Ministry of Defence (Russia)
|Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation|
|Министерство обороны Российской Федерации|
|A building of the ministry in Khamovniki District|
|Formed||1717 as College of War|
|Preceding agencies||Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union (1946-1991)
People's Commissariat of Defence of the Soviet Union (1934-1946)
Ministry of War of the Russian Empire (1802-1917)
College of War (1717-1802)
|Jurisdiction||President of Russia|
|Minister responsible||Sergey Shoygu|
|Child Agency||Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation
Federal Service for Technical and Export Control
Federal Service for Defence Contracts
Federal Agency for Special Construction
Federal Agency for the supply of arms, military and special equipment and material supplies
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (Russian: Министерство обороны Российской Федерации, Минобороны России) exercises administrative and operational leadership of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Minister of Defence is the nominal head of all the Armed Forces, serving under the president of the Russian Federation, who is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In this capacity, the minister exercises day-to-day administrative and operational authority over the armed forces. The General Staff, the executive body of the Ministry of Defence, implements the defence minister's operational instructions and orders. The State Duma exercises legislative authority over the Ministry of Defence through the Government of Russia, which is nominally responsible for maintaining the armed forces at the appropriate level of readiness.
The main ministry building, built in the 1980s, is located on Arbatskaya Square, near Arbat Street. Other buildings of the ministry are located throughout the city of Moscow.
The current Russian minister of Defence is Sergey Shoigu.
The authors of the U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies' volume for Russia said in July 1996 that:
The structure of the Russian defence ministry does not imply military subordination to civilian authority in the Western sense.1 The historical tradition of military command is considerably different in Russia. The tsars were educated as officers, and they regularly wore military uniforms and held military rank. Joseph Stalin in his later years in power frequently wore a military uniform, and he assumed the title Generalissimo of the Soviet Union. Likewise, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was named Marshal of the Soviet Union. By tradition dating back to the tsars, the minister of defence was a uniformed officer,' with military background (Dmitry Milyutin, Rodion Malinovsky) or without (Dmitriy Ustinov). 'The State Duma also seats a large number of deputies who are active-duty military officers—another tradition that began in the Russian imperial era. These combinations of military and civilian authority ensure that military concerns are considered at the highest levels of the Russian government.
In May 1992, President of Russia Boris Yeltsin appointed General of the Army Pavel Grachev to the post of Minister of Defence. Grachev's decision to side with Yeltsin in the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, when the president called up tanks to shell the Russian White House to blast his opponents out of parliament, effectively deprived the Supreme Soviet of Russia of its nominal an opportunity to overturn the president's authority. At least partly for that reason, Yeltsin retained his defence minister despite intense criticism of Grachev's management of the First Chechen War and the Russian military establishment in general. Finally, Yeltsin's victory in the first round of the 1996 Russian presidential election spurred Yeltsin to dismiss Grachev.
In March 2001, Sergei Ivanov, previously secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation was appointed defence minister by President Vladimir Putin, becoming Russia's first non-uniformed civilian defence minister.2 Putin called the personnel changes in Russia's security structures coinciding with Ivanov's appointment as defence minister "a step toward demilitarizing public life." Putin also stressed Ivanov's responsibility for overseeing military reform as defence minister. What Putin did not emphasise was Ivanov's long service within the KGB and FSB and his then rank of General-Lieutenant within the FSB. Such military and security agency associated men are known as siloviki.
As of 2002 there were four living Marshals of the Soviet Union. Such men are automatically Advisors to the Defence Minister. The Marshals alive at that time were Viktor Kulikov, Vasily Petrov, Sergei Sokolov, a former Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union, and Dmitri Yazov. Yazov was listed by the American analysts Scott and Scott in 2002 as a consultant to the (former 10th) Directorate for International Military Cooperation3
Perhaps the first 'real' non-uniformed Defence Minister was Anatoliy Serdyukov, appointed in February 2007. Serdyukov was a former Tax Minister with little siloviki or military associations beyond his two years' military service.
The Ministry of Defence is managed by a collegium chaired by the Defence Minister and including the deputy Defence Ministers, heads of Main Defence Ministry and General Staff Directorates, and the commanders of the Joint Strategic Commands/Military Districts, the three Services, and three branches, who together form the principal staff and advisory board of the Minister of Defence.
The executive body of the Ministry of Defence is the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is commanded by the Chief of General Staff. U.S. expert William Odom said in 1998 that 'the Soviet General Staff without the MoD is conceivable, but the MoD without the General Staff is not.'4 Russian General Staff officers exercise command authority in their own right. In 1996 the General Staff included fifteen main directorates and an undetermined number of operating agencies. The staff is organized by functions, with each directorate and operating agency overseeing a functional area, generally indicated by the organization's title.
