Russian Military Doctrine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has updated the country's national security guidelines for the first time in six years. Putin approved the updated version of the National Security Strategy on 02 July 2021. It was last revised in December of 2015. The document calls for developing comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation with China and a special strategic partnership with India. It says this policy aims to create mechanisms that ensure regional stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

It calls NATO's military buildup a threat to Russia. It says that the military dangers and threats Russia is facing are bolstered by attempts to put pressure on Russia, the buildup of NATO's military infrastructure next to the Russian borders, and exercises that practice the use of nuclear weapons against Russia. It also noted that the planned deployment of US intermediate- and short-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region posed a threat to the country. It also called for solid cyberspace security, noting increased espionage activity in Russian cyberspace by foreign special agencies.

Russia's efforts to expand its global military, commercial, and energy footprint and build partnerships with U.S. allies and adversaries alike are likely to pose increasing challenges. Moscow will continue to emphasizeits strategic relationship with Beijing, while also pursuing a higherprofile in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Moscow will continue pursuing a range of objectives to expand its reach, including undermining the U.S.-led liberal international order, dividing Western political and security institutions, demonstrating Russia?s ability to shape global issues, and bolstering Putin's domestic legitimacy. Russia seeks to capitalize on perceptions of U.S. retrenchment and power vacuums, which it views the United States is unwilling or unable to fill, by pursuing relatively low-cost options, including influence campaigns, cybertools, and limited military interventions.'

By 2020 Moscow had heightened confidence, based on its success in helping restore the Assad regime's territorial control in Syria, but translating what had largely been military wins into a workable settlement in Syria will be one of Moscow's key challengesin the years ahead. Russia seeks to boost its military presence and political influence in the Mediterranean and Red Seas, increase its arms sales, expand information operations in Europe, and mediate conflicts, including engaging in the Middle East Peace Process and Afghanistan reconciliation. Moscow views military force as key to safeguarding its vital interests and supporting its foreign policy; it is becoming more modernized and capable across all military domains and maintains the world's largest operational nuclear stockpile.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation announced the absence of prerequisites for starting a large-scale war in the period until 2050. This was announced 17 December 2019 by the Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, speaking to foreign military attaches. "In our opinion, there are currently no prerequisites for a large-scale war," said Gerasimov, quoted by Red Star. At the same time, as Gerasimov noted, the situation in the world remains unstable, and its development is becoming more and more dynamic. According to the head of the General Staff, this is due to the desire of some countries to impose their principles on other sovereign states. As Gerasimov emphasized, "including using force methods."

"Unprecedented political, economic and information pressure is exerted on states trying to pursue an independent policy, including Russia," said Gerasimov. He noted that for this reason it is not necessary to exclude the occurrence of crisis situations that can develop into a large-scale conflict. According to the chief of the General Staff, changes in the forms of warfare lead to the conclusion that in the future wars will extend to all spheres. According to Gerasimov, "this is confirmed by the decisions of the NATO summit in London, where space is recognized as the fifth operating environment." The general emphasized that in Russia "they should be prepared for any scenario for the development of the situation."

The Kremlin has said that it trusts the opinion of a senior Russian general, who said that NATO's intensified drills this year are an indication that the military bloc is preparing for a major conflict. Valery Gerasimov, the chair of the Russian General Staff, shared the wary view that the Russian military have about NATO's maneuvers on Tuesday as he gave a year-end briefing to foreign military attaches in Moscow. Gerasimov said the increased number and scale of military exercises conducted by NATO members this year indicates that the alliance "is purposefully training its troops to be engaged in a major military conflict."

The new edition of Russia’s military doctrine, signed by President Vladimir Putin in December 2015, specifies that NATO’s militarization and arms build-ups pose a national security threat to Russia that requires an appropriate response. The standoff between NATO and Russia escalated after Ukraine, which previously insisted on its non-aligned status, went through a violent protest that ousted its elected government and imposed a new one with the West’s vocal approval. Kiev’s new authorities since made joining NATO one of their strategic goals, claiming that they need protection against Russia.

