The years 2009-2010 were marked by large-scale reductions and redeployments of troops from the western border into the depths of Russia. The 22nd Army was disbanded (reduced to the 6th separate tank brigades), its parts in 2009 were drawn back all the way to Moscow - to the Nizhny Novgorod region. In August 2010, the same fate befell the 20th Army (moved from Voronezh there too), as well as the 1st Air Defense Command.
In fact, in the west of the country, there remains a huge platform for hundreds of kilometers, covered with a weak curtain of separate formations.
Instead, some parts were redeployed from the east. These included the formation of the 41 Army, some of them (and especially the headquarters) were removed from the Siberian Military District at the disposal of the Central Military District. In the Volga region, an impressive-looking fist gathered, which, nevertheless, was far from the western borders.
Events in Ukraine, which began in 2013, led to a change in the current picture. The units standing in the depth of the country in a separate echelon slowly began to return to their starting lines. First drove the headquarters, supplies, followed by the other parts.
The potential of the troops in 2014 in the west was clearly insufficient to counter the new threat in the south-west direction. Exercises that took place from February 26 to 3 March 2014 of the year and aimed at a sudden test of the readiness of units and formations of the Western and Central Military Districts (units 2, 6 and 20 armies), Airborne Command, 1 Air Force Command and air defense, formations of the Northern and Baltic fleets (only about 150 thousands of soldiers), revealed the inability to concentrate a sufficient grouping for action against Ukraine (both defensive and offensive). So, the 2-I army was located to the south-east of the heart of Russia (from Orenburg to Penza), and the 6-I covered the north-west (Outskirts of St. Petersburg and the Pskov region).
20-I army, as already noted, was set aside for Moscow.
In the thin chain of BTG (battalion groups), assembled in early March along the Russian-Ukrainian border (without Crimea), there were about 10 thousands of soldiers and officers. At the end of April, on the Russian-Ukrainian border (again, without the Crimea) there was a consolidated group of 40 thousands of bayonets, also insufficient for any actions on the land front 1900 + kilometers.
In such conditions, the re-establishment of divisions was a decisive response, but the main thing was the reanimation of armies as attack operational-strategic formations. The 2 division remained in the ranks (tank and motorized rifle, 2 and 4). In addition, the reverse rebuilding (restoration) of the 4 divisions began.
The first was the 2014-th Guards Tank Army (1), which was recreated in November (where, by the way, the 20-Tank Brigade was taken from the 6-th Army). She and 2 handed over the remaining divisions. On the 2016 year in the process of concentration, it stretched a huge strip from Nizhny Novgorod to the Kursk region. The supposed location of concentration (according to the Ukrainian and not only side) was the Bryansk Corner - the forest-lake projection of the border between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, from where it was closest to strike Kiev (in a straight line 200 kilometers, many quality bypass roads, which can drive troops in separate columns).
Then it was the turn of the 20 Guards Army, whose headquarters were returned to Voronezh in 2015. It turned out to be spread by a wide lane a few hundred kilometers from Smolensk to the Voronezh province. Sorry, the region. In 2016, it turned out to be as if cut by a "column" of units and formations of the 1 tank army advancing from the Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow regions. which in 2017 began to gather in a fist at its destination - in the Bryansk region.
Finally, in the spring and summer of 2017, the reconstruction of the 8-th Guards Army began, which was assembled mainly in the Rostov region with the support of the 49-th (headquarters in Stavropol) and 58-th (headquarters in Vladikavkaz) army.
All three armies were (or rather, represent) of particular interest for study. This is especially true of the freshly baked 8 army (created on the basis of the 8 th "Rokhlin" army corps), which looks like an analogue of the Western administrative-territorial structure: that is, a certain number of new formations from the same 49 can be included in its composition and 58 armies. The corps (or rather, at the moment it is already OK - operational commands) in Donetsk and Lugansk also look like a continuation of this structure (8 Army). The highest command personnel are recruited from "combat" generals with combat experience.
The approximate potential of armies (minimum) is as follows:
1. 1-I Guards Tank Army: 1 MSD, 1 TD, 1 MSBR, 1 TBR, 1 OBRR, 1 ARBR, 1 RBR, 1 FSBR, other parts. That is, over 45 thousands of soldiers and officers, about 500 tanks, hundreds of artillery systems and self-propelled guns, missiles, air defense cover and so on. In this case, the army is still in the process of formation.
