Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
The Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation is a branch of Federal Security Service of Russia tasked with patrol of the Russian border. The terms Border Service of Russia and Border Force of Russia are common, while in English, the terms "Border Guards" and "Border Troops" are used to designate this service; the Border service numbers around 170,000 active members, which includes the Russian maritime border guard units. One can trace the origin of the Russian border service to 1571 and the work of Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky and his Great Abatis Border built along the southern boundaries of the Tsardom of Russia in the 16th century. In 1782 the Empress Catherine II of Russia established Border Customs Guard units manned by Russian Cossacks as well as by low-ranking cavalry troops. In 1810 General Mikhail Barklay de Tolly organized numerous border posts along the entire western Russian border, manned by 11 regiments of Don and Bug Cossacks. Within two years Russian Border Guards became the first to oppose Napoleon's invasion of Russia.
In 1832 Cossacks and cavalry were replaced by armed customs officials subordinate to the Ministry of Finance in peacetime. In the same year the government of Emperor Nicholas I established a coast guard - to observe coasts of the Black Sea and of the Sea of Azov. Count Sergei Witte, the Russian Minister of Finance in the government of Alexander III, reformed the service on 13 October 1893 into the Independent Border Guards Corps headed by an army general and reporting directly to the ministry. In 1906 about 40,000 soldiers and officers served in the IBGC - maintaining the defence of the lengthy Imperial border, they served in 8 division-sized districts as well as in the Saint Petersburg headquarters unit. Soviet Border Troops, were the militarized border guard of the Soviet Union, subordinated to its subsequently reorganized state security agency: first to Cheka/OGPU to NKVD/MGB and to KGB. Accordingly, they were known as KGB Border Troops. Unlike border guards of many other countries, Soviet Border Troops were a centralized force including the maritime border guard units.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Federal Border Guard Service of Russia was created on December 30, 1993 as a separate government agency. The agency retained some old traditions, most notably the dark green-colored uniform and "Border Guarder's Day". First minister of FBS was Andrei Nikolayev and outspoken general who became deputy of the State Duma. Russian Border Guards were stationed outside of Russia most notably in southern Tajikistan, in order to guard the border with Afghanistan, until summer 2005. On Afghan-Tajik border on many occasions they were engaged in heavy fighting with drug-traffickers and Islamic extremists. Armenia's closed border with Turkey and open border with Iran is still guarded by the Russians. On March 11, 2003, Russian president Vladimir Putin changed the status of Border Guard Service from a separate agency into a branch of Russian Federal Security Service; the current head of Border Guard Service of Russia is General Vladimir Pronichev. Border Guard Service of Russia is tasked with a defence of the longest national border in the world.
In April 2012 Vladimir Pronichev announced that the country was planning to build 20 frontier posts in the Arctic region. Reasons for this development can be found in the increased abilities to explore hydrocarbon deposits in the north, it will give Russia an ability to patrol and service the Northern Sea Route. In July 2014 Ukraine opened a criminal case against the head of the Border Guard Service Vladimir Kulishov. Responsibilities of Border Guard Service of Russia include: Defence of the Russian national border, prevention of illegal crossing of the land and sea border by people and goods. Protection of economic interests of the Russian Federation and its natural resources within land and sea border areas, territorial waters and internal seas, including prevention of poaching and illegal fishing. Combat any threats to national security in the border area, including terrorism and foreign infiltration; the head of the Border Service - Army General Vladimir Kulishov First Deputy Head of the Border Service - Lieutenant-General Vladimir Rozhkov First Deputy Head of the Border Service - the head of the Organizational Department, Colonel-General Mansur Masgutovich Valiev Deputy head of Russia's FSB Border Service - the chief international treaty management Lieutenant-General Alexander L. Manilov Deputy Chief of the Border Service - Lieutenant-General Victor Trofimovich Trufanov Deputy Chief of the Border Service - Maj. Gen. Alexander O. Mizon Deputy Chief of the Border Service - Maj. Gen. Nikolai Nikolaevich Rybalkin Deputy Chief of the Border Service - Lieutenant General Gennady Semenovich Simuhin FPS Russia, the Federal Border Service, active from 30 December 1994 to 30 June 2003, was headed by a single central
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional intergovernmental organization of 10 post-Soviet republics in Eurasia formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has an area of 20,368,759 km² and has an estimated population of 239,796,010; the CIS encourages cooperation in economical and military affairs and has certain powers to coordinate trade, finance and security. It has promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention; the CIS has its origins in the Soviet Union, which replaced the old Russian Empire in 1917 when it was established by the 1922 Treaty and Declaration of the Creation of the USSR by the Russian SFSR, Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR. When the USSR began to fall in 1991, the founding republics signed the Belavezha Accords on 8 December 1991, declaring the Soviet Union would cease to exist and proclaimed the CIS in its place. A few days the Alma-Ata Protocol was signed, which declared that Soviet Union was dissolved and that the Russian Federation was to be its successor state.