The document also points to the threat of destabilization countries bordering Russia or its allies and deployment of foreign troops such nations as a threat to national security. Domestically, Russia faces threats of “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia,” the doctrine says.

On 26 December 2014, an updated version of Russia's Military doctrine was signed by President Putin; the clarification was introduced in the Russian Federation Military Doctrine to comply with the Resolution of the Security Council of Russia of July 5, 2013. The amendments were approved by the Security Council on December 19, 2014. The new doctrine highlights 'NATO's military buildup' and the bloc's expansion toward the Russian borders as being the main external threats to Russia's security. Other priorities mentioned in the document include the development and deployment of strategic missile defense systems, the implementation of the 'global strike' doctrine, plans to place weapons in space as well as the deployment of high-precision conventional weapons systems, and, for the first time, the protection of national interests in the Arctic.

From an internal standpoint, the doctrine identified internal threats as being activities aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country, terrorist activities to harm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia, as well as actions involving anti-Russian and anti-patriotic propaganda.

The new doctrine differed from the previous one in treating domestic challenges to the ruling regime as a military threat to the country. The 2010 document merely referred to "attempts at violent change of the Russian Federation's constitutional order," the 2014 one adds "the destabilization of the domestic political and social situation in the nation" and even "information-related activity aimed at influencing the population, primarily the country's young citizens, with the goal of undermining the historical, spiritual and patriotic traditions in the area of defending the Fatherland." Political opposition is now understood as an activity requiring a military response.

The Soviet Union was fundamentally a self-contained-land power with internal lines of communication facing an alliance of maritime power. The Soviet military force structure reflected that geopolitical reality; its major force is a huge mechanized land army augmented by two air forces-one to support the army (voyenno-vozdushnyye, sily) and one to defend the homeland (voyska protivovozdus-hnoy oboroDA-y, strany) and an auxiliary navy. As a result, the power of the Soviet-forces waned drastically as the distances from the Soviet Unicn increase, though both the Soviet Navy and-the Soviets' ability to project power beyond its borders improved markedly in the last decade of the Cold War.

Military doctrine in Russia is the official formulation of concepts on the nature of present and future war and the nation's potential role, given existing or anticipated geopolitical conditions. In the late 1980s, the military doctrine of the Soviet Union underwent a dramatic change toward defensive readiness before the dissolution of the union. After inheriting the unfinished transition of that period, Russia struggled to develop a suitable new set of concepts in the 1990s. The first step, the doctrine of 1993, was considered a temporary document leading to a full statement of goals and circumstances to be formulated around 2000.

Military reform in the Russian Federation - the complex of economic, sociopolitical, organizational and technical, strictly military and other measures of military building for restructuring of the military organization of the state - began in the middle of the 1990s. The purpose of this military reform was bringing the military organization of the Russian Federation into the correspondence with the contemporary external and internal conditions and the tasks in providing of defense and national safety with the economical utilization of means being isolated for these needs and resources.

The conversion of the military organization of the Russian Federation were begun at the moment of the formation of contemporary Russian statehood, by the creation of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, by the formation of ministries and departments, which had their troops, military formations and organs, and by the formation of defense industrial and scientific complex.

By the year 2000 the strategy of military reform in the Russian Federation was assigned by a number of the conceptual and program documents, which included: Concept of the national security of the Russian Federation; The military doctrine of the Russian Federation; Basis (concept) of the state policy of the Russian Federation on the military building for the period up to 2005; Concept of the building of the armed forces of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2005; Plan of building and development of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on 2001-2005.

The preparation for decisions of major importance by the military was accomplished by the Security Council of the Russian Federation. Acceptance by the President of the Russian Federation, the supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, of the solution take shape by his edicts and are required for the performance by all state and military organs. The measures of military reform in the Russian Federation were conducted through the matched programs and the plans of building and development of armed forces, other troops, military formations and organs, other components of military organization, affirmed by President of the Russian Federation. The coordination of the development of the long-range plans of building and development of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and organs is achieved by General Staff of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and development and implementation of federal defense programs is accomplished under the management of the government of the Russian Federation.

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