing?”

He stridently criticizes the high-level decision-making and conduct of Russia’s war on Ukraine. He perpetuates the tripe about the Russian Army not actually being allowed to wage war. This, despite evidence of tens of thousands of war crimes.

Skomorokhov’s biggest question, however, is why Moscow isn’t using its entire million-man regular army in the war. Why aren’t mobilized reservists sent to the military districts instead of to the front in Ukraine. He predicts a slaughter. Perhaps he doesn’t realize Russia’s best combat units weren’t really that good and are now badly degraded. Maybe he doesn’t understand how little motivation Russian forces have. Or how much Ukrainian soldiers do.

Questioning of the Russian military has taken a sharp edge since the Russians were chased from Kharkiv, then suffered major losses in Donetsk (and most recently in the south toward Kherson). Rebukes like Skomorokhov’s are tolerated even though their vitriol exceeds that of independent Russian military journalists in the 1990s and 2000s.

Liberal media was shut down by Putin, but war hawks are unmuzzled, leading some to conclude their views are shared (and protected) by powerful folks in, or close to, the Putin elite.

Still, Skomorokhov’s editors make a post-script assertion that they aren’t “demeaning” the army or “sowing panic,” just highlighting the military’s mistakes so they can be corrected.

Here’s a translation.

Where generally is the Russian Army?

Since the Ministry of Defense still continues Operation “Silence of the Lambs,” one has to think up for oneself where Russia’s army is located generally and how it is fighting there. One could do a free essay on the theme “If I think it up myself, the worse for you,” but alas, statistics will have their place here.

What do we hear recently? Constant complaints about how the VSU1 is several times superior in manpower and equipment and as a result is developing its offensive success, seizing one populated point after another.

The Russian Army can’t offer proper resistance by virtue of these sad facts (mobilization of Ukrainian reserves and skillful leadership of the VSU by NATO officers) because it is constantly “regrouping,” which looks more like fleeing, supplying the VSU with the newest equipment in the framework of a “Russian lend-lease” program.

Here’s a just question: Why?

Why do we hear in the dispatches of military correspondents a strange litany of “Barsiki,”2 “Musicians,”3 NM LNR,4 NM DNR5 (but what the hell kind of policemen, Donbas tigers are there), Chechen “Akhmat-Force” subunits and only quite seldom slips “units of the 20th Army.” It’s clear we’re talking about the 3rd and 144th MRDs, there are also units of the 8th Army, but you really get the impression the Russian Army has been teleported and fights somewhere in another dimension. And there, yes, every day 200 VSU soldiers and officers are killed, another Su-25 is shot down and another “HIMARS” is destroyed.

If possible to say without sarcasm, then we really have some trash going on.

Everything happening reminds me of a duel between two boxers. For one side — the best of the Klichko brothers (good, let it be Vitaliy6, he speaks beautifully), for the other — Nikolay Valuyev.7 Everything’s in order with Klichko, but Valuyev will fight with shackles on his left leg and weights attached to him, with his right hand tied to his torso and his left eye blindfolded. And he won’t be allowed to hit Klichko in the head.

So how does the SVO8 look compared to the war Ukraine is conducting.

Generally, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t find a more or less sane definition of SVO. What the “special military operation” is in the view of the Russian command, it, the command, didn’t deign to explain. When the Americans conducted SVO “Desert Storm,” they didn’t hold back in any way and tore up Iraqis by all available means. In contrast to our army, which, to say it directly, has conducted a very strange war.

A very strange war, yes. Without destroying communications, wrecking bridges, power facilities, decision-making centers. That is, what all normal wars which end, begin with. And for some reason it was simply necessary to conduct this war with a military contingent of not more than 120 thousand men, not counting, it’s true, LDNR9 formations, volunteers, “musicians,” the Chechen contingent and “Barsiki.”

A question arises: if we don’t have enough manpower, why are 10% of the entire VS RF10 taking part in the SVO? What is the remaining 90% doing? And why instead of them is it necessary to send untrained (a couple firings is nothing) formations of mobilized reservists to the front? They aren’t even “Barsiki,” they are significantly weaker in terms of training!

What will this very same million men of the Russian Armed Forces be doing? Receiving their preferential mortgages?11 On maneuvers to show how our army is strong and powerful? That’s been shown already, as they say, in real time.

It’s forbidden to send conscripts to the SVO? So don’t.