Military Thought is the military-theoretical journal of the Ministry of Defence, and Krasnaya Zvezda its daily newspaper.
Senior staff in January 2013 included:5
- Minister of Defence - General of the Army S. K. Shoigu
- Chief of the General Staff/1st Deputy Minister of Defence - General of the Army Valery Gerasimov
- 1st Deputy Minister of Defence - General of the Army Arkady Bakhin
- State Secretary-Deputy Minister of Defence - General of the Army (Ret.) N.A. Pankov
- Deputy Minister of Defence - A.I. Antonov
- Deputy Minister of Defence - General of the Army D.V. Bulgakov
- Deputy Minister of Defence - Colonel General Oleg Ostapenko
- Deputy Minister of Defence - Ruslan Tsalikov
- Deputy Minister of Defence - Yuriy Borisov
- Deputy Minister of Defence - Tatiana Shevtsova
- Deputy Minister of Defence - Lieutenant General Yuriy Sadovenko
Entities directly subordinated to the Minister of Defence in August 2012 included:5
- MOD Press Service and Information Directorate
- MOD Physical Training Directorate
- MOD Financial Auditing Inspectorate
- MOD Main Military Medical Directorate
- MOD State Order Placement Department
- MOD Property Relations Department
- Expert Center of the MOD Staff
- MOD Administration Directorate
- MOD State Defence Order Facilitation Department
- MOD Department of the State Customer for Capital Construction
- MOD State Architectural-Construction Oversight Department
- MOD Sanatoria-resort Support Department
- MOD Housekeeping Directorate
An outline structure of the Ministry of Defence includes the groupings below, but this structure was in transition when it was recorded in 2004, with several deputy minister posts being abolished:6
Marshal of Aviation Yevgeny Shaposhnikov was the last Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union. General Colonel Konstantin Kobets supported then President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Boris Yeltsin during the August coup of 1991. From August 19 until September 9, 1991, Konstantin Kobets was Defense Minister of the RSFSR, though there was no ministry.8 This post was then abolished.
The first Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation was Boris Yeltsin, who appointed himself to the position by a decree of mid March 1992.9
|#||Picture||Name||Military Rank||Took Office||Left Office||President served under|
|Konstantin Kobets||Colonel General
General of the Army
|August 20, 1991||September 9, 1991||Boris Yeltsin|
|Between September 9, 1991 and May 7, 1992 the Russian Federation de jure didn't have its own Minister of Defence. During this period its armed forces were under control of Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union Yevgeny Shaposhnikov|
|Boris Yeltsin||No military rank||March 16, 1992||May 18, 1992||Himself|
|1||Pavel Grachev||General of the Army||May 18, 1992||June 18, 1996||Boris Yeltsin|
|2||Mikhail Kolesnikov||General of the Army||June 18, 1996||July 17, 1996|
|3||Igor Rodionov||Colonel General
General of the Army
General of the Army in reserve
|July 17, 1996||May 22, 1997|
|4||Igor Sergeyev||Marshal of the Russian Federation||May 22, 1997||March 28, 2001||Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin|
|5||Sergei Ivanov||Colonel General in reserve||March 28, 2001||February 15, 2007||Vladimir Putin|
|6||Anatoly Serdyukov||No military rank||February 15, 2007||November 6, 2012||Vladimir Putin,
|7||Sergei Shoigu||General of the Army||November 6, 2012||Present||Vladimir Putin|
- Library of Congress Country Studies Russia, Command Structure
- Peter Finn, Russian Leader Expands Powers of a Possible Successor, Washington Post, February 16, 2007
- Harriet F. Scott and William Scott, Russian Military Directory 2002, p.341, citing DS2002-0802.
- William Eldridge Odom, 'The Collapse of the Soviet Military,' Yale University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-300-08271-1, p.27
- RF MOD website www.mil.ru accessed 15 Feb 2013
- H.F. Scott & William F. Scott, Russian Military Directory 2004, p.61-82, 97-116
- State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Defence, Russian Ministry of Defence, accessed May 2008
- Vladimir Orlov, Roland Timerbaev, and Anton Khlopkov, Nuclear Nonproliferation in U.S.-Russian Relations: Challenges and opportunities, PIR Library Series, 2002, p.24 Accessed at http://www.pircenter.org/english/publications/otkh-chap1-3.pdf, 7 June 2010
- Odom, 1998, p.385
- Official web site of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation In Russian
- Official web site of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation In English