In peacetime, Cossack troops are able to solve a wide range of tasks to ensure internal stability, and in wartime, after full mobilization deployment, Cossack formations will be able to significantly strengthen territorial defense forces, taking on a solution from 30 to 70 percent of tasks.
The need to create an effective system of territorial defense of the country based on a qualitatively new type of troops in the Russian Armed Forces - the new Cossacks is obvious. However, the question naturally arises: how organizationally can this branch of service be? What should be its structure, what tactical units should be its basis and how should its management be organized? After all, territorial defense involves the solution of very specific tasks that require a special organization of the troops involved for this. Answers to these questions determine the appearance of a new kind of military. First of all, it is interesting to consider those characteristics that determine the operational capabilities of the Cossack troops.
Accordingly, it is first necessary to find out what basic military formations this new branch of service can consist of. This is determined by the specifics of the tasks facing him and the methods used to solve them.
The main ones may be:
1. The fight against sabotage and reconnaissance groups.
2. The destruction of terrorist groups and gangs.
3. Participation in the establishment and maintenance of special legal regimes, martial law or state of emergency in the region.
4. Protection and defense of objects of political, economic, spiritual, or other importance to the state, in particular, infrastructure.
5. Assistance to internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order.
Tactical formations of the Cossack troops
An analysis of the nature of these tasks and possible ways to solve them shows that the highest tactical military formation in the new branch of the military may be a separate regiment of Cossack troops within 2000 – 3000 people.
In dealing with the tasks of combating sabotage and reconnaissance groups, terrorist groups and gangs, it will provide an opportunity to form two or three battalion mobile groups, each of which will create a sufficient advantage in forces to ensure the destruction of identified enemy groups. And when solving other tasks - to ensure control of the designated area or zone.
In addition to a separate regiment, separate battalions and companies of Cossack troops can be formed to solve private tasks in limited areas that do not require large numbers of personnel.
Distinctive features of territorial defense are its rigid binding to a specific territory and objects, joint participation in the implementation of military and civilian authorities with the obligatory interaction of troops, police, state security organs and other services. An important role is played by the local administration, regional authorities of power structures, military units deployed in a given territory. Cossack units should be an integral part of this system. They will act according to the operational plans and under the guidance of the relevant operational management bodies responsible for its implementation in the designated region. From this it follows that Cossack troops will not have to carry out any independent actions of operational scale. They will function as separate tactical units, solving private tasks as part of the operational grouping of territorial defense forces. There should be no military units of operational scale in the composition of the Cossack troops.
The organization of the control of the Cossack troops is determined by the fact that, on the one hand, the military use of the Cossack troops is carried out according to the plans of the territorial bodies of the military command, and on the other hand, the specificity of their daily life activity assumes the existence of a special organization of administrative control. In addition, the economic activity of military industrial settlements is closely and inextricably linked with the territorial economic entities and local authorities.
Three branches of management and readiness
From this follows the necessity of separating the three branches in the control system of the Cossack troops.
Operational. Provides management of units and divisions of the Cossack troops in the course of solving the tasks of territorial defense. It includes the command of subunits, units of Cossack troops, which are subordinate to the military command body responsible for organizing territorial defense in the area and further along the line of operational management of the grouping of troops (forces) of the RF Armed Forces.
Administrative. Organizes the livelihoods of the Cossack troops in everyday conditions, all types of logistics support, training and education of youth, determines the service of the Cossacks and performs other functions necessary for the existence and development of this kind of troops. This, following the Cossack tradition, is the ataman branch of command - from the chieftain of the military-industrial settlement to the supreme ataman of the Cossack troops of Russia.
Territorial. Determines the regulation of production and economic activities of military industrial settlements on the territory of their location. This branch runs from the ataman of the military-industrial settlement to the territorial body of state power and further along the hierarchy of the power vertical.
For the normal life of the Cossack troops, all branches of their management must act in concert. To do this, their goals and objectives, functions and order must be strictly regulated by the relevant documents.
The specificity of the tasks of territorial defense and the peculiarities determined by the militia principle of forming Cossack troops determine the separation of Cossack units and subunits, and other formations according to degrees of readiness. Since the Cossack troops are part of the Armed Forces of Russia, the division of their units and subdivisions according to the degrees of readiness must correspond to that established in other types and kinds of troops, but with its own specifics.
To the first, highest level it is necessary to refer the units and units of constant readiness. The peacetime tasks should be entrusted to these units, for the solution of which it is undesirable to involve military units of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces or internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as in conditions of lack of forces. These include the establishment and maintenance of special legal regimes in the region and the protection of important objects, including the suppression of unrest and the maintenance of law and order in certain areas during the exacerbation of the socio-political situation.
The commanding staff of these units should be recruited from among the Cossack officers and other officials serving under the contract. The rest - at the call. This is natural, since for a Cossack who has been brought up as a warrior from a very young age, urgent service will become the first and highest manifestation of his Cossack maturity, which opens up further prospects for him in this field.
An analysis of the nature of internal threats to Russian security, possible ways to counter them, the composition of forces that can be brought to neutralize them from the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, as well as the limitations imposed by the possible volumes of conscription contingents in military industrial settlements will determine the total possible number of Cossack units constant readiness in Russia (three to five separate regiments and 15 – 18 separate battalions), including a number of smaller units. The total number of units and divisions of the Cossack troops of constant readiness will be from 15 to 25 thousand.
Each of the parts of constant readiness can be subordinated to the military authority responsible for organizing territorial defense in a certain zone. However, it is possible to use them within the entire military district by the decision of its commander, especially if it is necessary to concentrate efforts in any area.