Time to go through the figures

We expressly won’t take the Russian president’s order from August of this year12, but will take an earlier document as the baseline.

On 17 November 2017 Russian President V. V. Putin signed decree No. 555 “On establishing the manning of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation,” by which the size of the Russian Armed Forces was fixed at 1,902,758 personnel, including 1,013,628 [T.N. – uniformed] servicemen. The decree became effective on 1 January 2018.

Fact is, on 24.02.2022 the manning of the Russian Armed Forces was more than a million men. We’ll proceed from this.

Furthermore. Additionally our Defense Minister Shoygu in March of last year made an announcement from which it follows that “…in the Russian Army the number of servicemen on contract has more than doubled and exceeds 405 thousand, and the number of conscripts, on the other hand, has decreased.

Here’s a very important figure: in March 2021 there were 405 thousand contract servicemen. This, naturally, doesn’t include the officer contingent which is considered separately.

But on December 22, 2021, the defense minister made another announcement: “Officer manning had reached 96%, and manning with servicemen on contract in other ranks — up to 99.4%. Their number exceeds the quantity of conscripts by more than two times.” All these figures were presented by TV Zvezda.13

So at the very beginning of the SVO the Russian Army was fully manned with officers and contractees, the latter twice as numerous as draftees.

Question: Why is it impossible for almost half a million contractees to fight in the SVO?

It’s good now that in the fleet most serve on contract. But the number of servicemen in the Navy with all its structures, including admirals, captains and cooks ashore is nearly 150,000. Accordingly, without our not especially useful Navy, the General Staff still has at its disposition almost a million soldiers and officers.

Of course, the RVSN,14 repair bases, depots — they aren’t going anywhere. Border security is now on the FSB,15 and there everything is somehow in order. Broadly I direct attention to the fact that Kiev’s promise, “Russia will choke in a wave of terrorist attacks” didn’t happen, and this means the FSB is working as needed. But the RVSN is 60 thousand men, engineering brigades and the like — in short, insignificant.

And here’s where the issue gets ominous

Suddenly it happens that it’s forbidden to touch this million in any way. It’s simply as unreal as it is dangerous. The million has to sit in its PPDs16 and at most go out for exercises. But any other use of the troops is fraught somehow.

And so it’s necessary to call up another 300 thousand.17 And send them to Ukraine or however we’ll call the new territories which we are slowly beginning to surrender to the enemy. At least, the first formations have already gone there.

Why will mobilized 35-45 year old (and even older) men be more effective than contractees who serve in the VS RF today — I don’t have an answer. With the level of training the army can provide today, this is simply unprepared people sent to slaughter. It’s greatly unfortunate but this is exactly what it is.

As a result we have a picture that’s more than strange. The main combat missions in Novorossiya (let’s call it this still) are carried out by LDNR formations, “musicians,” Chechen and volunteer formations and “BARS” reservists on the one hand and units of the 8th and 20th Russian armies on the other.

How mobilized men whose military service was twenty years ago can be useful here, I can’t hazard to say. However they are sending them not to the Central or Eastern Military Districts to free up line units that are occupied for some unknown reason, but to the west.

The defense ministry’s conduct is as always: very strange and illogical actions against a backdrop of deathly silence. But evidently there they seriously believe that a 40-year-old mobilized man will be more effective than a contractee of 22-24. More uncanny stupidity doesn’t come to mind, but alas, they don’t explain anything to us, all information comes in the form of speculation, rumors and gossip.

Why is it forbidden to take from the Eastern Military District those units which shone so brightly in the recent “Vostok-2022” exercises? There they simply beautifully showed their level of training, what’s the problem? Apparently, there are some kind of problems because the million-man army continues to sit in its PDDs, but we read every day about how the VSU has superiority in everything.

This is completely incomprehensible. On paper we have more of everything than the VSU, we have the most. More aircraft, tanks, guns, MLRS, missiles. More trained soldiers and officers. Just more.

But under the conditions of this strange war, which our generals draw for themselves, we don’t have the possibility of using the million-man army. And into battle the mobilized will go, patriots equipped at their own expense, whom they’ll take from the lathe, or from the field. Because the biomass of systems administrators and marketing people have already left Russia’s territory.

Generally, our military department continues to demonstrate to everyone that its conceptions are of a higher plane of understanding than the common man. They are somewhere out there, in transcendental heights, incomprehensible to the mind of an ordinary man.

