Russian History


National Security

Armed Forces: Approximately 1.5 million personnel in 1996, but sharp cuts and reorganization forecast. Term of active duty two years. Units filled mainly by conscription, with some contract personnel. Women may serve if they possess specialized skills. Armed forces divided into ground forces, naval forces, air forces, air defense forces, strategic rocket forces. Ground forces personnel 670,000 (210,000 conscripts); naval forces 200,000 (40,000 conscripts); air forces 130,000 (40,000 conscripts); air defense forces 200,000 (60,000 conscripts); strategic rocket forces 100,000 (50,000 conscripts).

Military Presence Overseas: Transcaucasus Group of Forces--9,000 personnel in Armenia, with one air defense MiG-23 squadron. 22,000 personnel in Georgia, with one air force composite regiment of thirty-five aircraft. Azerbaijan refuses Russian troop presence. Forces in other former Soviet republics: Moldova 6,400 personnel, Tajikistan 12,000 personnel, Turkmenistan 11,000 personnel, and several thousand each in Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan. Contributions to UN missions in Angola, Bosnia, Croatia, Georgia, Haiti, Iraq/Kuwait, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Rwanda, and Western Sahara. Signal and intelligence personnel in Vietnam, Syria, Cuba, Mongolia, and parts of Africa.

Military Budget: 1997 defense budget submitted August 1996 allots 100.8 trillion rubles (about US$19 billion), of 260 trillion rubles requested by Ministry of Defense. Anticipated 1998 budget somewhat higher. Maintenance and salaries far below required levels. Anti-inflationary budget restraints cause dissension among ministries and continued military morale decline.

Internal Security Forces: Reorganized after fall of Soviet Union but with many extraconstitutional functions ongoing and only partial transparency. Power, but not effectiveness, grows as crime wave continues in mid-1990s. Ministry of Internal Affairs had 540,000 troops, including regular police and special units, in 1996. Federal Border Service, 135,000 troops in 1994, then augmented substantially. Main Guard Directorate (presidential guard), 20,000 troops, 1994. Troops of Federal Security Service and Ministry of Internal Affairs heavily involved in Chechnya conflict, 1994-96.