The Baltic states, which regard their membership in the Soviet Union as an illegal occupation, chose not to participate. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008. Ukraine, which participated as an associate member, ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies on 19 May 2018. Eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organizations are under the overview of the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union. While the first and the second are military and economic alliances, the third aims to reach a supranational union of Russia and Belarus with a common government, currency and so on. In March 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, proposed a federation by holding a referendum to preserve the Union as the Union of Sovereign States; the new treaty signing never happened as the Communist Party hardliners staged an attempted coup in August that year. Following the events of August's failed coup, the republics had declared their independence fearing another coup.
A week after the Ukrainian independence referendum was held, which kept the chances of the Soviet Union staying together low, the Commonwealth of Independent States was founded in its place on 8 December 1991 by the Byelorussian SSR, the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, when the leaders of the three republics met at the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve, about 50 km north of Brest in Belarus, signed the "Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States", known as the Creation Agreement. The CIS announced that the new organization would be open to all republics of the former Soviet Union, to other nations sharing the same goals; the CIS charter stated that all the members were sovereign and independent nations and thereby abolished the Soviet Union. On 21 December 1991, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol which can either be interpreted as expanding the CIS to these states or the proper foundation or refoundation date of the CIS, thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11.
Georgia joined two years in December 1993. At this point, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics participated in the CIS; the three Baltic states did not, reflecting their governments' and people's view that the post-1940 Soviet occupation of their territory was illegitimate. The CIS and Soviet Union legally co-existed with each other until 26 December 1991, when Soviet President Gorbachev stepped down dissolving the Soviet Union; this was followed by Ivan Korotchenya becoming Executive Secretary of the CIS on the same day. After the end of the dissolution process of the Soviet Union and the Central Asian republics were weakened economically and faced declines in GDP. Post-Soviet states underwent economic privatisation; the process of Eurasian integration began after the break-up of the Soviet Union to salvage economic ties with Post-Soviet republics. On 22 January 1993, the Charter of the CIS were signed, setting up the different institutions of the CIS, their functions, the rules and statutes of the CIS.
The Charter defined that all countries having ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS and its relevant Protocol would be considered to be founding states of the CIS, as well as that only countries ratifying the Charter would be considered to be member states of the CIS. Other states can participate as associate members or observers, if accepted as such by a decision of the Council of Heads of State to the CIS. All the founding states, apart from Ukraine and Turkmenistan, ratified the Charter of the CIS and became member states of it. Ukraine and Turkmenistan kept participating in the CIS, without being member states of it. Ukraine became an associate member of the CIS Economic Union in April 1994, Turkmenistan became an associate member of the CIS in August 2005. Georgia left the CIS altogether in 2009 and Ukraine stopped participating in 2018. During a speech at Moscow State University in 1994, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggested the idea of creating a "common defense" space within the CIS Nazarbayev idea was seen as a way to bolster trade, boost investments in the region, serve as a counterweight to t
Transcaucasian Military District
The Transcaucasian Military District, a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces, traces its history to May 1921 and the incorporation of Armenia and Georgia into the Soviet Union. It was disbanded by being redesignated as a Group of Forces in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union collapse; the military district formed as a basis of the modern day armed forces of Armenia and Georgia. It was formed from the Red Army's Separate Caucasian Army, which became the Red Banner Caucasian Army in August 1923. On 17 May 1935 the Red Banner Caucasus Army was redesignated the Transcaucasian Military District; the Georgian and Azerbaijani national formations, plus units from the 11th Soviet Red Army, all joined the new district about this time. In July 1936 the District's formations and units received designations according to the countrywide numbering scheme and became: the 9th Mountain Rifle Division, named for the Central Executive Committee of the Georgian SSR. On 22 June 1941 the District consisted of the 3rd, 23rd Rifle Corps and 40th Rifle Corps, the 28th Mechanised Corps, which included the 6th and 54th Tank Divisions and the 236th Motorised Division, five unattached divisions – the 63rd, 76th, 77th Rifle, the 17th Mountain Cavalry Division and the 24th Cavalry Division, three fortified regions.