Evidently, the Ukrainians also don’t understand and act not so much brilliantly as effectively. And they occupy populated points which are now located on Russia’s territory. And they’re already beginning to shoot Russian citizens there.18

Generally there are very many questions, but we wish, of course, to get an answer to the most burning question: Where is our million-man army and why is it impossible to use it in the war in Ukraine?

P.S. The editors of “Military review” believe its our duty to say that we are now talking about problems and shortcomings not for the sake of demeaning the army and sowing panic, but so that the necessary conclusions will be made and mistakes corrected today and not allowed tomorrow. We express hope for understanding and regret for those who didn’t get it.

__________________

1 Ukrainian Armed Forces.

2 Barsiki means Russian reservists from the MOD RF’s Army Special Combat Reserve (BARS) system initiated about one year ago. Bars also means leopard, hence the subsequent reference to “Donbas tigers.”

3 Russians often refer to the Wagner mercenary group (named for composer Richard Wagner) as the “musicians.”

4 “People’s Militia of Luhansk People’s Republic.”

5 “People’s Militia of Donetsk People’s Republic.”

6 Mayor of Kyiv and former professional heavyweight boxer.

7 Russian State Duma deputy and former WBA heavyweight champion.

8 Специальная военная операция, special military operation.

9 Luhansk Donetsk People’s Republics.

10 RF Armed Forces.

11 Started in the mid-2000s, MOD RF program that puts money into a mortgage savings account each year for officers and soldiers who sign (and re-sign) service contracts.

12 Putin’s decree — not an order — from August 25 established that, from January 1, 2023, uniformed personnel of the RF Armed Forces will increase by 137,000 to 1,150,628. Total personnel will be 2,039,758.

13 MOD RF’s television channel.

14 Missile troops of strategic designation, often Strategic Rocket Forces in English.

15 Federal Security Service, inheritor of the KGB’s internal security mission.

16 Points of permanent basing, home garrisons.

17 300,000 is the lowest figure publicly mentioned for mobilized Russian reservists. The eventual number could be as high as one million.

18 The author is fully invested in the notion that Putin’s illegal “annexation” of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson makes these regions Russian territory. There’s no evidence the VSU has harmed any non-combatant there who claims to be a Russian citizen. It has, however, been shown clearly that the Russian Army intentionally killed civilians during its invasion of Ukraine.

Defender’s Day List

Putin signed out his list of military promotions yesterday.

For the MOD a little unusual, no three-star promotions, just five two-stars, but 26 one-stars.

One newly-minted general-lieutenant is Aleksandr Sanchik, commander of the Eastern MD’s 35th CAA.

He is likely with his units now located on Ukraine’s borders.

First deputy commander of Pacific Fleet submarine forces Eduard Mikhaylov also got a second star. He likely will command Pacific (or maybe Northern) Fleet subs one day.

The Central MD’s chief of air and air defense forces Valeriy Belkov was elevated to general-lieutenant.

More complete rundown to follow.

Promotion List

Annual December promotions used to mark the adoption of the RF’s first post-Soviet constitution on December 12, 1993. The two are less often linked now, perhaps because an increasing number of basic citizen’s rights exist only on paper.

Maybe also because Putin rammed through the constitutional amendment restarting his “two term” limit and allowing him to be president until 2036 — basically 36 years in power (Medvedev’s interlude notwithstanding).

Be it as it may, we have the December military promotions list.

In a new wrinkle, Defense Minister Shoygu had 14 of 24 promotees on hand to accept new shoulderboards in the atrium of the RF National Defense Command and Control Center (NTsUO).

KZ covered the event.

The RF MOD got three three-stars, six two-stars, and 15 one-stars (including four rear-admirals). Putin’s National Guard got just two one-stars. Here’s the December 8 promotion decree.

The new general-colonels included:

New lieutenant-generals:

  • Anatoliy Kontsevoy, Deputy Commander of VDV.
  • Aleksandr Maksimtsev, zampolit of Aerospace Forces.
  • Andrey Mordvichev, new commander of 8th CAA, Southern MD.
  • Yaroslav Moskalik, Deputy Chief, Main Operations Directorate, General Staff.
  • Viktor Novozhilov, Deputy Chief, NTsUO.
  • Valeriy Solodchuk, commander of 36th CAA, Eastern MD.

Most of these officers waited a while for a third or second star: Teplinskiy — 7 years; Yudin — almost 7; Kontsevoy — 8; Maksimtsev — 6 and a half; Mordvichev — 8 and a half; and Solodchuk — almost 8.

