Ministry of Defense

Soviet Union
People's Commissars for Military and Naval Affairs (1917–1934)
1 Nikolai Podvoisky 15 November 1917 13 March 1918
2 Leon Trotsky 13 March 1918 15 January 1925
3 Mikhail Frunze 15 January 1925 31 October 1925
4 Kliment Voroshilov 6 November 1925 20 June 1934
People's Commissars for Defence (1934–1946) [NKO]
1 Kliment Voroshilov Marshal of the
Soviet Union
20 June 1934 7 May 1940
2 Semyon Timoshenko Marshal of the
Soviet Union
7 May 1940 19 July 1941
3 Joseph Stalin Generalissimo of the
Soviet Union
19 July 1941 25 February 1946
Ministers of the Armed Forces (1946–1950)
1 Joseph Stalin Generalissimo of the
Soviet Union
15 March 1946 3 March 1947
2 Nikolai Bulganin Marshal of the
Soviet Union
3 March 1947 24 March 1949
3 Aleksandr Vasilevsky Marshal of the
Soviet Union
24 March 1949 15 March 1953
Minister of Defense
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
15 Mar 1953 09 Feb 1955
2 Georgy
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
09 Feb 1955 26 Oct 1957
Chief Inspector
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
Oct 1957 Apr 1962
3 Rodion
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
26 Oct 1957 31 Mar 1967
4 Andrei
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
12 Apr 1967 26 Apr 1976
5 Dmitriy
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
30 Jul 1976 20 Dec 1984
6 Sergei
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
22 Dec 1984 30 May 1987
7 Dmitry
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
30 May 1987 23 Aug 1991
8 Yevgeny
Marshal of Aviation 23 Aug 1991 21 Dec 1991
Russian Federation
1 Pavel
General of the Army 18 May 1992 18 Jun 1996
2 Mikhail
General of the Army 18 Jun 1996 17 July 1996
3 Igor
Colonel General of the Army 17 Jul
22 May 1997
4 Igor
Marshal of the Russian Federation 22 May 1997 28 Mar 2001
FSB Lieutenant-General [reserve]28 Mar 2001 15 Feb 2007
6 Anatoly
No military rank 15 Feb 2007 06 Nov 2012
7 Sergey
General of the Army 06 Nov 2012 Present

Effective management of the Armed Forces is only possible with the strict delineation of function and responsibility, between military and political leaders. Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov and CGS General Nikolay Makarov attempted to create a Ministry of Defense that separated the Ministry’s existing structures into two ‘pillars’: a civilian one which would be responsible for financial, economic and materiel issues, and a military one responsible for specifically military matters, such as intelligence and operations. The ministry would be an institution for developing defense policy, matching the defense requirements of the state with its capabilities.

By tradition dating back to the tsars, the minister of defense normally was a uniformed officer. The State Duma also seated a large number of deputies who were active-duty military officers -- another tradition that began in the Russian imperial era. These combinations of military and civilian authority ensured that military concerns are considered at the highest levels of the Russian government. They also demonstrated that strict subordination of the military to civilian authority in the Western sense was neither a tradition nor a concern in Russia.

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation was established as a federal executive body responsible for the formulation and conduct of the state defence policy, legislative acts related to defence and other functions set forth in federal constitutional laws, federal laws, and defence-related acts released by the President or the Government. Ministry of Defence comprises the Services of the Ministry, separate central command-and-control bodies and other units and exercises command over the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Armed Forces consist of three major forces called the Ground Force (GF), the Air Force (AF) and the Navy to defend the homeland on land, in the air and at sea. There were, as of 2007, three other smaller-size Commands bearing responsibility for other spheres of armed defence -- Strategic Missiles, Space and Airborne Troops -- and two troops support Branches -- Logistics and Procurement and Accomodation of Troops. This structure was chosen following a number of transformations as the most adequate to contemporary threats to national defence and most comfortable for easy and cost effective command and control.

The Ministry of Defense directs the armed services and all military activities on a daily basis. It is responsible for fielding, arming, and supplying the armed services, and in peacetime all territorial commands of the armed forces reported to it. The Ministry of Defense has been staffed almost entirely by professional military personnel, and largely retained a monopoly on military information because Russia continued to lack independent defense research organizations frequently found in other countries. This monopoly gave high-ranking officers considerable influence with government leaders on issues, ranging from arms control to weapons development to arms sales abroad, that affect the position and prestige of the armed forces.