On 1 August 1941 the 46th Army was formed from the 3rd Rifle Corps headquarters. 45th Army was formed from the 23rd Rifle Corps. 45th and 46th Armies guarded the Turkish border. The 44th Army was formed from the 40th Rifle Corps and the 47th Army formed from the 27th Mechanized Corps. Both armies were deployed on the Iranian border. On 23 August, the military district became the Transcaucasus Front. District headquarters was subordinated to the front's military council and directed the formation of new units, it was disbanded on 14 September 1941. On 28 January 1942, the military district was reformed when the Caucasian Front was divided into the Transcaucasian Military District and the Crimean Front; the district was commanded by Ivan Tyulenev and included the 45th and 46th Armies, as well as 4 rifle divisions and a rifle brigade. On 28 April 1942, the district became the second formation of the Transcaucasian Front. On 9 July 1945, the Baku Military Districts were formed from the Transcaucasian Front.
Tbilisi Military District Headquarters was in Tbilisi and was formed from the Transcaucasian Front headquarters. The district controlled forces in the Armenian SSRs; the district was commanded by former 27th Army commander. The headquarters of the Baku Military District was formed from 69th Army headquarters and was located in Baku; the district controlled forces in the Azerbaijan SSR and Dagestan ASSR. It was commanded by former 69th Army commander. In October 1945, Army General Ivan Maslennikov took command. On 15 November 1945, control of forces in the Nakhichevan ASSR was transferred from the Tbilisi Military District to the Baku Military District. Lieutenant General Mikhail Ozimin became Tbilisi Military District commander in April 1946. In May 1946, both districts became part of the Transcaucasian Military District, commanded by Maslennikov. After the war the Transcaucasus Front reverted to being a part of the Headquarters Transcaucasus Military District, in Tbilisi. In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the District' headquarters address as Tbilisi-4, Ulitsa Dzneladze, Dom 46.
The District became part of the Southern Direction, headquartered in Baku and including the North Caucasus and Turkestan Military Districts, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Komandarm 2nd rank Mikhail Lewandowski Komkor Nikolay Kuibyshev Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Yegorov Komkor Ivan Tyulenev Lieutenant General Mikhail Yefremov Lieutenant General Dmitry Kozlov Lieutenant General Vladimir Lvov Maslennikov, Army General.
Gyumri, is an urban municipal community and the second largest city in Armenia, serving as the administrative centre of Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. By the end of the 19th century, when the city was known as Alexandropol, it was one of the largest cities of Russian-ruled Eastern Armenia with a population similar to that of Yerevan, it was renamed to Leninakan during the Soviet period. The city's population grew above 200,000 prior to the 1988 Spitak earthquake, when it was devastated; as of the 2011 census, the city had a population of 121,976, down from 150,917 reported at the 2001 census. Gyumri is the seat of the Diocese of Shirak of the Armenian Apostolic Church; the area of modern-day Gyumri was known as Kumayri during the period of the Kingdom of Urartu. It is that the name has been originated from the Cimmerians who conquered the region and founded the settlement. Under the domination of the Turkic tribes, Kumayri was Turkified as Gümrü. In 1837, Kumayri was renamed Alexandropol after of Tsar Nicholas I's wife, Princess Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Between 1924 and 1990, the city was known as Leninakan in honor of Vladimir Lenin. Following independence, the original name Kumayri was used until 1992, when Gyumri was chosen as the name of the city. Archaeological excavations conducted throughout the Soviet period have shown that the area of modern-day Gyumri has been populated since at least the third millennium BC; the area was mentioned as Kumayri in the historic Urartian inscriptions dating back to the 8th century BC. This name is phonetically associated with Cimmerians, who migrated to the western banks of the Black Sea region from European Lowlands. Historians believe that Xenophon passed through Kumayri during his return to the Black Sea, a journey immortalized in his Anabasis. At the decline of the Urartu Kingdom by the second half of the 6th century BC, Kumayri became part of the Achaemenid Empire; the remains of a royal settlement found just to the south of Gyumri near the village of Beniamin dating back to the 5th to 2nd centuries BC, are a great example of the Achemenid influence in the region.
