Tag Archives: GUBP

Big Consequences of Small Steps

Defense Minister Shoygu

Defense Minister Shoygu

A couple weeks ago, Aleksandr Golts wrote in Ogonek about the situation in which Defense Minister Shoygu finds himself.  Golts has two main points.  First,  small policy changes can lead to big ones which unravel former Defense Minister Serdyukov’s positive reforms.  Second, Shoygu in uniform is a setback to real civilian political control of Russia’s Armed Forces.

Golts says that, although officers had their pay raised 2-3 times and tens of thousands received apartments thanks to former Defense Minister Serdyukov, the military still clamored immediately for Shoygu to change every decision made by his predecessor.  Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee, KPRF member, ex-admiral Vladimir Komoyedov called for lengthening the conscript service term.  Generals associated with retired Marshal Dmitriy Yazov demanded an expert review of the results of Serdyukov’s tenure.

However, Golts notes both President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev gave Serdyukov’s painful reforms high marks (Smirnov in Gazeta made the same observation).  So, concludes Golts, it was a signal to Shoygu that no fundamental review of them is needed.  This left Shoygu in a complicated situation.

So Shoygu has taken some minor decisions to placate those seeking the pre-Serdyukov status quo.  But these small steps, writes Golts, can have big consequences.  Reestablishing the Main Directorate for Combat Training (GUBP or ГУБП), for example, will ultimately undercut the authority of the main commands of the services and branches as well as (and more importantly) of the four new MD / OSK commanders.

Reversing Serdyukov’s significant cuts in the Russian military educational establishment will put unneeded officers in the ranks to reanimate cadre units and the mass mobilization system.

Lastly, Golts is critical of the president for deciding to “return” the rank (and uniform) of Army General to the Defense Minister.  Observers commented this was done to give Shoygu “authority” within the military which his predecessor sorely lacked.  But Golts says the army has a way of ensnaring a Defense Minister, drawing him into the military “clan” or “corporation.”

The Defense Minister’s civilian status, Golts continues, was the very first step in establishing if not civilian, then at least political control over the military.  But establishment of civilian control takes more than one civilian minister.  It takes civilians who formulate decisions for military men to execute.  He points to Serdyukov’s attempt to separate civilian and military functions and competencies in the Defense Ministry.

But now Serdyukov’s “skirt battalion,” which so irritated military men, is gone.  Golts concludes:

“Now the generals will return to their places, and the minister himself will be doomed to make not political, but purely technical decisions and bear responsibility for them.  In essence, he is returning to be the hostage of the military who prepares these decisions…”

One has to agree that Shoygu’s three-month tenure consists of little more than examining and questioning every decision made by Serdyukov. 

Shoygu’s status as civilian or military is more interesting. 

He passed through the general’s ranks to four stars between the early 1990s and early 2000s.  More unclear is how or why he got the first star.  He had been a strictly civilian and party figure.  Many readers may not realize Shoygu’s MChS is a “military” (militarized or paramilitary) ministry where servicemen and officers with ranks serve like in the Armed Forces, MVD, or FSB.  So, at some level, it may not be fair to claim anyone “returned” his rank, or forced him to wear a uniform. 

The question is does an MChS rank carry any weight or “authority” in the Defense Ministry?  Recall Sergey Ivanov never wore his SVR or FSB General-Colonel’s uniform as Defense Minister. 

Shoygu remains an inherently civilian and political figure whom President Putin turned to in a pinch and trusts to keep the lid on at the Defense Ministry.  Russians joked in November that the old Minister of Emergency Situations was clearly the right guy for the job when the Oboronservis scandal broke and Serdyukov had to go.

One shouldn’t worry about Shoygu and civilian and political control of the military.  The slippery slope of undoing Serdyukov’s positive efforts, on the other hand, is concerning.

Trainer-in-Chief

Mil.ru made it official today.  General-Lieutenant Nikolay Bogdanovskiy, late of the Leningrad MD, is now the military’s trainer-in-chief.  According to the Defense Ministry website:

“On 1 December 2010, the Combat Training Directorate of the Ground Troops was transformed into the Main Combat Training Directorate (GUBP or ГУБП) of the Ground Troops, and given the function of coordinating the training of the RF Armed Forces services and troop branches.”

