Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 77

Russian army troops in Tajikistan are said to number some 8,000 to 9,000 at present, including 6,500 troops of the 201st motor-rifle division. The force is massively armed with armor and artillery, possesses some tactical aviation and is said to control arms stockpiles for a larger number of troops. An Russian advisory mission, composed of some twenty senior officers under a major-general, essentially supervises Tajikistan’s Defense Ministry. Some 550 Tajik officers and cadets are currently studying in Russian military academies. The Tajik side is supposed to take over most of the ex-Soviet military installations which are not currently being used by the Russian military in Tajikistan.

Russian border troops in Tajikistan have traditionally been more numerous than Russian Army troops there. The border troops currently number 14,500. Most of the officers are Russians, but most of the conscripts are Tajikistanis. Under a bilateral agreement, the sides are supposed to defray the Russian border troops’ expenses on a fifty-fifty basis. The Tajik side, however, is unable to pay its share, leaving Moscow to bear most of the expenses.

Commenting on the treaties just signed in Moscow, President Imomali Rahmonov went out of his way to extend assurances that the Tajik-Russian relationship is “not aimed against the interests of other countries,” and that “Tajikistan’s territory would not be used against other countries for hostile actions.” The assurances are intended mainly for Uzbekistan and only secondarily for Afghanistan. The United Tajik Opposition, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and the Taliban authorities have very little in common with each other and indeed much to separate them. But they all–each for its own reasons–oppose the Russian militarization of Tajikistan. And–again for varying reasons–they disagree with Rahmonov’s position, reaffirmed by him in the Kremlin, that “Russia has been and remains the guarantor of peace and stability, not only in our region, but throughout the world” (Russian agencies, April 17-19; see the Monitor, April 8, 12).

The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at, by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions