Military Wiki

The Chain of command leading from the President of Russia (as commander-in-chief) through the Minister of Defense down to the newest recruits. The Russian Armed Forces are organized through the Russian Ministry of Defense, which oversees a structure of joint command and control functions with units reporting to various commanding officers. Troop-control divisions of joint strategic commands are followed by operational command/inter-branch formations directly supervising military units in conflict zones which are the equivalent of old-time armies. Brigades, the primary "new-generation" operational-tactical units, are located on the lower tier of this pyramid.[1]


Russia inherited a system of military-administrative units from the Soviet Union. Until 2010 the country was divided into six (reduced from eight) military districts and one special region (Kaliningrad). Each district was made up of units of the Ground troops, special troops, district Rear Services, military educational institutions and local military command and control bodies. Air Force and Air Defense Troops units deployed in the region were often also subordinated to the district administration. The district administration was charged with carrying out operational, military-administrative, and mobilizational tasks. It was to supply logistics support to the units on its territory and to provide territorial defense. The commander of a military district was responsible for the land force units on his territory. He had no authority over other branches of the armed forces, except for front-line aviation, which was periodically subordinated to the commanders of military districts during the course of experiments with new command structures.[2]

Command structures (except in the Navy) were unified at the operational level only during times of war, when commanders on the front were in charge of all forces operating on the front, regardless of the branch. This did not apply to some special units and long-distance bombers that answered directly to the General Headquarters of the Supreme Command. Cooperation with the Navy was maintained by transferring naval units to the command of maritime fronts (or fronts located near big rivers and lakes with flotillas). Cooperation was sometimes ordered higher up in the chain of command.[3]

In 2010 Russia's defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, announced that the four new military districts and joint strategic commands replace the six pre-existing military districts, have been established ahead of schedule, permanent strategic commands control these new districts' forces, resources and all troop branches. In the past, only ground forces came under direct control of military district commanders, with joint commands only established in wartime. By October 2010 All joint strategic commands have been established and are became operational.[4] The four-tier troop-control system consisting of military districts, armies, divisions and regiments was replaced with a three-tier system consisting of tactical commands, brigades and battalions.

The reforms have established new army brigades while disbanding a large number of reserve units to be called up in the event of a full-scale mobilization. The army is being prepared to fight in local and regional conflicts of varying intensity, which are now considered the most likely form of military engagement for Russia.

Air Force

In 2009 the Russian Air Forces' structure was completely changed to a command-air base structure from the previous structure of air army-air division or corps-air regiment. The Air force is divided to 4 operational commands and military transport command and long range aviation commands:[5]

  • Operational Strategic Command for Air-Space Defense (Moscow)
    • 4th air-space defense brigade (Dolgoprudnyi, Moscow Oblast)
    • 5th air-space defense brigade (Petrovskoe, Moscow Oblast)
    • 6th air-space defense brigade (Rzhev, Tver Oblast)
    • 6963rd aviation base (Kursk) (Mig-29SMT)
    • 6968th fighter aviation base (Khotilivo, Tver Oblast) (Su-27, Mig-31)
  • First Air Force and Air Defense Command (Voronezh) (Western Military District)
    • 1st air-space defense brigade (Severomorsk)
    • 2nd air-space defense brigade (St. Petersburg)
    • 6961st aviation base (Petrozavodsk) (Su-27)
    • 6964th aviation base (Monchegorsk, Murmansk Oblast) (Su-24M, Su-24MP)
    • 6965th aviation base (Viaz’ma, Smolensk Oblast) (Mi-8, Mi-24)
    • 7000th aviation base (Voronezh) (Su-24M, Su-24MP, Su-34)
  • Second Air Force and Air Defense Command (Yekaterinburg) (Central Military District)
    • 8th air-space defense brigade (Yekaterinburg)
    • 9th air-space defense brigade (Novosibirsk)
    • 10th air-space defense brigade (Chita)
    • 6977th aviation base (Perm) (Mig-31)
    • 6979th aviation base (Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Krai) (Mig-31)
    • 6980th aviation base (Chelyabinsk) (Su-24M)
    • 6982nd aviation base (Domna, Zabaikalski Krai) (Mig-29)
  • Third Air Force and Air Defense Command (Khabarovsk) (Eastern Military District)
    • 11th air-space defense brigade (Komsomolsk-na-Amur)
    • 12th air-space defense brigade (Vladivostok)
    • 6983rd aviation base (Vozdvizhenka, Primorski Krai) (Su-25, Mi-8, Mi-24)
    • 6987th aviation base (Komsomolsk-na-Amure) (Su-27SM)
    • 6988th aviation base (Khurba, Khabarovsk Krai) (Su-24M, Su-24M2, Su-24MR)
    • 6989th aviation base (Vladivostok) (Su-27SM)
    • 265th transport aviation base (Khabarovsk)
  • Fourth Air Force and Air Defense Command (Rostov-on-Don) (Southern Military District)
    • 7th air-space defense brigade (Rostov-on-Don)
    • 8th air-space defense brigade (Yekaterinburg)
    • 6970th aviation base (Morozovsk, Rostov Oblast) (Su-24M)
    • 6971st aviation base (Budenovsk, Stavropol Krai) (Su-25SM, Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-28)
    • 6972nd aviation base (Krymsk, Krasnodar Krai) (Su-27, Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-28, Ka-27)
    • 6974th aviation base (Korenovsk, Krasnodar Krai) (Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-28)
    • 999th aviation base (Kant, Kyrgyzstan) (Su-25, Su-27, Mi-8)
    • 229th transport aviation base (Rostov-on-Don)
  • Military Transport Aviation Command (Moscow)
    • 6955th aviation base (Tver) (Il-76)
    • 6956th aviation base (Orenburg) (Il-76)
    • 6958th aviation base (Taganrog, Rostov Oblast) (Il-76)
    • 6985th aviation base (Pskov) (Il-76)
  • Long Range Aviation Command (Moscow)
    • 6950th aviation base (Engels, Saratov Oblast) (Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS, Tu-160)
    • 6952nd aviation base (Ukrainka, Amur Oblast) (Tu-95MS)
    • 6953rd aviation base (Belaya (Srednii), Irkutsk Oblast) (Tu-22M3)


  1. Preliminary results of Russian military reform, 28/09/2010
  2. New command system for the Russian military, RIA Novosti, 15/07/2010
  3. New command system for the Russian military, RIA Novosti, 15/07/2010
  4. ssian military's joint strategic command: A taste of things to come, RIA Novosti, 26/10/2010
  5. Dmitry Gorenburg, Air Force Structure, February 7, 2011