However, at the beginning of the 5th century BC, Kumayri became part of the Satrapy of Armenia under the rule of the Orontids. An alternative theory suggests that Kumayri has been formed as an urban settlement in the late 5th century BC, ca. 401 BC, by Greek colonists. In 331 BC, the entire territory was included in the Ayrarat province of Ancient Armenian Kingdom as part of the Shirak canton. Between 190 BC and 1 AD Kumayri was under the rule of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia. During the 1st century AD, Shirak was granted to the Kamsarakan family, who ruled over Kumayri during the Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia. Following the partition of Armenia in 387 between the Byzantines and the Persians, as a result of the fall of the Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia in 428, Shirak including Kumayri became part of the Sasanian Empire of Persia. In 658 AD, at the height of the Arab Islamic invasions, Kumayri was conquered during the Muslim conquest of Persia to become part of the Emirate of Armenia under the Umayyad Caliphate.
Kumayri was a quite-developed urban settlement during the Middle Ages. According to the Armenian scholar Ghevond the Historian, the town was a centre of the Armenian rebellion led by Artavazd Mamikonian against the Islamic Arab Caliphate, between 733 and 755. After 2 centuries of Islamic rule over Armenia, the Bagratids declared independence in 885 establishing the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. Kumayri entered e new era of growth and progress when the nearby city of Ani became the capital of the kingdom in 961. By the second half of the 10th century, Kumayri was under the influence of the Armenian Pahlavuni family, who were descendents of the Kamsarakans; the Pahlavunis had a great contribution in the progress of Shirak with the foundation of many fortresses, monastic complexes, educational institutions, etc. After the fall of Armenia to the Byzantine Empire in 1045 and to the Seljuk invaders in 1064. Under the foreign rulers, the town had gradullay lost its significance during the following centuries, until the establishment of the Zakarid Principality of Armenia in 1201 under the Georgian protectorate.
During the Zakarid rule, the Eastern Armenian territories Lori and Shirak, entered into a new period of growth and stability, becoming a trade centre between the east and the west. After the Mongols captured Ani in 1236, Armenia turned into a Mongol protectorate as part of the Ilkhanate, the Zakarids became vassals to the Mongols. After the fall of the Ilkhanate in the mid-14th century, the Zakarid princes ruled over Lori and Ararat plain until 1360 when they fell to the invading Turkic tribes. By the last quarter of the 14th century, the Ag Qoyunlu Sunni Oghuz Turkic tribe took over Armenia, including Shirak. In 1400, Timur invaded Armenia and Georgia, captured more than 60,000 of the survived local people as slaves. Many districts including Shirak were depopulated. In 1410, Armenia fell under the control of the Kara Koyunlu Shia Oghuz Turkic tribe. According to the Armenian historian Thomas of Metsoph, although the Kara Koyunlu levied heavy taxes against the Armenians, the early years of their rule were peaceful and some reconstruction of towns took place.
Under the rule of the Turkic tribes, Kumayri was known to the Turks as Gümrü. In 1501, most of the Eastern Armenian territories including Kumayri were conquered by the emerging Safavid dynasty of Iran led by Shah Ismail I. Soon after in 1502, Kumayri became part of the newly formed Erivan Beglarbegi, a new administrative territory of Iran formed by the Safavids. During the first half of the 18th century, Kumayri became part of the Erivan Khanate under the ru
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
The BTR-70 is an eight-wheeled armored personnel carrier developed by the Soviet Union during the late 1960s under the manufacturing code GAZ-4905. On August 21, 1972, it was accepted into Soviet service and would be exported. Large quantities were produced under license in Romania as the TAB-77; the BTR-70 was developed as a potential successor for the earlier BTR-60 series of Soviet wheeled armored personnel carriers the BTR-60PB, which it most resembled. It evolved out of an earlier, unsuccessful project known as the GAZ-50 to design a new wheeled infantry fighting vehicle on the chassis and drive train of a BTR-60PB, it received the NATO reporting name BTR M1970. In 1971, the Soviet Armed Forces began investigating the possibility of an updated BTR-60PB redesigned to make the vehicle more compatible with the BMP-1 in terms of tactical training; this resulted in the development of a BTR-60PB prototype converted into a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle, designated Obiekt 50 or GAZ-50. Despite retaining the original BTR-60PB chassis, the GAZ-50 incorporated several elements of the BMP's design, including similar seating arrangements in the passenger compartment.
