40th Guards Rifle Division
The 40th Guards Rifle Division was one of a series of ten Guards rifle divisions of the Red Army formed from airborne troops in the spring and summer of 1942 in preparation for, or in response to, the German summer offensive. It fought in the Stalingrad area during that battle in the operations that encircled German 6th Army, continued to serve in the several campaigns in the south sector of the front, helping to liberate Ukraine and the Balkans, ending the war at Vienna. In late 1945, the division was converted into the 17th Guards Mechanized Division and was stationed in Hungary, it participated in the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, after which it was converted into a motor rifle division with the same number. Soon afterwards, it relocated as part of the 38th Army; the division was based at Khmelnitsky for the rest of the Cold War and became part of the Ukrainian Ground Forces with the Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and 1992. The 40th Guards was formed on 6 August 1942, in the Moscow Military District from the 6th Airborne Corps.
Its main order of battle was as follows: 111th Guards Rifle Regiment from 11th Airborne Brigade 116th Guards Rifle Regiment from 12th Airborne Brigade 119th Guards Rifle Regiment from 13th Airborne Brigade 90th Guards Artillery Regiment The division, along with several other of these airborne conversions, was rushed to the Stalingrad region, to begin with as part of 1st Guards Army. It departed for the front on 15 August, spent most of September fighting along the Don River in 21st Army. Stalingrad Front was renamed Don Front on 30 September. In October, 40th Guards was this time to 65th Army, still in Don Front. In this army it was one of the assault divisions that cleared the way for 5th Tank Army in Operation Uranus as part of the northern pincer that broke through Romanian Third Army and helped encircle the German forces at Stalingrad. From early in 1943 the division was reassigned to 5th Shock Army in South Front and would remain in that army until the end of 1943. By 21 February, 40th Guards was in first echelon of its army.
On 3 March, 5th Shock was fortifying the scant bridgeheads it had taken on the west bank of the river, the advance halted for the coming months. In April, the division became part of the 31st Guards Rifle Corps, it would remain in that formation for the duration of the war. In August, 1943, South Front launched the Donbass Strategic Offensive against German Sixth Army's positions along the Mius River line, forcing it to fall back to the Dniepr with Soviet forces in pursuit. On 3 September, the division was credited with the liberation of the Ukrainian town of Yenakiyevo, was given its name as an honorific. South Front became 4th Ukrainian Front in October, 40th Guards remained with it until nearly the end of the year, when it was reassigned, along with its corps, to 69th Army in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. In January, 1944, the corps was moved again, to 46th Army in 3rd Ukrainian Front. In early April 40th Guards was approaching the lower reaches of the Dniestr River in first echelon of its corps.
The division led the clearing of the east bank on 11 April and received the following orders from army commander Lt. Gen. Vasily Glagolev:"Force the Dnestr River in the sector from Chebruchi to Marker 107.5 and reach positions from 500 metres northeast of Hill 145.1 through the western entrance of the forest 2.5 kilometres west of Raskaetsy, subsequently capture Chebruchi and Hill 174.5. Begin the forcing operation at 2100 hours on 13 April 1944; the units of the 6th Rifle Corps will attack on your right flank. The units of the 34th Guards Rifle Division will force the river on your left flank; this attack would be supported by the 269th Army Pontoon-Bridge Brigade. The division commander, Mjr. Gen. G. F. Panchenko, prepared detailed plans, on the 13th a forward detachment of assault companies from 111th Guards Rifle Regiment made a crossing and managed to secure a small bridgehead south of Chebruchi reinforced by the remainder of its division as well as 34th Guards, but they were stymied in their attempts to take the town.
