There are two mobilization reserves in Russia at once. And the first one is already in battle

There are two mobilization reserves in Russia at once.

There are two mobilization reserves in Russia at once.

A photo: Valeria Chernykh

A letter came to Komsomolskaya Pravda:

I heard that in Russia there is some kind of special mobilization reserve. There are allegedly 2 million people in this reserve and they are paid 6,000 rubles a month. Are these former contractors who did not renew their contracts in previous years, but went into the reserve? But Shoigu said that in our country the mobilization reserve is already 25 million people. And now only 1.2% are being called from him – those same 300 thousand for partial mobilization.

Are these two different reserves? Please explain.»

Andrey Mikholapov, software engineer, St. Petersburg.

I explain.

There really are two reserves in Russia. The first is general. These are the same 25 million people that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke about. This number includes citizens who are fit (or fit with restrictions) in health for military service and have not reached the age limit (depending on military rank).

In addition to serving officers, warrant officers, as well as conscripts, reserve reservists include:

– Graduates of universities with a military department;

– Graduates of universities with a military training program;

– Past ACS (alternative service);

– Women who have a profession that makes them liable for military service;

– Military contractors who retired from service.

Every year, by presidential decree, several thousand of them are called up for training camps and sent to training centers or training grounds so that they don’t forget what they were taught in the service.


And there is also a “second” reserve. This is a reservist training system that began operating about 2 years ago. In short, it is called BARS. Combat Army Reserve Special.

True, in military documents, BARS is often also called a mobilization manpower reserve. It includes the storerooms, which are in the most ready condition for mobilization.

These are the most “fresh” reservists who have voluntarily passed a close selection in the military registration and enlistment offices and have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense. Basically – citizens who have recently been transferred to the reserve and have not yet lost their army skills in the most popular military specialties. Those enrolled in such a reserve are provided with modern equipment, cash payments, all types of allowances and medical care.

Barsiki, as they are jokingly called in the army, regularly engage in combat training, participate in major exercises and army games, and constantly improve their possession of weapons and equipment.


The contract of the “barsik-reservist” is concluded with the preservation of his main place of work. He is guaranteed insurance benefits. After the end of the first 3-year contract and at the conclusion of a new one, reservists are entitled to a one-time cash payment in the amount of a monthly salary. There are also monthly bonuses for continuous stay in the reserve in the amount of 10%. For experience from 5 to 10 years, the allowance is already 20%.

A reservist’s allowance is accrued based on rank and position, for being in the reserve and separately for each day of training sessions and annual military training.

When called up for military training and training sessions, the expenses of the enterprise for paying the average salary of a reservist working there are reimbursed. For the unemployed – the minimum wage.

At training sessions and military camps, BARS is provided with three meals a day.

Well, how much do “barsiks” get paid? In 2020, the company commander with the rank of major received more than 90 thousand rubles, the platoon commander with the rank of senior lieutenant – 85 thousand, deputy. squad leader with the rank of sergeant – 55 thousand, machine gunner with the rank of private – 46 thousand.

Today, these payments are already higher.


Some detachments trained according to the BARS system have been at the front for a long time.

But how many such detachments and the total number of “special reservists” is a military secret.

But not 2 million. Otherwise, there would be 2 times more of the total number of the Russian army! And the country would not need any partial mobilization.

So far, only one thing is known: there are about 40,000 “barsiks” in the Southern Military District.

Many soldiers of the special reserve were awarded orders and medals for courage and heroism during the special operation. For example, right now they are in the thick of the fighting – under the Red Estuary. The enemy has been trying to take this city for two weeks, but the BARS fighters give him a hard rebuff.

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