The second level can be subdivisions that occupy an intermediate position between the units of constant readiness and personnel in the Ground Forces. These are operational readiness units. Their appearance is due to the specifics of the militia principle of building Cossack troops. In conditions when the military industrial settlement has armament and military equipment (IWT) in its possession, there arises, on the one hand, the question of keeping the IWT in serviceable and operational status, and on the other, it is possible to form an operational group for short periods solving a sudden problem in the area of location of this settlement. The personnel of such units in daily conditions is engaged in normal production activities, allocating part of the time for maintenance of equipment and weapons in storage. However, he cannot leave the settlement, being in an hourly readiness for nomination to solve the arisen task with the appropriate equipment.
Each Cossack recruited to solve official tasks, without prejudice to economic activity, should be some time, for example, two weeks a year, as part of such a unit. Then in each of the military-industrial settlements can be formed to the company operational readiness, and in the largest of them - and more. In total, in Russia, personnel in such formations can reach 40 – 50 thousands of people.
The third level - operational reserve units. Their formation is also determined by the specifics of the militia principle of building Cossack troops. They are designed to increase the efforts of operational readiness units or units of permanent readiness in conditions when, as the situation is clear, their forces are not enough to neutralize the threat. In a situation of intensively developing internal conflict (man-made or natural catastrophe), such a need, as experience shows, can occur within a day. Accordingly, the Cossacks who are in the operational reserve units may leave their settlement, but they must be ready to arrive at the place of formation of the unit within 24 hours. Staying in such readiness does not impose significant restrictions on the daily activities of the Cossack and his family members, production activities, which makes it possible to determine an acceptable period of stay in the operational reserve for each of them one month per year. Then, in each of the military production settlements, up to two companies of operational reserve can be formed. And all over Russia, personnel in such formations can reach 80 – 100 thousands of people.
The units of operational readiness and operational reserve, as a rule, can be used within the area of responsibility of the military-industrial settlement in which they are formed. Although it is possible to transfer them to other areas.
The remaining Cossacks belong to the military-trained reserve in readiness degrees adopted in the Armed Forces of Russia.
Thus, the military-industrial settlement acts as a kind of cadded part, which has at the same time the capabilities of a part of constant readiness, albeit in a much smaller volume. However, as the analysis shows, this is quite enough for the solution of the main tasks of the territorial defense of peacetime and even a threatened period.
The Cossack troops built on the outlined approaches will significantly improve the effectiveness of the country's territorial defense.
In peacetime, high mobilization readiness rates, determined by the militia principle of building Cossack troops, combined with mobility (if the Cossack units are equipped with a sufficient number of vehicles and lightly armored vehicles) will allow you to have a safety zone of 100 – 150 radius around each military production settlement. Within this zone, Cossack formations promptly promoted by order of the military command will be able to quickly, within no more than two or three hours, in cooperation with law enforcement forces (building up their potential) or independently at the stage of initiating a crisis situation to neutralize it.
Estimated 40 – 50 of such military production settlements in each of the military districts can create solid security zones covering the most critical regions completely.
And if these forces prove insufficient and the situation gets out of control, the Cossack units of constant readiness can be pulled in, which, in cooperation with the security forces, will create a sufficient grouping of forces to neutralize the threat.
It should be emphasized that the West today can only crush Russia with the use of soft power methods, initiating riots, just as it was done in Ukraine and how it is done today in Venezuela. Under these conditions, there may not be enough regular security forces, as the experience of Ukraine or the “Arab Spring” shows. Attraction to curb the unrest of the Armed Forces will be highly undesirable because they are not intended and not ready for such actions. Their personnel do not have sufficient psychological stability to participate in such actions. In these conditions, the Cossack units and units are indispensable. Formed from mature, ideologically convinced and psychologically stable men, they will be able to solve problems in situations of massive information pressure. The possibility of putting pressure on them by extremists with threats against their families will be virtually ruled out. Living under protection in economically relatively autonomous military-industrial settlements, they will become less vulnerable to external threats.
The operational capabilities of the Cossack troops in peacetime can be assessed in terms of reaction speed and ability to neutralize threats of various scales.
Part of the constant readiness of the Cossack troops of the military district, depending on the distance of their deployment from the area of the threat and with appropriate technical equipment, can begin to perform the assigned combat mission from several hours to two or three days. At the same time solving the problem of maintaining special legal regimes, martial law or a state of emergency in the region, they will be able to control one or two medium-sized cities or an administrative region. By participating in the localization of a border conflict, they are capable of increasing the combat capabilities of a group of formations and units of constant readiness of the RF Armed Forces by 30 – 40 percent. These forces can protect up to one hundred important objects.
Within the areas of responsibility of military production settlements, Cossack troops, by means of operational readiness and operational reserve, have the opportunity, independently and in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, to prevent or suppress riots with the number of participants from 500 to 1500 people, with a response time of no more than two or three hours augmentation of these opportunities within a day to 3000 – 4000 people. Solving the task of fighting gangs and terrorist groups, they can, independently or in cooperation with the MVD, join the battle for two or three hours and defeat an illegal armed group of up to 300 – 400 people. With these forces, the military industrial settlement is capable, if necessary in the area of its responsibility, to provide continuous protection and defense of three or four important objects.
In particularly difficult situations, for the solution of such tasks in a short time (several days or even hours), the main part of the Cossacks of a military-industrial settlement can be mobilized. Then these opportunities will increase several times. Thus, the Cossack settlement in its area of responsibility becomes the most important factor of stability, a center for maintaining order.
In wartime, after full mobilization deployment, Cossack troops will be able to significantly strengthen the territorial defense forces, taking the decision from 30 – 40 to 60 – 70 percent of the tasks. In this way it will be possible to solve the entire scope of the tasks of territorial defense, without diverting parts and formations of the Ground Forces to their solution.