And Bogdanovskiy is now a Deputy Ground Troops CINC heading the new GUBP, according to the latest personnel decree.

General-Lieutenant Bogdanovskiy

We’re left wondering how far his new writ extends . . . just combined arms training, or to the VDV, RVSN, and Space Troops?  Recall also there was speculation that new Deputy General Staff Chief, General-Colonel Gerasimov, late of the Moscow MD, might be the main training supervisor.

A little background on Bogdanovskiy as long as it’s here. 

He was born in 1957.  He’s a graduate of the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School, the Frunze Military Academy, and the General Staff Academy.

He’s served as commander of a reconnaissance platoon, a company, chief of staff, then commander of a motorized rifle battalion in the Southern Group of Forces [i.e. Hungary], chief of staff of a fortified region, commander of a motorized rifle regiment, chief of staff of a motorized division, chief of a district junior specialist training center, chief of staff and commander of the 35th Army, Deputy Commander of the Far East MD, Chief of the Main Staff and First Deputy CINC of the Ground Troops, and Commander, Leningrad MD.

More Appointments, Dismissals, Etc.

Yesterday’s decree on military appointments, dismissals, etc., is extremely long.  It’s part of the process of redistributing staff personnel from 6 into 4 MDs.  The Southern and Eastern MD staffs, in particular, get fleshed out by it.  The outline of the new MD staff structure becomes visible with these changes.  And the breadth and depth of the rotation and change in personnel pretty much assures it’ll take a while for the commands of the new MDs to operate smoothly.

There are other individual notable points in this list.  There’s now a Main Combat Training Directorate (GUBP or ГУБП) inside the Ground Troops, instead of a directorate.  Maybe this is part of replacing the Defense Ministry-level GUBP.  The MDs have their own troop training directorates . . . it’s interesting that the 3rd Air-Space (i.e. Aerospace) Defense Brigade is subordinate to the Baltic Fleet rather than the Western MD . . . a 49th Army has popped up in the Southern MD . . . Ryadovoy.ru says it’s headquartered in the former RVSN communications institute in Stavropol . . . Air Defense Chiefs renamed Chiefs of Air Defense Troops and Aviation.

Here’s what the 9 January decree does.

Appoint:

