The Ground Forces of the Russian Federation are primarily responsible for the protection of the state border, the reflection of aggressors on dry land, the retention of occupied territory, and the crushing defeat of groupings of enemy troops. Furthermore, they must be capable of protecting the national interests of Russia within the framework of its international obligations. They also focus on reaching their final goals within the framework of nuclear war and in war centered on the application of weapons of mass destruction.
Ground Force capabilities allow for large-scale offensive operations to overthrow the enemy, occupy its key terrains and deliver strikes in depth, and, finally, confirm the rout in cooperation with other components of the national Armed Forces. In peacetime, the Russian Ground Force units are stationed across the country and divided into Military Districts (M.D.), each responsible for a strategic approach and comprised of territorial commands. Each M.D. has its headquarters located in the region’s key city.
The Russian Ground Force maintains its combat abilities through training, international peacekeeping, and joint international missions for the purpose of being ready to react on short notice in case of a threat of warfare and defend the nation. As of July 1, 2007, the Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief was General Alexei Maslov, who had held the position since November 5, 2004.
High Command of Ground Forces was developed for the first time in March 1946. The Red Army comprised close to 9,822,000 personnel by the time World War II ended. Toward the end of 1948, following a massive demobilization process, the army numbered approximately 2,444,000. Daily management of such a large and complex force was difficult, and the system of control for all land troops continuously underwent change throughout the latter half of the century.
The High Command was disbanded in March 1950 and then reformed in March 1955. It was disbanded yet again in March 1964 and reformed in November 1967. The High Command was finally integrated into the Main Administration of Ground Forces in November-December 1997.
The Glavkomat is responsible for the building, development, preparation, and application of the military. It is assigned the task of overseeing the training of troops, which is influenced by the policies set forth by the General Staff, as well as the integration and overall improvement of operational and combat training for all of Russia’s combat forces. In addition, it deals with the composition, structure, and tasks of the Ground Forces; and the developemnt of military theory, methodology, and practice.
Russia’s Ground Forces are broken up into a series of theater commands called military districts, of which there are 6. They include the Moscow Military District, the Leningrad Military District, the Volga-Urals Military District, the Siberian Military District, and the Far-Eastern Military District. Afterwards, the organizational structure descends into armies, army corps, motorized rifle divisions, tank divisions, artillery and machine-gun artillery divisions, fortified districts, and brigades. The lower levels of organization also include military parts and military establishments, enterprises and organizations.
The general composition of Russia’s ground forces is broken up into the following branches of service: Motorized Rifle troops; Tank troops; Rocket Forces and Artillery; Troop PVO – Air Defense; and Army Aviation; and Special troops, which consist of troops that concentrate on connections and parts, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, engineering, radiation, chemical and biological protection, technical support, automobile protection, protection of the rear, military parts, and logistical establishment.