Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
21st Guards Motor Rifle Division (Russia)
The 21st Guards Motor Rifle Division was a unit of the Russian Ground Forces, within the Far East Military District, formed from the Red Army 31st Guards Rifle Division, an infantry division of World War II which subsequently became a motor-rifle, a tank division and back to a motor-rifle division. The division appears to have been disbanded in 2009. At least one of its regiments became a separate motor rifle brigade; the division traced its origin to the 328th Rifle Division, formed in the Yaroslavl area in August – September 1941. The division consisted of the 1103rd, 1105th and 1107th Rifle Regiments and the 889th Artillery Regiment. Colonel P. A. Yeremin took command. On December 7, 1941, the division entered battle in area of the city of Mikhajlov of the Ryazan area. Colonel P. M. Gudz held command from April 1942; as part of the 10th Army the 16th Army, the division joined the Western Front, participated in counterattack near Moscow and the winter offensive of 1942, around Zhizdra and Kirov.
On 24 May 1942 for its courage and heroism the division became the 31st Guards Rifle Division. The new regimental titles were the 95th, 97th, 99th Guards Rifle Regiments and the 64th Guards Artillery Regiment. In the summer of 1942 the division fought in the Bryansk area. General-Major A. F. Naumov took command in October 1942. Colonel, since November 17, 1943, general-major, I. K. ShCherbina took command from February 1943. In 1943 as part of the 16th Army the division attacked the Oryol direction, on August, 15th, 1943 participated in clearing the city of Karachev, it took part in Operation Bagration and the Gumbinnen operation. On July, 2nd, 1944 the division for skilful actions in Vitebsk-Orshansk operations of 1944 has been awarded the honourable name Vitebsk, on July, 23rd, 1944 at clearing the city of Molodechno it was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In July, 1944 during the Vilnius operation the division skillfully forced the river Neman in area of the city of Alytus, for which, on August, 12th, 1944 it was awarded the Order of Suvorov, 2nd class.
Major General Ivan Burmakov took command of the division in July and remained in command until the end of the war. The division has entered East Prussia on October, 1944 against stiff German resistance. On November, 15th, 1944 for valour and heroism of soldiers in these engagements the division was awarded the Order of Lenin; the division participated in the East Prussian Offensive of 1945. During the assault on Koenigsberg, now Kaliningrad, the division distinguished itself breaking the external defensive boundary; the division participated in the rout of the remaining German forces and the taking of the Pilau naval base. More than 14,000 of its soldiers were awarded decorations and medals during the war, eleven were awarded the coveted Hero of the Soviet Union. In 1945 31st Guards Rifle Division was reformed as 29th Guards Mechanised Division, with the 94th, 93rd, 92nd Guards Mechanised Regiments. On 25 June 1957 29th Guards Mechanised Division was reflagged as the 29th Guards Motor Rifle Division at Kaunas.
The division was subordinated to the 10th Army Corps. In June 1960, the division became part of the Baltic Military District. On 19 February 1962, the 626th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated, along with a missile battalion. On 1 November 1965 the division became 31st Guards Motor Rifle Division. In 1968, the 35th Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became a sapper-engineer battalion, it may have been based at Vilnius for a period. In August 1969 31st Guards Motor Rifle Division was relocated from Kaunas in the Lithuanian SSR to Belogorsk, in the Amur area of the Far East Military District; the division became part of the 35th Army. In 1972, the chemical defence company was upgraded to the 158th Separate Chemical Defence Battalion. On 16 May 1977 31st Guards Motor Rifle Division became 21st Guards Tank Division; the 93rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment became the 111th Guards Tank Regiment and the 94th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment became the 125th Guards Tank Regiment. In 1980, the 389th Separate Motor Transport Battalion became the 1138th Separate Material Supply Battalion.
In 2002 the division became the 21st Guards Motor Rifle Division, its full formal title in 2009 was the 21st Guards Motor Rifle Vitebsk Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division. The division was disbanded and its 111th Guards Tank Regiment became the 143rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment; the 143rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment was upgraded to brigade strength as the 38th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. The division used to comprise: 2nd Guards Vitebsk Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Tank Regiment 111th Guards Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Tank Regiment 125th Guards Tank Regiment 143rd Guards Motor-Rifle Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment. 143rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment История боевого пути берет свое начало в октябре 1941 г. когда из мобилизационных резервов Ярославской области был сформирован 1105-й стрелковый полк. В годы Великой Отечественной войны полк принимал участие в освобождении Рязанской области, в Орловско-Курской операции, освобождении Белоруссии, Восточно-Прусской стратегической наступательной операции.