  • Captain 1st Rank Ildar Ferdinandovich Akhmerov, Deputy Commander, Primorskiy Mixed Forces Flotilla, Pacific Fleet.
  • General-Major Vladimir Vladimirovich Derkach, Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, Space Troops, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander, Space Troops.
  • Colonel Sergey Borisovich Ryzhkov, Commander, 39th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade, Eastern MD.
  • General-Lieutenant Nikolay Vasilyevich Bogdanovskiy, Deputy CINC, Ground Troops, Chief, Main Combat Training Directorate, Ground Troops, relieved of duty as Commander, Leningrad MD.
  • Colonel Yuriy Aleksandrovich Popov, Commander, 3rd Air-Space Defense Brigade, Baltic Fleet.
  • General-Major Viktor Borisovich Astapov, Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 49th Army, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander, 41st Army.
  • General-Major Sergey Sergeyevich Bashkin, Chief, Air Defense Troops and Aviation, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Air Defense Troops, North Caucasus MD.
  • Captain 1st Rank Oleg Georgiyevich Gurinov, Chief, Naval Directorate, Southern MD.
  • Colonel Igor Vladimirovich Dashko, Chief of Reconnaissance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reconnaissance, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Reconnaissance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reconnaissance, North Caucasus MD.
  • Colonel Igor Mikhaylovich Yemelyanov, Chief, Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (РХБЗ) Troops, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, North Caucasus MD.
  • Colonel Igor Gennadyevich Kovalenko, Deputy Chief of Staff, Southern MD.
  • General-Major Andrey Anatolyevich Kozlov, Chief, Railroad Troops Directorate, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Commander, 7th Territorial Command, Railroad Troops.
  • General-Major Andrey Nikolayevich Kolesov, Chief, Organization-Mobilization Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Organization-Mobilization Work, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Organization-Mobilization Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Organization-Mobilization Work, North Caucasus MD.
  • General-Major Sergey Vasilyevich Kuralenko, Commander, 49th Army, relieved of duty as Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 5th Army.
  • Colonel Aleksey Pavlovich Lemyakin, Chief, Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Directorate, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Rear Services, Deputy Commander for Rear Services,  2nd Army.
  • Colonel Oleg Gennadyevich Maltsev, Chief, Automotive Service, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Automotive Service, North Caucasus MD.
  • Colonel Mikhail Yevgenyevich Mizintsev, Chief, Operational Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Operational Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff, North Caucasus MD.
  • Colonel Sergey Mikhaylovich Panevchik, Chief, Personnel Directorate, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Personnel Directorate, North Caucasus MD.
  • General-Major Fraiz Fazlyakhmetovich Salyyev, Chief, Technical Support Directorate, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Staff, Armament, First Deputy Chief of Armaments, North Caucasus MD.
  • General-Major Vladimir Vladimirovich Samoylov, Deputy Commander, 49th Army.
  • General-Major Oleg Yuryevich Torgashev, Chief, Troop Training Directorate, Southern MD, relieved of duty as  Chief, Combat Training Directorate, Moscow MD.
  • Colonel Oleg Viktorovich Chernyavskiy, Chief, Armor Service, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, 5th Army.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Nikolayevich Shvetsov, Deputy Commander for Material-Technical Support, Southern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Rear Services, Deputy Commander for Rear Services, Leningrad MD.
  • Colonel Stepan Stepanovich Yaroshchuk, Chief, Missile Troops and Artillery, Southern MD.
  • Colonel Sergey Anatolyevich Bakaneyev, Chief, Missile Troops and Artillery, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Commander, 39th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade, Far East MD.
  • Rear-Admiral Yuriy Yuryevich Berdnikov, Chief, Naval Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander, Troops and Forces in the North-East.
  • Rear-Admiral Vladimir Nikolayevich Vdovenko, Deputy Commander, Troops and Forces in the North-East.
  • Colonel Andrey Aleksandrovich Volkov, Chief, Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, Siberian MD.
  • Colonel Vladimir Andreyevich Voropayev, Deputy Chief, Main Communications Directorate, RF Armed Forces, relieved of duty as Chief of Communications, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Volga-Ural MD.
  • Colonel Aleksandr Vladimirovich Glushchenko, Chief, Automotive Service, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Automotive Service, Far East MD.
  • General-Major Vladimir Vladimirovich Gorodnichiy, Deputy Commander for Material-Technical Support, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, Siberian MD.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Vladimirovich Dvornikov, Deputy Commander, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Commander, 5th Army.