The German defenders launched at least seven counterattacks during the first 24 hours, 40th Guards reported casualties of 30 killed and 89 wounded. On 20 April, the division, along with 34th and 4th Guards Rifle Divisions, made another attack on Chebruchi, but this collapsed after it commenced. In the first week of May, all three divisions went over to the defense. In August the division went back to the attack in the second Iasi-Kishinev Offensive, which destroyed the German Sixth Army and caused Romania to change sides. In September and October the 31st Guards Rifle Corps served in 2nd Ukrainian Front, still in 46th Army, but in November the corps went back to 3rd Ukrainian Front, now in 4th Guards Army. 40th Guards Rifle Division and its corps would serve under those commands for the duration. After participating in the Siege of Budapest, in the spring of 1945 the division advanced across the Hungarian plain and gained another honorific for its operations along the Danube River, ending the war near Vienna.
At the end of the war, the official title of the division was 40th Guards Rifle, Yenakiyevo-Danube, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Division. In the fall of 1945, the division became the 17th Guards Mechanized Division, headquartered at Szombathely in Hungary; the 4th Guards Army became part of the Central Group of Forces and left for the Soviet Union in August 1946, after which the division was directly subordin
7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division
The 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division is an elite guards division of the Russian Airborne Troops. The 7th Guards Airborne Division was formed in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment which fought in Eastern Europe in World War II. In October 1948 the division was relocated to Lithuania. During the Cold War period, the division served in the suppression of the Hungarian and Czech revolutions. On August 1993, the division was relocated to Russia, it took part in various counter-insurgency operations in the Caucasus region. On 1 December 2006 it was renamed as 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division. In 2014 the division's 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment took part in the War in Donbass in Ukraine. There were two separately formed 7th Guards Airborne Divisions in the Red Army and Soviet Ground Forces/Soviet Airborne Troops; the first division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942. It fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest.
It ended the war with 4th Guards Army of the 3rd Ukrainian Front in May 1945. As part of a postwar military reorganization, this division was retitled the 115th Guards Rifle Division in June 1945; the second formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was started in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment. The first formation of the division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942, it fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest. On May 8, 1945, the divisional commander, Major General Dmitrii Aristarkhovich Drichkin, set up his headquarters in the village of Erlauf, some 60 miles west of Vienna and 50 miles east of Linz. Anxious to meet the Allies, he sent out scouts. At midnight, he met Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart, commander of the U. S. 65th Infantry Division. For the duration of their presence on the Danube river, both commanders continued to cooperate in an unusually effective manner. Twenty years public affairs officer Captain John J. Pullen described their first cordial encounter for the National Observer.
For the 50th anniversary, Erlauf erected a Soviet-sponsored memorial. It features a local girl, linking arms with a GI on her right, a Soviet soldier on her left. To this day, an enlarged photo and a small exhibit mark the spot where this historic encounter took place: A life-size Major General Reinhart, smiling at General Drichkin, as they compare their watches one minute past midnight, on 9 May 1945, the moment the unconditional surrender of Germany became effective; as part of a postwar military reorganization at the end of June 1945, the first formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was retitled as the 115th Guards Rifle Division. The 22nd Guards Tank Division was activated on 4 June 1957 in Novomoskovsk, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, from the 115th Guards Rifle Division; the baptism of fire of the second formation division's predecessor regiment took place in 1945, fighting around Lake Balaton under the 37th Guards Rifle Corps, 9th Guards Army, 3rd Ukrainian Front. On 26 April 1945, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 103rd Guards Rifle Division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov, second class, for exemplary performance.
In commemoration, the division's official day is 26 April, by an order of the Defense Minister of the USSR. At the end of the war, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment was in the city of Czechoslovakia. During the war, the regiment was thanked on six occasions by the Supreme Commander. In all 2,065 of its soldiers and officers were decorated for valor and heroism by the Soviet Union; the 7th Guards Airborne Division was established on 15 October 1948 on the basis of the 322nd Guards Air Landing Regiment of the 103rd Guards Airborne Division at Polotsk in the Belorussian Military District, becoming part of the 8th Guards Airborne Corps. The division was relocated to the cities of Kaunas and Marijampole, Lithuanian SSR. Personnel from these bases took part in actions against Lithuanian partisans. Units in this premier division of airborne troops have mastered the landing of Antonov An-8, An-12, An-22, Il-76 aircraft, tested a number of new parachute systems, all generations of BMD, 2S9 Nona artillery systems.