Teplinskiy still looks like a contender for a future MD command when one opens up, but he faces significant competition (Kuzovlev, possibly Kuralenko).

Mordvichev is only 45, so he was a general-major at roughly 37.

RIAN says this is him (it probably is). But he looks more worn than his 45 years.

New general-majors and rear-admirals included the:

  • Chief, Main Computing Center, RF Armed Forces.
  • Chief, National Nuclear Weapons Storage Site Voronezh-45.
  • Chief, National Nuclear Weapons Storage Site Vologda-20.
  • Chief, Organization-Mobilization Directorate, Southern MD.
  • Commander, 326th Heavy Bomber Aviation Division.
  • Deputy Chief of Staff for Reconnaissance, Central MD.
  • Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 20th CAA, Western MD.
  • Chief, RKhBZ Troops, Central MD.
  • Chief, Operations Directorate, Pacific Fleet.
  • Commander, Moskva CG, Black Sea Fleet.
  • Chief, Shipbuilding Directorate, RF Navy.

Four one-stars couldn’t be identified in a post.

At 47, COS / FDC of the 20th CAA General-Major Andrey Pyatayev might be pretty young still if and when he gets an army of his own.

Pyatayev with General-Lieutenant Aleksandr Yevteyev (now deceased) in 2016.

Promotion List

Here’s an updated list.

Many changes made but work always remains.

Expect the usual promotion decree to come in mid-December.

As a WAG, one would have to assess that the RF MOD is leaning pretty hard on corruption in its general officer ranks right now.

File contains some notes on prominent on-going cases.

What Ever Happened To…

An indication of prospects for current Russian army commanders is the fate of their predecessors. Here’s what’s become of them.

Former army commanders are waiting for (or possibly no longer expecting) assignment to higher posts (usually MD commander), and they fall into three groups.

Fast Track

Wearing three stars is one clear sign of excellent prospects. Most former commanders are two-stars. Those in the general-colonel group include Chayko, Kuralenko, and Kuzovlev.

Chayko reportedly also wears Hero of the Russian Federation (2020). He seems the most accomplished of the bunch, and he’s quite young. He had a stint as likely remains a deputy chief of the General Staff.

Still don’t have a picture of Chayko as a general-colonel with his Hero of the RF medal.

Though wearing three stars, Kuralenko is already 59. His pedigree is good, but he’s on a detour as chief of Russia’s military police.

General-lieutenants with good chances include Nikiforov, Teplinskiy, and Zavizon. They’re serving as chief of staff, first deputy commander of an MD.

Teplinskiy seemed like a fast-burner having been COS/FDC for two MDs. He has a Hero of the RF (1995) he earned as a JO under fire (not as a general safe at headquarters) in the First Chechen War. But Teplinskiy’s been waiting for his third star seven years and counting.

Prominent service in Syria — commander or chief of staff, deputy commander of the RF MOD contingent — may be a harbinger of future promotions. Chayko did three tours — one as chief of staff and two as commander. Kuzovlev and Nikiforov are past commanders. Zavizon was a deputy commander in Syria.

Teplinskiy doesn’t have Syrian time, but allegedly led Russian militias in the Donbass. Zavizon also reportedly commanded them.

On Track

Generals seemingly on course for a chance at a higher post include: Avdeyev, Chebotarev (but where is he?), Kuzmenko (he’s young but now sidetracked at MAGS), Muradov, Nosulev, Peryazev (though he may stay in GUBP), Seritskiy, Sevryukov, and Tsekov (if he escapes VUNTs SV).

Time is working against all of them. The best chances may belong to Avdeyev, Muradov, Nosulev, Seritskiy, and Sevryukov. They are all deputy MD commanders. Muradov might be a good bet; he’s young and just had the high-profile job of peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Off Track

Former MD commanders who are off course include: Astapov, Kaloyev, Kovalenko, Poplavskiy, Romanchuk, Salmin, and Tsilko. They are off track mostly for age and failure to secure a COS/FDC post in an MD. Some have accepted honorable pre-retirement jobs out of the mainstream like Deputy CINC of the Navy or department chair at MAGS.

