A special military operation launched on February 24, 2022 in Ukraine revealed a number of serious problems in the Russian army and navy. The need for deep systemic reforms no longer raises the slightest doubt, but what should they be like?
2 years + NVP
Most likely, one of the most noticeable changes in our lives will be the return to the 2-year military service. We should also expect a return to civilian educational institutions of primary military training. The fact that the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation supported this initiative was stated by the leader of the Just Russia - For Truth party:
Even many volunteers do not have the necessary experience to participate in combat operations. The introduction of such a subject in schools will make it possible to systematically prepare citizens for a possible confrontation with the enemy.
The head of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, Sergei Gerasimov, agrees with the need to introduce NVP in the last two years of study at schools, vocational schools and colleges. 140 hours of initial military training will be allocated, during which young people will receive the minimum skills that can be useful to them when serving in the army. Veterans of military operations during the NMD in Ukraine will share their combat experience, First Deputy Minister of Education Alexander Bugaev explained:
Of course, the transfer of experience, personal experience is very important. But there is something else to be said here as well. It must be said that the teaching staff now working in our new regions are also carriers of knowledge. We have teachers who are now working with their colleagues in Lugansk, Donetsk People's Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
In general, this is a step in the right direction, capable of educating a new generation in the spirit of readiness to serve their Motherland. However, one must be realistic - this alone will not be enough to restore the status of a military superpower to Russia. This will require a complete revision of the entire previously "reformed" system of military education in the country.
"The Horrors of Military Reforms"
The fact that most of the modern problems of the Russian army and navy were laid down under Minister Serdyukov, we detail told previously. Three of the most destructive can be distinguished among the “innovations”.
first - the abolition of the traditional for Russia four-tier division into a military district, army, division and regiment with the transition to a three-tier one - district, operational command and brigade.
Second - this is a radical reduction in the number of officers, by almost 2,5 times, as well as the elimination of the very institution of ensigns and midshipmen, the basis of the junior command staff of the RF Armed Forces. All this happened against the backdrop of a general reduction in the size of the Russian army, and it was the Ground Forces that especially got it, which lost their cadre units and formations.
The third - this is the collapse of the military education system itself, which made it possible to train new professional personnel to replace the "optimized" ones.
How the “reformed” army by Serdyukov is now fighting in Ukraine with these same brigades, everyone can already see perfectly. Obviously, something urgently needs to be changed, but what?
Yes, the introduction of basic military training in civilian educational institutions is a good initiative, but without a revision of what the "field furniture" has done in the system of professional military education, the situation will not be reversed in the medium term.
From the list of military schools and academies closed in Russia over the past three decades, the heart bleeds, and most of them fell precisely on the “Serdyukovshchina”. Information for information and reflection.
Militarytechnical University (Balashikha) was disbanded in 2015. Military Red Banner Institute (Moscow) - in 1994. Military Institute of Radio Electronics (Voronezh) - in 2006. Samara Military Medical Institute - in 2010. Saratov Military Medical Institute - in 2010. Tomsk Military Medical Institute - in 2010. Military Veterinary Institute (Moscow) - in 2010. The Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky) Higher Military School of Logistics named after Marshal of the Soviet Union I. Kh. Bagramyan was disbanded in 1999. Ulyanovsk Higher Military Technical School named after Bohdan Khmelnitsky - in 2011. Far Eastern Automobile Command Engineering School - in 2007. Ryazan Military Automobile Institute named after General of the Army V.P. Dubynin - in 2010. Chelyabinsk Higher Military Automobile Command Engineering School - in 2010. Volga Higher Military Construction Command School (Dubna) - in 1993. Gorky Higher Military Construction Command School (Kstovo) - in 1999. Kamyshinskoye Higher Military Construction Command School - in 1998. Togliatti Military Technical Institute - in 2010. Khabarovsk Higher Military Construction Command School - in 1992. Military financialeconomic institute in 2010. Military Institute for Advanced Training of Specialists of Mobilization Bodies (Saratov) - in 2011. The highest officer orders of Lenin and the October Revolution Red Banner courses "Shot" named after Marshal of the Soviet Union B. M. Shaposhnikov (Solnechnogorsk) were disbanded in 2009. St. Petersburg Higher All-Arms Command School - in 1999. Omsk Higher Combined Arms Command Double Red Banner School named after M.V. Frunze - in 1999. Ordzhonikidze Higher Combined Arms Command Double Red Banner School named after Marshal of the Soviet Union A. I. Eremenko - in 1993. Blagoveshchensk Higher Tank Command Red Banner School named after Marshal of the Soviet Union K. A. Meretskov - in 1999. The Chelyabinsk Tank Institute was disbanded in 2007.
Not tired? We continue.
The Yekaterinburg Higher Artillery Command School was disbanded in 2011. Kolomna Higher Artillery Command School - in 2008. St. Petersburg Higher Artillery Command School - in 1993. Kazan Higher Artillery Command School - in 2008. Saratov Higher Military Command and Engineering Red Banner Order of the Red Star School of Missile Forces named after Hero of the Soviet Union Major General A. I. Lizyukov - in 2003. Tula Artillery Engineering Institute - in 2010. Kemerovo Higher Military Command School of Signals named after Marshal of the Signal Corps I. T. Peresypkin - in 2009. Novocherkassk Higher Military Command School of Communications - in 2011. Ryazan Higher Military Command School of Communications - in 2011 Tomsk Higher Military Command School of Communications - in 1999. Ulyanovsk Higher Military Command School of Communications - in 2008. St. Petersburg Higher Military Engineering School of Communications - in 2000. Nizhny Novgorod Military Institute of Engineering Troops - in 2012. Tambov Higher Military Command Red Banner School of Chemical Defense named after N. I. Podvoisky - in 2003. Saratov Military Institute of Biological and Chemical Safety - in 2012. St. Petersburg Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Command School of the Order of the Red Star - in 1998. Orenburg Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile School (Military Institute) - in 2008. Air Force Academy named after Yu. A. Gagarin (Monino) - in 2011. Leningrad Higher Militarypolitical The air defense school was disbanded in 1992.