In 1956, the division was involved in "Operation Whirlwind", the suppression of the Hungarian revolution. On 3 November 1956, the 108th Parachute Regiment landed at the Tököl airbase in Il-12 and Li-2 aircraft and disabling six antiaircraft batteries positioning themselves to defend the base. On 4 November 1956 the regimental staff, together with fighters from the 119th Parachute Regiment, entered the city of Budapest and took part in street fighting until the city was secured on 7 November. In 1968, the division participated in Operation Danube to suppress the Prague Spring uprising; the 108th Regiment distinguished itself in the most dangerous and difficult missions, for which about two hundred of its personnel received high government awards. On 23 June 1969, troops of the 108th Airborne Regiment were tasked to fly from Kaunas to Ryazan, where they were to demonstrate their vehicle assault landing skills to the Minister of Defence of the USSR, Andrei Grechko; the group of three An-12 aircraft took off early in the morning, reaching a cruising altitude of 3,000 metres.
Approaching the city of Kaluga, a plane carrying the staff of a company and battalion command collided with an Ilyushin Il-14 passenger plane, at 3000 meters without clearance, with the loss of all aboard. The division was involved in many major exercises and maneuvers, such as "Shield-76", "Neman", "West-81", "West-84" and "Watch-86", in the latter three exerc
106th Guards Airborne Division
The 106th Guards Tula Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Airborne Division, more referred to as the Tula Division, is one of the four airborne divisions of the Russian Airborne Troops, the VDV. Based in the city of Tula, to the south of Moscow, it is administratively located within the Western Military District; the Division was founded in January 1944 as the 16th Guards Airborne Division, from until the end of the Second World War fought in Hungary and Czechoslovakia with 38th Guards Rifle Corps of 9th Guards Army. It became the 106th Guards Rifle Division in December 1944, as all the original VDV divisions and brigades were being reconstituted as Guards Rifle formations; the Division's honorifics are'Red Banner, Order of Kutuzov', though an early Western writer reported them as'Dneipr-Transbaikal' incorrectly, at one point in its history. On 7 June 1946, the 106th Guards Rifle Division was converted to an airborne division at Tula, part of the new 38th Guards Airborne Corps. On 1 October 1948, the division's 347th Guards Air Landing Regiment was used to form the 11th Guards Airborne Division.
It was replaced by the new 51st Guards Air Landing Regiment, which became an airborne unit in 1949. On 5 May 1955, the 137th Guards Airborne Regiment joined the division from the disbanded 11th Guards Airborne Division. On 6 January 1959, the 110th Separate Military-Transport Aviation Squadron was formed with the division, equipped with ten Antonov An-2 transports. On 15 August 1960, the 205th Guards Artillery Regiment became the 845th Separate Guards Artillery Battalion. At the same time, the 351st Guards Airborne Regiment transferred to the 105th Guards Airborne Division and was replaced by the 105th's 331st Guards Airborne Regiment. On 27 April 1962, the 845th Separate Guards Artillery Battalion became the 1182nd Guards Artillery Regiment; as the attention of the Soviet leadership began to shift towards their ability to project force overseas, the need for a deployable force to spearhead large-scale operations became apparent and the VDV was once again built up as such an air assault force.
The Tula Division, from that point until the present day, was to be one of the most frequently-used elements of it. Two of its regiments took part in the Soviet–Afghan War; as nationalist unrest grew in the southern republics of the USSR throughout the end of the 1980s, the division was deployed to Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1988 and to Fergana, Uzbekistan, in 1990. Throughout this time the division was commanded by General Alexander Lebed. In 1991, an attempted coup against the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev took place in Moscow; as the coup faltered, the plotters lost the initiative while support for Boris Yeltsin, the President of the Russian SFSR, the plotters called in reinforcements from the Tula Division, in the form of a battalion from the 137th Guards Airborne Regiment. When they arrived, Lebed stated that he had orders to secure the Parliament building, where Yeltsin's supporters were barricaded, he did not, give the order for his men, equipped with BMD armoured vehicles, to launch an attack.
