Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 116

Russia will have three military services rather than the present five when the second stage of military reform is completed in 2005, Defense Minister Igor Sergeev announced yesterday in Sevastopol, Ukraine. The current thinking seems to envision dividing the armed forces along functional lines. The Strategic Forces would include the present Strategic Rocket Forces, the Space Troops, Long-Range Aviation, and at least operational control over the Navy’s strategic submarines. Deterrence or Defense Forces would include the present Air Defense Troops, most missile defense units, and some Air Force and Navy units. The Rapid Reaction/Mobile Forces/General Purpose Forces would encompass the present Ground Forces along with the balance of the air and naval forces.

Some amalgamation of the current five services — the Ground Forces, Air Force, Air Defense Troops, Navy, and Strategic Rocket Forces — has been included in most of the previous reform plans. However, such restructuring has never gotten beyond the talking stage. Vested and parochial interests always seem to find sufficient political support to derail such mergers — such as the often broached idea of combining the Air Force and Air Defense Troops, or the recent attempt to resubordinate Russia’s Airborne Troops to the Ground Forces. (Russian news agencies, June 12)

Ukraine Changes Essence of CIS Agreement on Oil Transit.