363rd Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 363rd Rifle Division formed in August 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. It may be considered a "sister" division to the 361st Rifle Division. After forming, it was assigned to the 30th Army, played a role in the near-encirclement of the German 9th Army around Rzhev in the winter counteroffensive of 1941-42. In recognition of its tactical successes it was reorganized as the 22nd Guards Rifle Division in March 1942. A new 363rd was formed in November 1944, in the far east of the USSR, it saw limited action during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945 in a pursuit and exploitation role. The division began forming in August 1941 in the Urals Military District in the Sverdlovsk Oblast, its basic order of battle was as follows: 1205th Rifle Regiment 1207th Rifle Regiment 1209th Rifle Regiment 926th Artillery RegimentCol. Karp Sviridov was not assigned to command of the division until September 25, but he would continue in command through the existence of this formation.
It spent about three months in the Urals training. In December the division was assigned in Kalinin Front. Beginning on January 8, 1942, this Army took part in the Sychevka-Vyasma Offensive Operation, planned "to encircle, capture or destroy the enemy's entire Mozhaisk - Gzhatsk - Vyasma grouping", that is, what became known as the Rzhev salient. 30th Army operated north and northwest of Rzhev itself, the 363rd advanced over 30km in early January, driving the German forces out of several villages and small towns in the area. The division was recognized for its achievements in this counteroffensive on March 17th when it became the 22nd Guards Rifle Division, the same day that the 361st became the 21st Guards, it was not until November 25, 1944, that a new 363rd was formed, this time in the 35th Army of the Far Eastern Front. It was under the command of Col. Savva Dmitrievich Pechenenko until at least September 3, 1945, its order of battle was as follows: 395th Rifle Regiment 404th Rifle Regiment 488th Rifle Regiment 501st Artillery Regiment 187th Antitank Battalion 468th SU Battalion 50th Sapper BattalionThe division spent its entire career in 35th Army.
It is shown in the order of battle for January 1, is not present on February 1, but reappears as of March 1, remaining there until August. When the Soviet invasion of Manchuria began that month, 35th Army was in the 1st Far Eastern Front, attacking the Hutou Fortified Region; the 363rd played little role in attacking the fortifications, it served as a mobile pursuit force aided by its battalion of SU-76s. Along with the 35th Army headquarters, it was disbanded in late September 1945 in accordance with the order that established the Primorsky Military District. Feskov, V. I.. I.. A.. A.. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. Main Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union. Командование корпусного и дивизионного звена советских вооруженных сил периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941 – 1945 гг. Moscow: Frunze Military Academy. P. 278. Karp Vasilevich Sviridov
Spassk-Dalny, sometimes called Spassk, is a town in Primorsky Krai, situated on the Prikhankayskaya Flatland on the coast of Khanka Lake. Population: 44,173 ; the relief of the territory is flat, with small hills -- 220 meters. The territory of the town is crossed by the Kuleshovka Rivers. Spassk-Dalny has a humid continental climate similar to the rest of Primorsky Krai. Located quite far inland, winters are somewhat harsher than in coastal areas, whereas summers are warm and humid. Summers are moderated by its lakeside position compared to areas further north or south; the influences of the East Asian monsoon on summer and the cold and dry Siberian High on winter are present. As a result, winters are dry and there is not a lot of reliable snowfall; the first migrants from the western parts of Russia appeared in the area of today's Spassk-Dalny in 1886. They founded the village of Spasskoye. During the Russian Civil War, Spassk-Dalny was the arena of hard battles between the White and Red Armies.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Spassk-Dalny serves as the administrative center of Spassky District though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Spassk-Dalny Town Under Krai Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts; as a municipal division, Spassk-Dalny Town Under Krai Jurisdiction is incorporated as Spassk-Dalny Urban Okrug. Spassk-Dalny formed as the center of the construction industry of the krai, due to the reserves of limestone and construction sand in its vicinities; the largest enterprise is JSC Spassktsement, operating since 1907 and can produce up to 3.5 million tonnes of cement per year. The cement plant is represented in the town's coat of arms. Spassk-Dalny has a station on the Trans-Siberian Railway, with passenger trains connecting the town to destinations including Vladivostok and Moscow; the M60 motorway between Khabarovsk and Vladivostok passes near the town. For many years during the Cold War, the Soviet Air Forces had an interceptor and reconnaissance base, Spassk-Dalny Airfield near the town.