This may have been because at that point in the coup, the Tamanskaya Division was in the process of switching its own allegiance from the plotters to the parliamentarians, but whatever Lebed's rationale, the episode helped to boost his own public profile immensely. Following the failure of the coup and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 1992, he was appointed commander of the Russian 14th Army in Moldova; the 119th Guards Airborne Regiment joined the division from the 7th Guards Airborne Division in August 1993, replacing the 331st Guards Airborne Regiment, transferred to the 98th Guards Airborne Division. In 1994, the Russian Army was ordered into the breakaway southern republic of Chechnya by Yeltsin President of the Russian Federation, after the refusal of the separatist government to surrender to Moscow's authority, beginning the First Chechen War. Battalions of the Tula Division were attached to'Group West', they took part, in December that year, in the first Battle of Grozny, helping to capture the city's central railway station, which had proved to be one of the most difficult and costly strategic points in Grozny for the Russians to capture.
In March 1995, the battalions were transferred to the command of'Group North' and continued fighting, notably around Argun. In May, they withdrew from Chechnya; the division's losses in the first war are unclear: 36 of its soldiers have been confirmed killed in action, but the number missing in action is around 200. The Second Chechen War began in 1999. With Moscow determined to avoid a repeat of the quagmire that the first war had become, the Russian force committed in 1999 was larger, better equipped and better organised; the Tula Division's contribution to that force was 119th Parachute Landing Regiments. Its losses in this war were still considerable but less than in the first: 67 of its soldiers were reported either killed or missing in action. For its actions in the second campaign, the Tula Division was awarded the MoD Pennant. In 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, paratroopers from the division were sent to Afghanistan to evacuate the staff of the Russian embassy in Kabul, so as to ensure their safety in the face of the American military campaign in support of the Northern Alliance's advance towards the city.
On 26 April 2004, the Tula Division celebrated its 60th anniversary. In August 2014 the division's 137th Guards Airborne Regiment had participated in the War in Donbass. On 13 August 2015, the division was given the honorific name "Tula". Modern Rus
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
Irkutsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia, located in southeastern Siberia in the basins of the Angara and Nizhnyaya Tunguska Rivers. The administrative center is the city of Irkutsk, it had a population of 2,428,750 at the 2010 Census. Irkutsk Oblast borders with the Republic of Buryatia and the Tuva Republic in the south and southwest, with Krasnoyarsk Krai in the west, with the Sakha Republic in the northeast, with Zabaykalsky Krai in the east; the unique and world-famous Lake Baikal is located in the southeast of the region. It is drained by the Angara; the two other major dams on the Irkutsk Oblast's section of the Angara are at Ust-Ilimsk. The Lena has its source in Irkutsk Oblast as well, flows north-east into the neighboring Sakha Republic. Irkutsk Oblast consists of the hills and broad valleys of the Central Siberian Plateau and of its eastern extension, the Patom Plateau; the climate varies from warm summer continental in the south to continental-subarctic in the northern part. For half the year, from mid-October until the beginning of April, the average temperature is below 0 °C.
