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The rifles troops (Russian: стрелковые войска, English transliteration - strelkovie voiska) often called rifle troops in English, is name for the Russian infantry combat Arm of Service that, since 1857, had been armed with rifles (currently assault rifles) as their primary firearm. The name applies equally to the Arm of Service and its individual units (rifles Russian: стрелки) or an individual soldier (Russian: стрелoк).

Imperial Rifles troops

By the First World War the Imperial Russian Army had a large number of territorially based rifle corps (not to be confused with the corps as a formation), including:

  • Leib-Guard Rifles regiments (four)(The Life-Guards Yegersky Regiment although a light infantry unit in name, was numbered among the guard and not the rifles regiments)
  • Dismounted rifles regiments of the Guard cavalry divisions (three)
  • The Rifles Corps (32 regiments and the Rifles officer school regiment)
  • Finnish Rifles Corps (24 regiments)
  • Caucasus Rifles Corps (24 regiments)
  • Siberian Rifles Corps (88 regiments, and 4 combined rifles regiments)
  • Turkestan Rifles Corps (40 regiments)
  • Dismounted cavalry rifles (17 regiments)
  • Caucasian cavalry rifles regiment
  • Trans-Amur mounted rifles regiment (Russian: Заамурский конный стрелковый полк)(This was a Cossack border guard regiment)
  • Polish rifles battalions (six)
  • Czechoslovak rifles regiments (four)
  • Armenian volunteer rifles druzhinas (6 battalions)
  • Latvian rifles regiments (eight)
  • Georgian volunteer rifles druzhinas (two battalions combined into a regiment)

Soviet rifles troops

During the Soviet Army period the name was amalgamated with the new mode of motorised manoeuvre capability by the Soviet Red Army to create motor-rifle troops (Russian: мотострелковые войска) as the most numerous of all types of ground forces.


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