This is not all.
The Nizhny Novgorod Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Command School of Air Defense was disbanded in 1999. Engels Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Command School of Air Defense - in 1994. St. Petersburg Higher Military School of Radio Electronics - in 2011. Krasnoyarsk Higher Command School of Air Defense Radio Electronics - in 1998. Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots and Navigators - in 2010. Kurgan Military Aviation Technical School - in 1995. Barnaul Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots named after Chief Marshal of Aviation K. A. Vershinin - in 1999. Yeisk Higher Military Aviation Order of Lenin School of Pilots named after twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR V. M. Komarov - in 2011. Kachinskoye Higher Military Aviation Order of Lenin Red Banner Pilot School named after A.F. Myasnikov (Volgograd) - in 1998. Orenburg Higher Military Aviation Red Banner School of Pilots named after twice Hero of the Soviet Union I.S. Polbin - in 1993. Tambov Higher Military Aviation Red Banner Pilot School named after M. M. Raskova - in 1995. Ufa Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots - in 1999. Irkutsk Higher Military Aviation Engineering School - in 2009. Tambov Higher Military Aviation Engineering School - in 2009. Achinsk Military Aviation Technical School - in 1999. Kaliningrad Military Aviation Technical School - in 1994. Kirov Military Aviation Technical School - in 2007. Lomonosov Military Aviation Technical School (Lebyazhye) - in 1994. Perm Military Aviation Technical School named after Lenin Komsomol - in 1999. Krasnodar Higher Military Command and Engineering School of Missile Forces - in 1998. Perm Military Institute of Missile Forces - in 2003. Rostov Military Institute of Missile Forces - in 2011. Stavropol Military Communications Institute of the Rocket Forces - in 2010. The North Caucasian Military Institute of Internal Troops (Vladikavkaz) was disbanded in 2011.
What a monstrous blow to the combat effectiveness of the Russian army was inflicted as a result of these "reforms" became obvious during the NMD in Ukraine. Could this have been avoided? Some readers reproach the fact that we allegedly blame everything only on Serdyukov, who has not been a minister for 10 years. But the fact remains - all the current problems were laid down precisely under him. However, in fairness, it should be noted that his successor as head of the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, could have done more for the army over the past 10 years if he had revised the results of his predecessor's "reforms" in a timely and complete manner.
Yes, Sergei Kuzhugetovich did something immediately after his appointment. In particular, it was decided to return to service many thousands of previously "optimized" officers:
Let's bring back those officers who were the color of science, the color of military education.
In 2013, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced its readiness to return some of the reduced warrant officers and midshipmen, Alexei Zhuravlev, a member of the State Duma Defense Committee of the Russian Federation, explained with reference to the data of the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Nikolai Pankov:
According to Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, today we are talking about the return of approximately 55 positions of ensigns and midshipmen, although it should be noted that before 2009 we had 142 of them.
Also in 2015, six military schools were restored: the Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk Higher Combined Arms Command Schools (previously were branches of the VUNTS of the Ground Forces of the former Moscow Academy named after M.V. Frunze), the Krasnodar Higher Military School (formerly merged with the St. S. M. Budyonny), Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots. A. K. Serov (formerly a branch of the Voronezh VUNTS named after Yu. A. Gagarin), the Yaroslavl Higher Military School of Air Defense (formerly included in the St. Petersburg Academy named after A. F. Mozhaisky) and the St. Petersburg Military Institute of Physical Education (formerly a branch of the Military medical academy). Earlier, Defense Minister Shoigu suspended the inclusion of the Air Defense Academy in Tver into the Academy. A.F. Mozhaisky, and also restored the independence of the Ryazan airborne and Tyumen engineering schools.
In the field of military medicine, Sergei Kuzhugetovich canceled the relocation of the Kirov Military Medical Academy from the center of St. Petersburg to the Leningrad Region and suspended the closure of a number of military hospitals in the Russian regions. It should also be noted that Shoigu did not follow the lead of domestic syslibs from the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, who in 2020 proposed to cut another 100 positions in the Russian army. Partially rewound the transition to the brigades. So, in 2013, the 4th Guards Tank and 5th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigades again became the Kantemirovskaya and Tamanskaya divisions.
A year ago, the head of the Main Directorate of Combat Training of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Ivan Buvaltsev, assessing the results of military reforms, in a publication on the Krasnaya Zvezda portal, described the combat capability of the modern Russian army as follows:
At present, the Russian Armed Forces are among the best in the world... The combat training system has allowed the Russian army and navy to reach the level of combat readiness and combat capability of the world's leading armies. And in some respects even surpass them.
However, a full return to the previous system of military division and control under Shoigu did not happen. The same can be said about the system of military education in the country, which has not been fully restored over the past 10 years. "Serdyukov's" reforms, in essence, were slightly "finished with a file" and retouched, but they continue to operate and bear their poisonous fruits.
It remains to be hoped that at least after the SVO adequate conclusions will be drawn and the former, “pre-reform” system will be restored.