Winters are cold, with average high temperatures in Irkutsk of −14.9 °C and average lows of −25.3 °C in January. Summers are warm but short: the average high in July is +24.5 °C and the average low is +11.2 °C. However, by September, the weather cools down to an average daily high of +15.3 °C and an average daily low of +2.5 °C. More than half of all precipitation falls in the summer months, with the wettest month being July, with 96.2 millimeters of rain. January is the driest month, with only 11 millimeters of precipitation. Annual precipitation averages 419.8 millimeters. Mongolic-related Slab Grave cultural monuments survive in Baikal territory; the territory of Buryatia came under the control of the Xiongnu Empire, of the Mongolian Xianbei state, of the Rouran Khaganate, of the Mongol Empire and of the Northern Yuan. Medieval Mongol tribes like the Merkit, Barga Mongols and Tümeds inhabited Buryatia. Today Buryat-Mongols remain in the territory of the oblast. Russian presence in the area dates from the 17th century: the Russian Tsardom expanded eastward following the conquest of the Khanate of Sibir in 1582.
By the end of the 17th century, Irkutsk hd become a small town, monasteries were being built, suburbs and agricultural settlements had started to form. From the 18th century trades and crafts began to develop, gold- and silver-smiths appeared; as the Russian state expanded to the east of Irkutsk, the city became the capital of enormous territories from the Yenisey River to the Pacific Ocean, played an important role in the exploration and securing of vast Eastern-Siberian and Far-Eastern territories for Russia. Irkutsk gained more importance as the main transportation- and trade-center of Eastern Siberia; the administrative importance of the city increased, it became a center of a fifth of the provinces of Siberia. For Irkutsk the 18th century was a time of research expeditions; some of the organization of Vitus Bering's first and second expeditions to the shores of Kamchatka took place in Irkutsk. A merchant class developed in the city of Irkutsk. In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Irkutsk industrial and merchant companies of Golikov, Ivan Stepanovich Bechevin, Nikolai Prokofevich Mylnikov, Sibirakovy began to explore the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.
In 1799 the merchant companies came together in a Russian-American Company "for the trades on the territory of the Aleutian and Kuril islands and the rest of the North-Eastern sea, belonging to Russia by the right of discovery". Grigorii Ivanovich Shelikhov, an outstanding seafarer, played an important role in controlling enormous spaces of the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, he founded the first colonies of Russian America through the Shelikhov-Golikov Company. In 1727 the Russian Orthodox Church established the Irkutsk Eparchy. During the 18th century, professional-technical education colleges, science museums, libraries and book-printers developed in Irkutsk. Educational and cultural organizations opened. In 1725 the first school in Eastern Siberia, attached to the Voznesensky monastery, in 1754 sea schools and secondary schools opened throughout the Irkutsk area; the 1780s saw the opening of the second public library in provincial towns in Russia, as well as a regional museum and an amateur theater.
In Irkutsk outstanding citizens appeared, still remembered today. These included the architect and historian Anton ivanovich Losev, the writer Ivan Timofeevich Kalashnikov, the teacher Semyon Semyonovich Schukin. Siberian science buildings opened. A. G. Laxman, Lomonosov's apprentice, one of the first Siberian mineralogists, worked in Irkutsk; the city landscape of Irkutsk was changing. The Irkutsk Spassky church of 1706, the unique Irkutsk Krestovozdvizhenskaya church, the "Prikaznaya izba", the first stone construction, the Triumph gate were built. In the late eighteenth centur
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main land-based branch of the Soviet Armed Forces between February 1946 and December 1991, when it was replaced with the Russian Ground Forces, although it was not abolished until 25 December 1993. Until 25 February 1946, it was known as the Red Army, established by decree on 15 January 1918 "to protect the population, territorial integrity and civil liberties in the territory of the Soviet state." The Strategic Missile Troops, Air Defense Forces and Air Forces were part of the Soviet Army in addition to the Ground Forces. At the end of World War II the Red Army had over 500 rifle divisions and about a tenth that number of tank formations, their experience of war gave the Soviets such faith in tank forces that the infantry force was cut by two-thirds. The Tank Corps of the late war period were converted to tank divisions, from 1957 the rifle divisions were converted to motor rifle divisions. MRDs had three motorized rifle regiments and a tank regiment, for a total of ten motor rifle battalions and six tank battalions.
