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The Russian army becomes Great again: Conscription from the age of 21, an increase to 1.5 million people and a response to NATO threats

In the Airborne Forces, it is necessary to additionally form two airborne assault divisions

In the Airborne Forces, it is necessary to additionally form two airborne assault divisions

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

As I listened to the heavily pumped figures and facts performance Sergei Shoigu at the Collegium of the Ministry of Defense in December 2022, I remembered December 2008 already. And the same “dignitary gathering” of politicians and generals, who then unanimously trumpeted that even after a short victorious war with the dreadful Georgians (08.08.08), the army must be reformed. Too serious jambs in her “device” appeared.

Of course, the current special operation in Ukraine is hostilities of a different scale and nature, but they have already shown in which places our army urgently needs to be “repaired” and strengthened. Shoigu spoke about this. His report is, in fact, a program for the reform of the army, its radical renewal.

Let’s move on to the facts. What fundamentally new will appear in our army? Turn your gaze to the Northwest. There, NATO – right on the Russian borders – accepts Finland and Sweden into its gang. It is possible that US military bases will appear in these countries. Do you need to cover 1200 kilometers of the cordon with the same Finland? Necessary.

This is the first major public event since the beginning of the special operation, where President and Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed in detail the state of the army

This is the first major public event since the beginning of the special operation, where President and Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed in detail the state of the army

Photo: REUTERS

This means that we need a grouping of Russian troops in the North-West of Russia. In the same place, in Karelia – an army corps.

Now look to the Southwest. Or rather – to the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. What threats are there, it is not necessary to chew. And the student understands. Our answer is to form 3 motor rifle divisions in these regions.

By the way, in Shoigu’s report, as I calculated, the word “form” was used most often. Now bend your fingers:

In the Airborne Troops it is necessary to additionally form two airborne assault divisions.

For each combined-arms (tank) army, form a mixed air division and an army aviation brigade, numbering 80-100 combat helicopters.

Form 3 directorates of aviation divisions, 8 bomber aviation regiments, 1 fighter aviation regiment, 6 army aviation brigades.

Do you need to cover 1200 kilometers of the cordon with the same Finland?  Necessary

Do you need to cover 1200 kilometers of the cordon with the same Finland? Necessary

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

To create an artillery reserve in strategic directions, form 5 artillery divisions of military districts, as well as artillery brigades of high power.

In the coastal troops of the Navy, on the basis of the existing marine brigades, form 5 divisions of the marine corps.

Please note – “on the basis of existing brigades.” What does it mean? And this means that the reform of the army of Serdyukov’s times (2008-2012) was ordered to be “handed back”, – then both the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov were carried away by the melting down of divisions into brigades. But the special operation showed that it was an unjustified, even adventurous undertaking.

And now we have been told that it has been decided to reorganize 7 motorized rifle brigades into motorized rifle divisions.

So it happened: a new reform of the army often requires the abolition of the old one. In other words, bug fixes. Example? Please. The “disappeared” Moscow and Leningrad military districts will be recreated. I can imagine how happy this news will be met by veterans.

Well, the transition of the army to “fashionable” outsourcing in 2008-12 generally looked like a crime. He, according to Shoigu, “led to the destruction of military repair organs, which negatively affected the serviceability of weapons and equipment.” This is putting it mildly. During the special operation, the troops experienced an acute shortage of repair and restoration teams, so as not to leave equipment on the battlefield.

It was decided to fix this puncture: next year 3 repair plants will be formed and repair units in the military level will be strengthened.

We will have to correct another “fatal mistake” of the previous reform – the “dispersal” of the military enlistment offices. These organs were turned into septic tanks for reserve officers. Professionals (who received a meager salary) were often replaced by grandmothers. Now it has been decided to introduce a state civil service in the military registration and enlistment offices and increase the number of military posts in them.

The special operation showed that the state at one time clearly fell under the “charm” of liberal views that “we need a small and compact army.” And when it was secured, it turned out that there were not enough bayonets. It was decided to radically correct this mistake – the strength of the Armed Forces will be increased to 1.5 million (that is, it will grow by 350,000 people), including up to 695,000 contract soldiers.

By the way, Shoigu proposed to gradually raise the age of conscription into the army from 18 to 21 years old (young people began to grow up later, at eighteen guys are often still quite youngsters, not warriors), and increase the age limit from 27 to 30 years.

In the coastal troops of the Navy, on the basis of the existing marine brigades, it is necessary to form 5 divisions of the marine corps

In the coastal troops of the Navy, on the basis of the existing marine brigades, it is necessary to form 5 divisions of the marine corps

Photo: Anatoly ZHDANOV

What awaits the army in the new year?

22 launchers with intercontinental ballistic missiles “Yars”, “Avangard” and “Sarmat” will be put on combat duty.

3 strategic bombers – missile carrier Tu-160M.

Nuclear submarine “Emperor Alexander III”, as well as 4 submarines and 12 ships.

It was decided to increase the supply of high-precision hypersonic missiles “Dagger” and “Zircon”.

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