The airfield has been abandoned. The town features a museum of Aurora cinema. There are over twenty monuments of history and culture in Spassk-Dalny, with more than a half of them devoted to the participants of the Civil War in the Russian Far East who supported the Bolsheviks. There are monuments connected with the events of World War II. Законодательное Собрание Приморского края. Закон №161-КЗ от 14 ноября 2001 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Приморского края», в ред. Закона №673-КЗ от 6 октября 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Приморского края "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Приморского края"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Красное знамя Приморья", №69, 29 ноября 2001 г.. Законодательное Собрание Приморского края. Закон №185-КЗ от 6 декабря 2004 г. «О городском округе Спасск-Дальний». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ведомости Законодательного Собрания Приморского края", №77, 8 декабря 2004 г.. Законодательное Собрание Приморского края.
Закон №163-КЗ от 11 ноября 2004 г. «О Спасском муниципальном районе», в ред. Закона №635-КЗ от 29 июня 2010 г «О преобразовании некоторых сельских поселений Спасского муниципального района Приморского края и о внесении изменений в Закон Приморского края "О Спасском муниципальном районе"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ведомости Законодательного Собрания Приморского края", №73, 12 ноября 2004 г.. Pictures of Spassk-Dalny
The Sino-Soviet split was the breaking of political relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, caused by doctrinal divergences that arose from their different interpretations and practical applications of Marxism–Leninism, as influenced by their respective geopolitics during the Cold War. In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, Sino-Soviet debates about the interpretation of Orthodox Marxism became specific disputes about the Soviet Union's policies of national de-Stalinization and international peaceful coexistence with the Western world. Against that political background, the international relations of the PRC featured official belligerence towards the West, an initial, public rejection of the Soviet policy of peaceful coexistence between the Eastern bloc and the Western bloc, which Mao Zedong said was Marxist revisionism by the Russian communists. In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and Stalinism in the speech On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences and began the de-Stalinization of the USSR, whilst the PRC and the USSR progressively diverged in their interpretations of and practical applications of Marxism.
Among the Eastern Bloc countries, the Sino-Soviet split was a question of who would lead the revolution for world communism: China or Russia, to whom would the vanguard parties of the world turn for political advice, financial aid, military assistance? In that vein, the USSR and the PRC competed for the ideological leadership of world communism, through the communist parties native to the countries in their spheres of influence. In the Western world, the Sino–Soviet split transformed the geopolitics of the bi-polar cold war into a tri-polar cold war. Moreover, the Sino-Soviet split voided the Western political perception that "monolithic communism", the Eastern Bloc, was a unitary actor in geopolitics during the 1947–1950 period in the Vietnam War, which led to U. S. military intervention to the First Indochina War. The ideological Sino-Soviet split facilitated the Marxist–Leninist Realpolitik by which Mao established the tri-polar geopolitics of the late-period Cold War. In the course of the Second World War, the Communist Party of China and the nationalist Kuomintang party set aside their civil war in order to fight and expel Imperial Japan from China.
To that end, the leader of the USSR, Joseph Stalin, ordered Mao Zedong, leader of the CPC, to co-operate with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the KMT, in fighting the Second Sino-Japanese War. Following the surrender of Japan, the CPC and the KMT resumed their civil war, from which the CPC emerged victorious. At war's end, Stalin advised Mao to not seize political power at that time, instead, to collaborate with Chiang due to the USSR–KMT Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. Yet, three months after the Japanese surrender, in November 1945, when Chiang opposed the annexation of Tannu Uriankhai to the USSR, Stalin broke the treaty requiring the Red Army's withdrawal from Manchuria and ordered General Rodion Malinovsky to give to the Chinese communists the spoils of war captured from the Imperial Japanese Army. In the post-war 1945–1950 period, the United States had financed the KMT, his nationalist political party, the National Revolutionary Army, his armed forces in the civil war. S. sent General George Marshall to broker peace between the communist and anti-communist belligerents.