The revised internal layout reduced the number of passengers to nine. New hatches were provided for debarking in the lower hull, between the second and third wheel stations. Other modifications included a thicker hull, increased power-to-weight ratio, additional firing ports. Another feature retained from the BTR-60 was the twin-engine arrangement, although in the GAZ-50 torque produced by the right engine powered the first and third wheel stations, while the left engine powered the second and fourth; this alteration was to allow the vehicle to continue moving if one engine failed. The prototype was armed with a turret resembling that of the BMP-1, incorporating the same 73mm 2A28 Grom low-pressure smoothbore cannon. There was some debate as to the GAZ-50's viability in its intended role. Furthermore, while the prototype would allow motorized units to emulate the tactics of Soviet mechanized infantry, it did not offer the same protection and firepower of the BMP. Most of the funding earmarked for the program was thus diverted into producing larger numbers of BMPs instead, as well as ensuring their wider introduction beyond Soviet tank divisions.
A second GAZ-50 prototype was built, designated Obiekt 60 mounting a 14.5mm machine gun in the same turret as that carried by the BTR-60 series. In Soviet service, the new BTRs received the designation BTR-70. Compared to the earlier BTR-60PB small numbers of BTR-70s were produced; the design was still regarded as suffering from some of the same disadvantages, such as the two flammable petrol engines and the poor means of entry and exit. These flaws became evident when the vehicle was tested in combat during the Soviet–Afghan War; as a result, in 1984 the Soviet Army took delivery of a new wheeled armored personnel carrier, the BTR-80, powered by a single 260 horsepower diesel engine and a simpler drive train. Production of the BTR-70 was terminated that year; the Soviet Union only exported BTR-70s to four other states: Afghanistan, the German Democratic Republic and Romania, which purchased a license to manufacture the design locally. However, many have since been inherited by the armies of various post-Soviet republics or re-exported.
The BTR-70 is powered by two petrol engines. Early production vehicles used 115 hp GAZ-69B 6-cylinder engines, but most vehicles have now been retrofitted with the more powerful ZMZ-49-05 V-8 engines; the vehicle is amphibious, propelled when afloat by a single water jet mounted at the rear of the hull. To prepare the vehicle for water, the driver erects a trim vane and switches on the bilge pumps from within the vehicle; the standard equipment includes a central tire-pressure regulation system that allows the driver to adjust the tire-pressure to suit the terrain being crossed. Fitted is an R-123M radio set and an R-124 intercom; the driver's optical equipment consists of three TNPO-115 vision blocks and a TNP-B day vision device, which can be replaced by a TVNO-2B night vision device. The commander has three TNPO-115s and either a TPKU-2B day sight or a TKN-1S night sight accompanied by an OU-3GA-2 infra-red search light; the turret is fitted with a PP-61AM periscopic sight for the gunner and the infantry group in the troop compartment is provided with TNP-B devices.
The BTR-70 has an FVU NBC filter system and a DK-3B detection device. The armaments consist of a KPVT heavy machine gun with 500 rounds and a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun with 2,000 rounds. On board are two "Igla" or "Strela-3" MANPADS, optionally two AGS-17 grenade launchers at the expense of two infantry men. BTR-70: Basic APC version, as described. BTR-70 obr. 1978: Initial version, publicly displayed in 1980. BTR-70 obr. 1982: Improved model with 120 hp ZMZ-49-05 V-8 engines, instead of the original GAZ-49B 115 hp 6-cylinder engines. BTR-70 obr. 1984: Slightly modified model with an additional TNPT-1 periscope on the turret roof. BTR-70 obr. 1986: Improved version with a periscope on the left side of the turret and four firing ports in the hull roof. BTR-70V: Late-production model fitted with the BPU-1 turret of the BTR-80, with an 1PZ-2 sight, but without the "Tucha" smoke grenade launchers. BTR-70M: Modernized version with turret, diesel engine and rear hull section of the BTR-80. User
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