It’s Not Scientific

There’s no formula for any of this. Case in point: there was no real reason to see General-Colonel Gennadiy Zhidko coming as the new Eastern MD commander in late 2018. He was chief of staff in Syria and had a year as deputy chief of the General Staff. That alone isn’t much to recommend an officer for MD command. It’s hard to say whom he impressed — possibly General Staff Chief Valeriy Gerasimov. He also served under Western MD commander General-Colonel Zhuravlev in Syria. The personal connections are very, very difficult to track.

Some detail on each of the above-mentioned former army commanders follows:

General-Lieutenant Viktor Astapov…58…former commander, 49th CAA (2012-2013)…deputy commander of the Southern MD…chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Western MD…Deputy CINC of the Navy for Ground and Coastal Troops.

General-Lieutenant Aleksey Avdeyev…54…former commander, 29th CAA (2014-2017) and 1st TA (2017-2018)…deputy commander of the Southern MD.

General-Colonel Aleksandr Chayko…50…former commander, 20th CAA (2014), 1st TA (2014-2017)…chief of staff of the Russian group of troops in Syria and two tours as its commander…chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Eastern MD…deputy chief of the General Staff.

General-Major Sergey Chebotarev…??…former commander, 35th CAA (2017-2020)…current posting unknown.

General-Lieutenant Khasan Kaloyev…60…former commander, 41st CAA (2013-2016)…deputy commander, Central MD…first deputy chief, Combined Staff, CSTO.

General-Major Dmitriy Kovalenko…??…former commander, 36th CAA (2015-2017)…deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet for Ground and Coastal Troops.

General-Colonel Sergey Kuralenko…59…former commander, 49th CAA (2011-2012) and 6th CAA (2013-2015)…deputy commander of the Western MD…deputy commander and commander of Russian group of troops in Syria…chief of staff, first deputy commander, Eastern MD…chief of the Main Military Police Directorate, RF MOD.

General-Lieutenant Andrey Kuzmenko…48…former commander, 6th CAA (2015-2019)…chairs a department of the Military Academy of the General Staff.

General-Colonel Sergey Kuzovlev…54…former commander, 20th CAA (2015-2016), 58th CAA (2016-2017), 8th CAA (2017-2019)…chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Southern MD…commander of Russian group of troops in Syria.

General-Lieutenant Rustam Muradov…48…former commander, 2nd CAA (2017-2018)…deputy commander, Southern MD…commanded Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

General-Lieutenant Yevgeniy Nikiforov…51…former commander, 20th CAA (2016-2017), 58th CAA (2017-2019)…chief of staff, first deputy commander, Eastern MD…commander of Russian group of troops in Syria.

General-Lieutenant Mikhail Nosulev …56…former commander, 36th CAA (2017-2019)…deputy commander, Eastern MD.

General-Major Aleksandr Peryazev…55…former commander, 20th CAA (2017-2018)…deputy chief, Main Combat Training Directorate, RF Armed Forces.

General-Lieutenant Yevgeniy Poplavskiy…59…former commander, 29th CAA (2017-2018)…deputy commander, Central MD.

General-Lieutenant Aleksandr Romanchuk…62…former commander, 29th CAA (2011-2014)…deputy commander, Southern MD…chief of VUNTs SV.

General-Lieutenant Aleksey Salmin…59…former commander, 5th CAA (2013-2016)…first deputy commander (probably for Ground and Coastal Troops), Pacific Fleet…deputy commander, Western MD.

General-Lieutenant Igor Seritskiy…56…former commander, 2nd CAA (2014-2016)…deputy commander, Western MD.

General-Lieutenant Sergey Sevryukov…57…former commander, 49th CAA (2013-2019)…deputy commander, Eastern MD.

General-Lieutenant Mikhail Teplinskiy…52…former commander, 36th CAA (2013-2015)…chief of staff, first deputy commander, Southern MD…chief of staff, first deputy commander, Central MD.

General-Lieutenant Oleg Tsekov…54…former commander, 5th CAA (2018-2020)…deputy chief, VUNTs SV.

General-Lieutenant Vladimir Tsilko…61…former commander, 36th CAA (2009-2012)…deputy commander, Eastern MD…chairs command and control department of MAGs.

General-Lieutenant Aleksey Zavizon…56…former commander, 41st CAA (2016-2018)…chief of staff, first deputy commander, Western MD.

Too Old?

How old is too old? Here’s some perspective on the clock ticking against Russian army commanders as they climb the career ladder.

General-Colonel Gerasimov was 56 when he took command of the Central MD in April 2012. He was appointed chief of the General Staff seven months later.