In the concluding, three-year period of the Chinese Civil War, between the KMT and the CPC, the Chinese Communist Revolution defeated and expelled the KMT from mainland China. The KMT retreated to Taiwan, where Gen. Chiang Kai-shek established the Republic of China, in 1950; as a theoretician of Communism seeking to realise a socialist state in China, Mao developed and adapted the urban ideology of Orthodox Marxism for practical application to the agrarian conditions of pre-industrial China and the Chinese people. Mao's Sinification of Marx, Socialism with Chinese characteristics, established political pragmatism as the first priority for realising the accelerated modernisation of a country and a people. In 1947, whilst fighting the Chinese Communist Revolution against the KMT nationalists, Mao despatched the American journalist Anna Louise Strong to the West, bearing political documents explaining China's socialist future, asked that she "show them to Party leaders in the United States and Europe", for their better understanding of the Chinese Communist Revolution, but that it was not "necessary to take them to Moscow".
Mao trusted Strong because of her positive reportage about him, as a theoretician of Communism, in the article "The Thought of Mao Tse-Tung", about t
Blagoveshchensk is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, located at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya Rivers, opposite to the Chinese city of Heihe. Population: 214,390 ; the Amur has formed Russia's border with China since the 1858 Aigun Treaty and 1860 Treaty of Peking. The area north of the Amur belonged to the Manchu Qing dynasty by the Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689, until it was ceded to Russia by Aigun Treaty in 1858; the early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers. An early settlement in the area of today's Blagoveshchensk was the Ducher town whose name was reported by the Russian explorer Yerofey Khabarov as Aytyun in 1652; the Grodekovo site is thought by archaeologists to have been populated since ca. 1000 CE. As the Russians tried to assert their control over the region, the Ducher town was vacated when the Duchers were evacuated by the Qing to the Sungari or Hurka in the mid-1650s. Since 1673, the Chinese re-used the site for their fort, which served in 1683-1685 as a base for the Manchus' campaign against the Russian fort of Albazin further north.
After the capture of Albazin in 1685 or 1686, the Chinese relocated their town, to a new site on the right bank of the Amur, about 3 miles downstream from the original site. The series of conflicts between Russians and China ended with Russia's recognition of the Chinese sovereignty over both sides of the Amur by the Nerchinsk Treaty of 1689; as the balance of power in the region has changed by the mid-19th century, the Russian Empire was able to take over the left shore of the Amur from China. Since the 1858 Aigun Treaty and the 1860 Treaty of Peking, the river has remained the border between the countries, although the Qing subjects were allowed to continue to live in the so-called Sixty-Four Villages east of the Amur and the Zeya. Although Russian settlers had lived in the area as early as 1644 as "Hailanpao", the present-day city began in 1856 as the military outpost of Ust-Zeysky. Tsar Alexander II gave approval for the founding of the city in 1858, to be named Blagoveshchensk means "the city of good news", after the parish Church of the Annunciation and declared to be seat of government for the Amur region.
According to Blagoveshchensk authorities, by 1877 the city had some 8,000 residents, with 15 foreigners among them. The city was an important river port and trade center during the late 19th century, with growth further fueled by a gold rush early in the 20th century and by its position on the Chinese border, just hundreds of meters across from the city of Heihe. Local historian note the preeminence of Blagoveshchensk in the economy of the late 19th century Russian Far East, reflected by a "small detail": When the heir to Russian throne, HIH Nicholas Alexandrovich visited in 1891 during his grand tour of Asia, the locals presented him with bread and salt on a gold tray, rather than on a silver one, as it was done in other cities of the region. In the course of the Boxer Rebellion, the Qing Imperial army and Boxer insurgents shelled the city in July 1900. Chinese Honghuzi forces joined the attack against Blagoveshchensk. According to the Orthodox belief, the city was saved by a miraculous icon of Our Lady of Albazin, prayed to continuously during the shelling which lasted two weeks.
On July 3, a decision was made by the city's Police Chief Batarevich and the Military Governor Gribsky to deport the city's entire ethnic Chinese community, viewed as potential "fifth columnists". As the cross-river shipping was interrupted by the rebellion, a question arose how to get them from the Russian side of the Amur to the Chinese side. Batarevich suggested that the deportees could be first taken east of the Zeya, where they could try to obtain boats from the local Chinese villagers; the plan, was vetoed by the governor, the decision was made instead to take the deportees to the stanitsa of Verkhneblagoveshchenskaya—the place where the Amur is at its narrowest—and made them leave the Russian shore. As the local ataman refused to provide the deportees with boats to take them across the river, few of them made it to the Chinese side; the rest drowned in the Amur, or were shot or axed by the police and local volunteers, when refusing to leave the dry land. According to Chinese sources, about 5,000 people died during these events of July 4–8, 1900.