The Land Forces Chief Command was created for the first time in March 1946. Four years it was disbanded, only to be formed again in 1955. In March 1964 the Chief Command was again disbanded but recreated in November 1967. Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgi Zhukov became Chief of the Soviet Ground Forces in March 1946, but was succeeded by Ivan Konev in July, who remained as such until 1950, when the position of Chief of the Soviet Ground Forces was abolished for five years, an organisational gap that "probably was associated in some manner with the Korean War". From 1945 to 1948, the Soviet Armed Forces were reduced from about 11.3 million to about 2.8 million men, a demobilisation controlled first, by increasing the number of military districts to 33 reduced to 21 in 1946. The personnel strength of the Ground Forces was reduced from 9.8 million to 2.4 million. To establish and secure the USSR's eastern European geopolitical interests, Red Army troops who liberated eastern Europe from Nazi rule, in 1945 remained in place to secure pro-Soviet régimes in Eastern Europe and to protect against attack from Europe.
Elsewhere, they may have assisted the NKVD in suppressing anti-Soviet resistance in Western Ukraine and the Baltic states. Soviet troops, including the 39th Army, remained at Port Arthur and Dalian on the northeast Chinese coast until 1955. Control was handed over to the new Chinese communist government. Soviet Army forces on USSR territory were apportioned among military districts. There were 32 of them in 1945. Sixteen districts remained from the mid-1970s to the end of the USSR. Yet, the greatest Soviet Army concentration was in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, which suppressed the anti-Soviet Uprising of 1953 in East Germany. East European Groups of Forces were the Northern Group of Forces in Poland, the Southern Group of Forces in Hungary, which put down the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 1958, Soviet troops were withdrawn from Romania; the Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia was established after Warsaw Pact intervention against the Prague Spring of 1968. In 1969, at the east end of the Soviet Union, the Sino-Soviet border conflict, prompted establishment of a 16th military district, the Central Asian Military District, at Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan.
In 1979, the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan, to support its Communist government, provoking a 10-year Afghan mujahideen guerrilla resistance. Throughout the Cold War, Western intelligence estimates calculated that the Soviet strength remained ca. 2.8 million to ca. 5.3 million men. To maintain said strength range, Soviet law minimally required a three-year military service obligation from every able man of military age, until 1967, when the Ground Forces reduced it to a two-year draft obligation. By the middle of the 1980s, the Ground Forces contained about 210 divisions. About three-quarters were the remainder tank divisions. There were a large number of artillery divisions, separate artillery brigades, engineer formations, other combat support formations. However, only few formations were war ready. Three readiness categories, A, B, V, after the first three letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, were in force; the Category A divisions were certified combat-ready and were equipped. B and V divisions were 50 -- 75 % and 10 -- 33 % respectively.
The internal military districts contained only one or two A divisions, with the remainder B and V series formations. Soviet planning for most of the Cold War period would have seen Armies of four to five divisions operating in Fronts made up of around four armies. In February 1979, the first of the new High Commands in the Strategic Directions were created at Ulan-Ude; these new headquarters controlled multiple Fronts, a Soviet Navy Fleet. In September 1984, three more were established to control multi-Front operations in Europe and at Baku to handle southern operations. In 1955, the Soviet Union signed the Warsaw Pact with its East European socialist allies, establishing military coordination between Soviet forces and their socialist counterparts; the Soviet Army created and directed the Eastern European armies in its image for the remainder of the Cold War, shaping them for a potential confrontation with the North Atlant
Melitopol is a city in Zaporizhia Oblast of southeastern Ukraine. It is situated on the Molochna River that flows through the eastern edge of the city and into the Molochnyi Liman, which joins the Sea of Azov, its population is 154,992 . Melitopol is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and is the second largest city in the oblast after Zaporizhia, it serves as the administrative center of Melitopol Raion. The city is located at the crossing of two major European highways E58 Vienna - Uzhhorod - Kyiv - Rostov-on-Don and E105 Kirkenes - St. Petersburg - Moscow - Kyiv - Yalta. An electrified railway line of international importance goes through Melitopol; the city is called "the gateway to the Crimea", prior to the 2014 Russian occupation of Crimea 80% of passenger trains heading to the peninsula passed through the city and during summer road traffic would reach 45 000 vehicles per day. In medieval times, there was a small Noghai aul of Kyzyl-Yar. In July 1769, Russian military commanders built a redoubt there, Zaporizhia Cossacks carried out their duty service there.