  • Colonel Sergey Anatolyevich Dolotin, Deputy Commander for Personnel Work, Chief, Personnel Work Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander for Socialization Work, Far East MD.
  • Colonel Sergey Romanovich Yeger, Chief, Railroad Troops Directorate, Eastern MD.
  • General-Major Sergey Aleksandrovich Zhmurin, Chief, Air Defense Troops and Aviation, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Chief for Training and Scientific Work, Military Academy of Troop Air Defense, RF Armed Forces.
  • General-Major Andrey Nikolayevich Serdyukov, Commander, 5th Army, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander, 5th Army.
  • General-Major Konstantin Georgiyevich Kastornov, Deputy Commander, 5th Army, relieved of duty as Commander, 70th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade.
  • Captain 1st Rank Valeriya Pavlovich Kostin, Chief, Personnel Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Personnel Directorate, Pacific Fleet.
  • Colonel Aleksey Vladimirovich Ostrovskiy, Commander, 70th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Vasilyevich Peryazev, Chief, Troop Training Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Combat Training Directorate, Far East MD.
  • Colonel Pavel Vladimirovich Petrunin, Chief of Reconnaissance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reconnaissance, Eastern MD.
  • Colonel Yevgeniy Valentinovich Poplavskiy, Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 29th Army, relieved of duty as Chief, Operational Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff, Volga-Ural MD.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Vladimirovich Romanchuk, Commander, 29th Army, relieved of duty as Chief of Staff, First Deputy Commander, 41st Army.
  • Colonel Vladimir Petrovich Ryzhkovich, Chief, Technical Support Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, 36th Army.
  • Colonel Konstantin Yevgenyevich Smeshko, Chief, Engineering Troops, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Engineering Troops, Far East MD.
  • Colonel Valeriy Mikhaylovich Timoshenko, Chief, Armor Service, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armor Service, Far East MD.
  • Colonel Vladimir Viktorovich Trishunkin, Chief, Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Directorate, Eastern MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Staff, First Deputy Chief of Rear Services, Far East MD.
  • General-Major Sergey Valeryevich Chebotarev, Deputy Commander, 29th Army, relieved of duty as Commander, 7th Military Base, North Caucasus MD.
  • Colonel Aleksey Yuryevich Avdeyev, Deputy Commander, 41st Army, relieved of duty as Chief, Organization-Mobilization Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Organization-Mobilization Work, Siberian MD.
  • General-Major Vladimir Ivanovich Ashitok, Chief, Troop Training Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Combat Training Directorate, Volga-Ural MD.
  • Colonel Oleg Anatolyevich Bragin, Chief, Railroad Troops Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Commander, 5th Territorial Command, Railroad Troops.
  • Colonel Andrey Zaurovich Gagloyev, Chief, Engineering Troops, Central MD.
  • Colonel Aleksandr Albertovich Glushchenko, Chief, Missile Troops and Artillery, Central MD.
  • Colonel Oleg Vitalyevich Demyanenko, Chief of Communications, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Central MD.
  • General-Major Sergey Yuryevich Istrakov, Deputy Commander, Central MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander, Siberian MD.
  • Colonel Oleg Valeryevich Karpov, Chief, Rear Support Directorate, Central MD.
  • Colonel Aleksandr Nikolayevich Logachev, Chief, Armor Service, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armor Service, Volga-Ural MD.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Ivanovich Nesterov, Chief, Personnel Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Personnel Directorate, Volga-Ural MD.
  • Colonel Oleg Olegovich Polguyev, Chief of Reconnaissance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reconnaissance, Central MD.
  • General-Major Yuriy Aleksandrovich Svintsov, Deputy Commander for Material-Technical Support, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Rear Services, Deputy Commander for Rear Services, Volga-Ural MD.
  • Colonel Mikhail Vyacheslavovich Smyslov, Deputy Commander for Personnel Work, Chief, Personnel Work Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Commander for Socialization Work, Siberian MD.
  • Colonel Igor Petrovich Sokorenko, Chief, Operational Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff, Central MD.
  • Colonel Yevgeniy Nikolayevich Tuchkov, Chief, Air Defense Troops and Aviation, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Air Defense Troops, Volga-Ural MD.
  • General-Major Sergey Viktorovich Khokh, Chief, Technical Support Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, 2nd Army.
  • General-Major Eduard Anatolyevich Cherkasov, Chief, Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, Central MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Chief of Armaments, Ground Troops.
  • General-Major Sergey Anatolyevich Chuvakin, Deputy Chief of Staff, Central MD, relieved of duty as Deputy Chief of Staff, Volga-Ural MD.
  • Colonel Leonid Vladimirovich Chumakov, Chief, Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Directorate, Central MD, relieved of duty as Chief of Staff of Rear Services, First Deputy Chief of Rear Services, Volga-Ural MD.