2. 20-I Guards Army: 2 MSD, 1 TBR, 1 MSBR, 2 ZRBR, 1 RBR, other parts. In total, over 45 thousands of V / s, about 550 tanks, armored vehicles, artillery systems and self-propelled guns, and so on. The army is in the process of additional formation, the time for full readiness is unclear.
3. 8-I Guards Army: 1 MSD, 1 ARBR, 1 RBR, 1 ZRBR, other parts. Total order 30 thousand bayonets, up to 250 tanks, etc. The most "fresh" of all three armies.
In total, it would seem, three small (30-45 thousand people) army in the western direction. There are more than 120 thousands of soldiers and officers with 1300 tanks. The latter figure, by the way, is almost 50% of the tank fleet of the Russian Federation (excluding machines in storage) as of 2016 year.
The armies were a realization of the thesis “the battle of the future - the battle of small units (for example, a company) with enormous support and support forces” at the operational-strategic level. That is, each army looked like a shock link in the number of 1-2 divisions, an auxiliary element from separate tank and motorized rifle brigades (as a shunting unit or reserve) and significant support and support forces: artillery, air defense, rocket units, supplies. At the tactical level, there is the term BTG (battalion tactical group) or “battalion with reinforcement units”.
Armies in the western direction were sort of divisions with reinforcement units. Of course, it is worth making a reservation that these divisions cannot be compared with the weak formations of the era, for example, of the Great Patriotic War. For a set of indicators that make up their combat effectiveness — firepower, maneuverability, mobility, troop mechanization, depth of defeat (taking into account the presence of missile brigades), etc. — together with multiply increased supply requirements and increased (in kilometers) operational densities (occupied segments) is an incredibly powerful percussion formation, created to a large extent under Western influence.
(For example: the entire operation in Iraq, despite the many thousands of troops that had been driven up by the end of April 2003, finally decided only two divisions that had taken Baghdad - the 3-th Infantry Division from the number of the US Army and the 1-I division of the Marine Corps USMC.)
The configuration of the Western armies could represent both defensive and (if concentrated) offensive value. The building is a crescent around the projection of the land Ukrainian-Russian border.
To them (the armies) you can add the personnel of the Black Sea fleet (25 thousand sailors), grouping in Crimea (without aviation and the fleet - 15 thousand fighters), as well as the 2015st Air Force and Air Defense Army recreated in 1.
However, this is not all. You can also add the Border Guard of regional border offices (administered by the FSB) in the Central and Southern Federal Districts, as well as part of the Rosguard, the formation of airborne forces (4 Airborne, 5, Airborne Forces, etc.) recently in 2009-2010).
To these troops, you can add parts of the second (and even third) echelons, which can be used in the event of a military threat in the south-west, for which they are promptly flown from the depths by railways (main thoroughfares capable of providing the most mass transportation) of the country.
These include units and formations of the 2, 6, 41 (strengthening of the 1 tank and 20 combined armies) in the form of literally several MSBR, ARBR and other brigades, as well as the formation of the 49 and 58- armies (at best 1-2 MSBR, other parts) and aviation, which will certainly be transferred from the depths of the country.
In total, up to 300 thousands of all-all bayonets (with full concentration), up to 1500 tanks, hundreds of self-propelled guns and artillery systems, thousands of other armored vehicles.
The irony of fate is that in fact this is not all. The current Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are built according to the western model, which includes both the actual military personnel and those who are formally withdrawn "out of state" (civilian personnel).
The military / civilian ratio is approximately 1: 0,85.
The practice of strategic exercises (for example, recent, South-2016) confirms this proportion. November 17 President 2017 of the year Putin V.V. signed a decree in which he determined the size of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in 1,9 million people (including over 1 million bayonets - the military, and 889 thousand more - civilian personnel).
In the aggregate, a group capable of being assembled at the western borders (against Ukraine) is actually capable of being about 550 thousand people. Including persons formally withdrawn from the state.
The most interesting is that all these troops (or rather, the left-flank 8 Army, which forms the southeastern facade of the group assembled along the Russian-Ukrainian border), have a decently deep assumption (50-150 kilometers in diameter) filled with their own troops and having its own statehood. This is the predpole - Donbass, statehood - DPR and LPR, and the troops - the operational command (OK) "Donetsk" and "Lugansk" (previously only - 1-th and 2-th Corps).