On February 2, 1784, Catherine II issued the decree to create the Taurian Province on the lands, won. The deputy of Novorossiya Grigory Potemkin signed the relation to establish a town that year - and Cossacks' families and those of retired soldiers of Suvorov settled on the right bank of the Molochna River. Among others, Germans were encouraged to settle in the new province, some villages in this area were for many years German-speaking, such as Heidelberg some 50 kilometres to the north of Melitopol. In 1816, the settlement got the name sloboda of Novoalexandrovka, its population was increasing due to the importation of peasants from the northern provinces of Ukraine and Russia. On January 7, 1842, the sloboda was recognized as a town and received the new name of Melitopol after a port city of Melita, situated on the mouth of the Molochna River. At the end of the 19th century, the "Honey-city" had been developed as a trade center - there were some banks, credit organizations and wholesale stores.
The largest enterprises in the city at the time were the iron foundry and the Brothers Klassen's machinery construction factory, the railroad depot and the workshops. Further development of the city was connected with trade and engineering industries, Crimean direction railway service. In the early twentieth century there were 15 thousand people living in Melitopol. 30 industrial and 350 retail outlets operated in the city at that time. In the second half of the twentieth century there was a strong economic growth of the city: new factories and housing estates were constructed. 16 Melitopol business enterprises have received the All-Soviet Union significance status. Industrial enterprise production was exported to more than 50 countries worldwide. In 1941, the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany; the city became strategically important due to its location. The Red Army had to retreat; the German Wehrmacht occupied Melitopol on October 6, 1941. Within one week the entire remaining Jewish population of Melitopol were murdered by Einsatzgruppe D supported by the Wehrmacht.
After breaking through on the Mius River and defeating Axis troops in the Donbas and Taganrog, the Soviet Southern Front army pursuing the retreating enemy came to the Molochna River on September 22, 1943. Here, in the basin of the Milk River, German troops had built a strong long-term defense which they called the Panther-Wotan line, it was on this line that the fate of the Crimean peninsula and the whole course of offensive operations in the southern Soviet Union were decided. The German defense consisted of four lines, covered with land mines; the first attempt of the Soviet Southern Front army to break through was unsuccessful. Soviet commanders decided to prepare a new attempt: the so-called “Melitopol operation”, carried out from September 26 to November 5, 1943. Despite the courage and heroism of Soviet soldiers, fighting lasted long, as the Germans introduced fresh reserves in order to keep Melitopol. After many days of heavy street fighting against vastly superior numbers of men and equipment, German resistance was broken and on October 23 the Red Army took complete control of the city.
By decrees of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, 87 Red soldiers and airmen were awarded the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" for their actions in the reconquest of Melitopol. Melitopol is a melting pot of different cultures. Representatives of more than 100 ethnic groups have been living here together in peace. An association of national-cultural societies is working in the city. In 2008 Melitopol became a member of the international project of the Council of Europe "Intercultural Cities"; the City confidently and stated its goals in this program. Three flagship projects were identified as belonging to the future of the municipal program "Melitopol - European Intercultural City." The project on which the city works under the Council of Europe project, is called "Creation of Intercultural Park “Melito-Park”. The aim of the project is to create an intercultural park where people of different nationalities could meet and communicate. There is a design project of the Intercultural Park, prepared by a group of European architects and designers led by Mark Glaudemans - Director of the European Laboratory for urban planning, the Dean of the Academy of Architec