Since 2010 when Russia’s current MDs were established, 14 generals have been appointed to command them.

Their ages at appointment run from 47 to 58. General-Colonel Surovikin took command of the Eastern MD at 47. One of his predecessors — Admiral Sidenko — took over at 58.

Here’s what the 14 ages look like:

47 — 52 — 53 — 53 — 53 — 54 — 54 — 54 — 55 — 55 — 56 — 56 — 56 — 58

Not a card-carrying statistician, but this much is obvious. The median age is 54. Range 11 years. Throw out the high and low and it’s a narrower window of 52 to 56.

The four current MD commanders were 52, 53, 54, and 55. An average of 53.5 years.

Overlay on this the twelve current army commanders with ages running from 46 to 55.

The older ones might not receive serious consideration for future stepping-stone jobs as deputy commanders or chiefs of staff, first deputy commanders in one of the MDs.

Younger ones just have more time for advancement, more time to spend as a deputy waiting for a possible first deputy job.

It leads, however, to a major unknown. Is age even a significant consideration in Shoygu’s and Putin’s decision making on MD commanders?

Life expectancy for males in the RF in 2019 was 68 years.

Army Commanders

Almost three years since the last look. Eight of 12 commanders have been replaced in that span. Four holdovers plus one have been in place for two or three years. The remaining seven were appointed sometime in 2020.

The current rundown of armies, headquarters, MD/OSK, and commanders is:

1st TA…Bakovka…Western…General-Lieutenant Sergey Kisel.

6th CAA…Agalatovo…Western…General-Lieutenant Vladislav Yershov.

20th CAA…Voronezh…Western…General-Lieutenant Andrey Ivanayev.

8th CAA…Novocherkassk…Southern…General-Lieutenant Andrey Sychevoy.

49th CAA…Stavropol…Southern…General-Lieutenant Yakov Rezantsev.

58th CAA…Vladikavkaz…Southern…General-Lieutenant Mikhail Zusko.

2nd CAA…Samara…Central…General-Lieutenant Andrey Kolotovkin.

41st CAA…Novosibirsk…Central…General-Lieutenant Sergey Ryzhkov.

36th CAA…Ulan Ude…Eastern…General-Major Valeriy Solodchuk.

29th CAA…Chita…Eastern…General-Lieutenant Roman Berdnikov.

35th CAA…Belogorsk…Eastern…General-Major Aleksandr Sanchik.

5th CAA…Ussuriysk…Eastern…General-Major Aleksey Podivilov.

Army command is a significant milestone. These officers have moved from large tactical formations to the operational level of command. They have (or will receive) pogony with two stars and assignment to at least one higher post.

They are men of the early 1970s. Only three — Sanchik, Sychevoy, and Ryzhkov — were born in the late 1960s. Yershov and Berdnikov are the youngest at 46 and 47 respectively. Sanchik and Ryzhkov the oldest at 55 and 53.

All spent time as chief of staff, first deputy commander of an army before getting an army command of their own. Rezantsev and Ryzhkov are on their second army commands. Rezantsev commanded the 41st and 49th; Ryzhkov the 58th and 41st.

Their experience of war looks like this:

1st Chechen2nd ChechenGeorgiaCrimeaDonbassSyria
KiselXXX
YershovX
IvanayevXXX
SychevoyX
RezantsevX
ZuskoXX
KolotovkinXX
RyzhkovXXX
SolodchukXX
Berdnikov
SanchikX
PodivilovX

Handicapping the prospects of these generals is difficult except to say that relative youth provides more chances for career advancement.

More enlightening is what happens when they move beyond the army level of command. Next we’ll look at what’s become of their predecessors.

Russian Navy Shuffle

Along with General-Colonel Kartapolov’s retirement to take his seat in the new Duma for United Russia, TASS announced a number of leadership changes in the navy. The news agency cited an as-yet unpublished presidential decree.

Baltic Fleet commander Admiral Aleksandr Nosatov is the new chief of the Navy Main Staff, First Deputy CINC of the Navy. His predecessor Admiral Vitko was retired just after turning 60. 58-year-old Nosatov became Baltic Fleet commander when Putin wiped its leadership slate clean for corruption and providing false status reports in 2016. Nosatov apparently righted the fleet to the president’s satisfaction. He served his early years in the Pacific Fleet’s surface forces.

Admiral Aleksandr Nosatov

Vice-Admiral Viktor Liina took Nosatov’s place in the Baltic Fleet.