В last article it was noted that the actual number of troops of the LDNR is slightly higher than the 30-40 thousand bayonets declared in the media (rather, up to 60-70 thousand, taking into account the understaffing of the units). The reason was simple: in addition to brigades with a regular number of 4500 people and other elements of the army structure (separate regiments, battalions, divisions, etc.), there are battalions of territorial defense (up to two and a half dozen units, partially included in the army OSHS brigades); currently, the actual strength of the 250-280 w / c; perhaps the structure is cropped and is deployed to a full-blooded number — probably 500-1000 people — in the event of a major war), various departmental units (BB, border guards).
In addition, a number of regiments at the moment correspond in principle to the structure of brigades (1 TB, 3 MSB, strong artillery, other parts of brigade subordination - command, reconnaissance, communications, logistics, etc.). Thus, the 9-th OPMP (Marine Regiment) of the DPR Army has long had its own tank battalion link. Which does not exclude the fact that in fact (and quantitatively) a number of individual regiments of the LDNR today are brigades.
The scale of conscription (rotation of personnel) in the republics also speaks in favor of a slightly larger number than just "30-40 thousand". For example, the extrapolation of LC data (call over 9 thousand people over 2017 a year with personnel routine of about 30%) on the DPR and summation of these data suggests a call of approximately 25 thousands of military units / s on two republics and a troop strength of about 70 thousand soldiers and officers . Of which in the combat units are, of course, not all (plus there is some shortage). With approximately 400 regular tanks (not counting those in storage), hundreds of artillery systems, a variety of armored vehicles and so on.
The reserve should also be added to these values (reservists who are called upon in the event of hostilities). Taking into account the demonstration fees held in April of this year in the same DPR (collection of 27 thousands of reservists), he outwardly confirms the number of trained reserves in the amount of 40-50 thousand people. However, this is the data of last year: taking into account the personnel composition that went through training in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the LC of the People’s Democratic Republic of Belarus, the personnel reserve of the republics may be at least 100 thousand soldiers.
Total republic (LC-DNR), taking into account the influx of volunteers from Russia with the activation of hostilities can put under the gun at least 150 thousands of bayonets with a total population of about 3,8 million people. This is about 4% of the population, a very high number of mobilization tensions, which speaks in favor of measures to build a regular cadre army, made in the 2014-2017 years in the Donbas.
В same article There was a decline in the number of APU, which lasted from the end of 2016. In June 2017, it reached its lowest point - 41 thousand bayonets in the first line - and was later stabilized by Kiev to 50 thousand. It is worth noting that these values ("41 thousand", "50 thousand") - this is the first line. The Ukrainian Armed Forces initially (as early as during the existence of the so-called "ATO") introduced an interesting practice of hiding significant reserves outside the official combat zone - on the territory of the neighboring Kherson, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions. With them, the real number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, deployed against the Donbass, reaches 70-80 thousands of bayonets (that is, the forces are approximately identical).
1. In the case of activation of large-scale hostilities (or the emergence of the threat of such) in Ukraine, a colossal grouping (including the LC of the LC of the DPR; figure calculated) of up to 700-750 thousands of bayonets (of which the combat strength is slightly more than half) can be deployed in this direction 2000 tanks, hundreds of self-propelled guns and artillery systems, 700-800 airplanes of various types (including DA, BTA, 4 air force reinforcement of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces) capable of performing up to 2000 sorties per day (with a high average daily intensity of about 2,5 sorties) duck, 50% on combat missions). What is the potential that exceeds the capabilities of the American troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom (the active stage of the invasion of US troops and their allies in Iraq in 2003) and, in principle, is the largest deployment from the Desert Storm in 1991.
2. The configuration of the troops is both defensive and offensive. Talking about the unequivocal choice of "one of" is not necessary, since it is determined by political objectives.
3. The possible use / non-use of a concentrated mass of troops during several years of military construction (moreover, construction is often in the form of reconstructing previously existing structures) can only be caused by a political situation / political decision (as a response to a change in the current status quo, for example).
Comments and additions, as always, are welcome.