The expulsion of local Chinese caused some hardships for Blagoveshchensk consumers. Historians note that during the second half of 1900, it became impossible to buy any green vegetables in town; the massacre angered the Chinese, had ramifications for the future: the Chinese Honghuzi fought a guerilla war against Russian occupation and assisted th
Russian Ground Forces
The Ground Forces of the Russian Federation are the land forces of the Russian Armed Forces, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, required reforms to professionalize the Ground Forces during the transition. Since 1992, the Ground Forces have withdrawn thousands of troops from former Soviet garrisons abroad, while remaining extensively committed to the Chechen Wars and other operations in the Soviet successor states; the primary responsibilities of the Ground Forces are the protection of the state borders, combat on land, the security of occupied territories, the defeat of enemy troops. The Ground Forces must be able to achieve these goals both in nuclear war and non-nuclear war without the use of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, they must be capable of protecting the national interests of Russia within the framework of its international obligations; the Main Command of the Ground Forces is tasked with the following objectives: The training of troops for combat, on the basis of tasks determined by the Armed Forces' General Staff.
The improvement of troops' structure and composition, the optimization of their numbers, including for special troops. The development of military theory and practice; the development and introduction of training field manuals and methodology. The improvement of operational and combat training of the Ground Forces; as the Soviet Union dissolved, efforts were made to keep the Soviet Armed Forces as a single military structure for the new Commonwealth of Independent States. The last Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union, Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, was appointed supreme commander of the CIS Armed Forces in December 1991. Among the numerous treaties signed by the former republics, in order to direct the transition period, was a temporary agreement on general purpose forces, signed in Minsk on 14 February 1992. However, once it became clear that Ukraine was determined to undermine the concept of joint general purpose forces and form their own armed forces, the new Russian government moved to form its own armed forces.
Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed a decree forming the Russian Ministry of Defence on 7 May 1992, establishing the Russian Ground Forces along with the other branches of the military. At the same time, the General Staff was in the process of withdrawing tens of thousands of personnel from the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, the Northern Group of Forces in Poland, the Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia, the Southern Group of Forces in Hungary, from Mongolia. Thirty-seven divisions had to be withdrawn from the four groups of forces and the Baltic States, four military districts—totalling 57 divisions—were handed over to Belarus and Ukraine; some idea of the scale of the withdrawal can be gained from the division list. For the dissolving Soviet Ground Forces, the withdrawal from the former Warsaw Pact states and the Baltic states was an demanding and debilitating process; as the military districts that remained in Russia after the collapse of the Union consisted of the mobile cadre formations, the Ground Forces were, to a large extent, created by relocating the full-strength formations from Eastern Europe to under-resourced districts.
However, the facilities in those districts were inadequate to house the flood of personnel and equipment returning from abroad, many units "were unloaded from the rail wagons into empty fields." The need for destruction and transfer of large amounts of weaponry under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe necessitated great adjustments. The Ministry of Defence newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda published a reform plan on 21 July 1992. One commentator said it was "hastily" put together by the General Staff "to satisfy the public demand for radical changes." The General Staff, from that point, became a bastion of conservatism, causing a build-up of troubles that became critical. The reform plan advocated a change from an Army-Division-Regiment structure to a Corps-Brigade arrangement; the new structures were to be more capable in a situation with no front line, more capable of independent action at all levels. Cutting out a level of command, omitting two out of three higher echelons between the theatre headquarters and the fighting battalions, would produce economies, increase flexibility, simplify command-and-control arrangements.
The expected changeover to the new structure proved to be rare and sometimes reversed. The new brigades that appeared were divisions that had broken down until they happened to be at the proposed brigade strengths. New divisions—such as the new 3rd Motor Rifle Division in the Moscow Military District, formed on the basis of disbanding tank formations—were formed, rather than new brigades. Few of the reforms planned in the early 1990s eventuated, for three reasons: Firstly, there was an absence of firm civilian political guidance, with President Yeltsin interested in ensuring that the Armed Forces were controllable and loyal, rather than reformed. Secondly, declining funding worsened the progress. There was no firm consensus within the military about what reforms should be implemented. General Pavel Grachev, the first Russian Minister of Defence, broadly advertised reforms, yet wished to preserve the old Soviet-style Army, with large numbers of low-strength formations and continued mass conscription.
The General Staff and the armed services tried to preserve Soviet era doctrines, weapon