Other navy changes are in the final paragraph of the TASS report.

MOSCOW, 5 October. /TASS/. Deputy head of the Russian military department Andrey Kartapolov has been dismissed from military service in connection with his election as a deputy of the State Duma, and a number of cadre changes in the Navy were also effected, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has stated.

“By presidential decree, Deputy Defense Minister – Chief of the Main Military-Political Directorate of the RF Armed Forces General-Colonel Kartapolov Andrey Valeryevich was relieved of duty and dismissed from military service in connection with his election as a State Duma deputy,” Shoygu said at a video conference on Tuesday.

He stated that by decree of the head of state “Admiral Vitko Aleksandr Viktorovich, chief of the Main Staff – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Navy was relieved of duty and dismissed from military service.”

The minister expressed gratitude to both military leaders “for the high professionalism, responsibility and diligence exhibited by them in the fulfillment of their service obligations.”

According to Shoygu’s statement, by this decree of the head of state Admiral Aleksandr Nosatov was appointed chief of the Main Staff – First Deputy CINC of the Navy, Vice-Admiral Viktor Liina replaced him as commander of the Baltic Fleet.

The minister announced that Rear-Admiral Vladimir Vorobyev was appointed deputy chief of the General Staff; Rear-Admiral Konstantin Kabantsov chief of staff – first deputy commander of the Northern Fleet; Vice-Admiral Sergey Pinchuk chief of staff – first deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet; Vice-Admiral Arkadiy Romanov deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russia Day Promotions

Putin signed out promotions on June 11. Twenty-three for MOD officers — three three-stars, eight two-stars, and 12 one-stars.

The president’s praetorians — Rosgvardiya — got four one-star promotions.

For the MOD, Commander of Air and Missile Defense Troops, Deputy CINC of the VKS, Yuriy Grekhov and the commander of Russian troops in Syria, Aleksandr Chayko became general-colonels.

Not yet 50, Chayko commanded the 1st TA and 20th CAA, was chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Eastern MD, and served a stint on the General Staff. He will be competitive for the next military district command that opens up.

Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Igor Osipov made admiral. He might be the next commander of the Pacific Fleet when Avakyants retires.

A surface commander, he’s just 48. Besides his current fleet command, he was commander of the Caspian Flotilla, chief of staff, first deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet, and served a tour with the General Staff.

The new general-lieutenants include Deputy Commander of the 8th CAA Gennadiy Anashkin, Commander of the 4th Air Forces and Air Defense Army Nikolay Gostev, and Commander of the 58th CAA Mikhail Zusko.

Zusko became a general-major at 41, but waited eight years for his second star. Nevertheless, an officer to watch.

Chief nuclear weapons custodian Igor Kolesnikov of the 12th Main Directorate got a second star. That’s the customary terminal rank for this specialist post.

Long unidentified in a position, Yuriy Zhigarlovskiy took a second star and surfaced as Chief of the 1st Directorate, Main Operations Directorate, General Staff. The 1st is probably has responsibility for strategic assessments and global threat forecasting.

Military Academy of the General Staff Deputy Chief for Scientific Work Aleksandr Serzhantov became a general-lieutenant at age 60 after eight years as a one-star.

Zabit Kheirbekov, chief of MTO for Aerospace Forces, got a second star as did Andrey Tsygankov, first deputy chief of the recently recreated Main Military-Political Directorate.

New one-stars include:

  • Chief of the helicopter training school at Syzran
  • Chief of 14th Main Communications Center of the General Staff
  • Commander of 3rd Air Defense Division
  • Chief of Air Forces and Air Defense Directorate, Central MD
  • Deputy chief of Radiological, Chemical, Biological Defense Troops
  • Chief of staff, first deputy chief of the 49th CAA
  • Chief of staff, first deputy chief of the VKS 15th Special Designation Army (missile launch warning and space tracking)
  • Chief of the Eastern MD’s Organization-Mobilization Directorate
  • Chief of the Southern MD’s armor service
  • Commander of the Baltic Naval Base
  • Deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet for MTO

Only one promotee couldn’t be identified in his current post.

Generals and Admirals

Here’s the most recent list — 630 or so RF MOD generals and admirals with their most recent dates of promotion and current positions if identified.

There are many updates, but much work always remains.

It’s painstaking finding info on these individuals. Much is revealed in the process though.

Here too is the newest mugshot file.

Just snapshots of where they stand today.