Relieve of duty:

  • Colonel Vadim Vladimirovich Karpovich, Deputy Chief, Missile Troops and Artillery, RF Armed Forces.
  • Colonel Sergey Vladimirovich Bibik, Chief, Armor Service, Armaments Directorate, Moscow MD.
  • Colonel Andrey Aleksandrovich Mityushkin, Chief, Rear Services, Deputy Commander for Rear Services, Moscow MD.
  • Colonel Vladimir Levontyevich Zharov, Deputy Commander for Socialization Work, Moscow MD.
  • Colonel Stepan Aleksandrovich Vorontsov, Chief of Rear Services, Deputy Commander for Rear Services, 41st Army.
  • Colonel Viktor Viktorovich Tarayev, Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, 41st Army.
  • Colonel Zabit Sabirovich Kheirbekov, Chief, Armaments, Deputy Commander for Armaments, 35th Army.

Relieve of duty and dismiss from military service:

  • General-Major Mikhail Gennadyevich Krasnov, Chief, Serpukhov Branch, Military Academy of the RVSN.
  • General-Major Sergey Leonidovich Melnikov, Chief, Economic, Finance and Accounting Directorate, RF Federal Service of Special Construction.
  • General-Lieutenant Aleksey Nikolayevich Nemkov, First Deputy Director, Federal Agency of Special Construction.

Dismiss from military service:

  • General-Major Igor Alekseyevich Fedotov.
  • General-Major Yuriy Alekseyevich Gusev.
  • General-Major Aleksandr Grigoryevich Bondarenko.
  • General-Major Andrey Stepanovich Konyukhov.

GUBP Retirees Against Reform

 A belated post-script to the Colonel Krasov, Seltsy, SDR flare-up against Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov and his reforms . . . .

On the first of this month, Life.ru reported that officers of the now-disbanded Main Directorate of Combat Training and Troop Service (ГУБП or GUBP for short) established a public organization to oppose military reform.

The organizing assembly occurred right after the directorate furled its standard (marking the unit’s dissolution) on 26 November.  Life.ru says 60 men attended.  This new, as yet unnamed organization is apparently seeking official registration.  It expects support from the LDPR faction in the Duma, and from large veterans organizations that have come out against reform.

Its executive secretary, Andrey Serdyuk, said:

“Ill-conceived reform has left the Russian Army without a central combat training methodology – that is, now no one knows what and how we teach soldiers and officers on the battlefield.  Nevertheless, we intend to conduct meetings and demonstrations like our colleagues from the Union of Airborne Troops.  We plan to achieve our goals in three ways – media appearances, organizing public monitoring over the course of reform, and cooperation with public veterans’ organizations.”

Retirees will be the backbone of this organization.  It won’t accept serving military men out of concern for their welfare.

A former chief of the main directorate, General-Colonel Aleksandr Skorodumov will head the group.  He retired in late 2004 after complaining publicly about personnel decisions and reorganizations that look minor compared with Serdyukov’s tenure.  He created a mini-scandal by saying the army had collapsed at that time.

Viktor Ozerov – Chairman of Federation Council’s Defense Committee and an uncritical functionary – admitted:

“There was and undoubtedly will be resistance to reform.  Remember when the General Staff apparatus was cut, how many dissatisfied people there were:  people occupied specific duties, had pay, and then they’re deprived of all this.  But in any instance, there are people standing behind every such decision and their legal rights should be guaranteed upon dismissal.”

Ozerov also said responsibility for combat training will go to the individual services and branches, and inter-service training will be supervised by the military districts / unified strategic commands (OSKs).

Serdyukov himself told the Defense Ministry’s official Public Council on Friday that combat training will be the purview of services, armies, and brigades, and operational training will be under the Genshtab, MDs, and brigades (but apparently not armies?).

The GUBP’s fate was decided in June and sealed in September.  See Moskovskiy komsomolets, Argumenty.ru, and Gazeta.ru for more.  They claim former Moscow MD Commander, General-Colonel Valeriy Gerasimov – newly retooled as a deputy chief of the General Staff – will oversee inter-service training for the Genshtab.  And, by 1 February, a new Directorate of Troop Service and Military Service Security will stand up.  This will actually be a new / old directorate.  It existed several years ago and supervised safety issues, and grappled with crime and dedovshchina among the troops. 

MK presented two opposing opinions on GUBP’s fate. 

Leonid Ivashov said:

“The most experienced officers and generals serve in the GUBP, they develop and monitor combat training.  The Genshtab has several other functions – strategic ones.  No one there will take evaluation trips to far-off garrisons.  Especially since the Genstab’s combat training directorate will be a very truncated version.  Its elimination means our troops won’t be prepared for combat actions.

A Genshtab source gave this view:

“This is simply the latest course of reform which we have going on.  The information about the GUBP’s elimination appeared long ago.  The directorate has a highly inflated number of personnel, and its work has been evaluated as, to put it mildly, ineffective.  No new methods, no training ground equipment, no simulators in recent decades.