The president of the Russian Federation is the commander in chief, and executive authority over the military lies in the office of the president. The Government (the Council of Ministers) is responsible for maintaining the armed forces at the appropriate level of readiness. The State Duma exercises legislative authority through the Government. Direct leadership of the armed forces is vested in the Ministry of Defense, and until 2004 the General Staff exercised operational control. Since then, the minister of defense exercised operational authority, and the General Staff implements instructions and orders. By 2010 the “division of labor” was that the Minister will delt with financial and business issues, and the General Staff – with strategic planning, and the latter did not aspire to interfere into financial issues.

The Ministry of Defense consists of the General Staff and a number of main and central directorates. At one time the Ministry of Defense was managed by a collegium of three first deputy ministers, six deputy ministers, and a chief military inspector, who together formed the principal staff and advisory board of the minister of defense. As of 2007 the pool of senior leaders comprised eight individuals -- three first deputy ministers, three deputy ministers, and two chiefs -- who report directly to Minister of Defence and advise him on the matters in their purview. They share responsibility for the MOD's goals, missions, efforts.

Chief of the General Staff (CGS) is the second post within the Russian MOD and the first with the General Staff, Russian Defence Headquarters. MOD State Secretary is an assistant to Minister of Defence on law matters. The duty of State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence is to supervize that the law abidance is ensured in all MOD initiatives and activities. The State Secretary is also entitled to supervise MOD and Armed Forces personnel policy. Chiefs of MOD Services have primary responsibility for their respective fields of activity (arms acquisition, troops accomodation, logistics and procurement, MOD and Armed Forces budgeting). Chief Executive of Minister's Office is in charge of Minister of Defence's personal staff of professional military and civilian assistants whos job is international defense matters, MOD public relations, financial control and MOD paperwork.

Following the termination of the Mikhail Kasyanov government on February 24, 2004, President Putin restructured the country's defense agencies. The Defense Ministry acquired control of the entire defense industry complex (OPK), whose four agencies - the Russian Conventional Arms Agency [RAV], the Russian Agency for Control Systems [RASU], Rossudostroyeniye [Russian Shipbuilding Agency], and Rosboyepripasy [Russian Munitions Agency] - were disbanded. Their functions and responsibilities were transferred for a time to the Ministry of Industry and Energy under the authority of the Federal Industry Agency (FAP).

In respect of questions concerning the nuclear defense complex, the Defense Ministry would control the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, which was part of the new Ministry of Industry and Energy. The department's oversight functions extend to the administrations for munitions, conventional weapon, guidance and control systems, and shipbuilding, which have been reestablished within the Industry and Energy Ministry in place of the analogous agencies that had been abolished.

A variety of terms were coined in the early 1990s to capture the phenomenon of Russian Armed Forces personnel engaged in illegal or unauthorized commercial ventures, though these had faded by the end of the decade. Sarcastic or dismissive references like "businessmen with shoulder-boards," the "military-commercial clan," the "Arbat Military District" [because of the defense ministry's location at the east end of the up-scale Old Arbat pedestrian mall] and others failed to capture the extent of the military's involvement in criminal business dealings in the early 1990s. For the Soviet military and political leadership, the problem was already visible in the closing days of the USSR. By the start of 1990, as resource shortfalls within the Armed Forces became more acute, a general entrepreneurial environment seemed to nullify old rules. An increasing number of servicemen at all levels turned attention to their personal "biznes" prospects.

Arbat (street Znamenka)

The General Staff and the Defense Ministry were located in a complex of buildings of the capital on the Arbat (street Znamenka). The General Staff of the Armed Forces in 2015 move to the Arbat from the Frunze Embankment in Moscow. In the building of national defense control center; there was located the new office of the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The building of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence - a modern building located in the Central Administrative District of Moscow in the Arbat area at street Znamenka, house 14/1. Architects were MV Posokhin (chief architect of Moscow in 1960-1982 years), Yuri Popov, NG Minaev.

In March 2013 it was announcd that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his deputies and the unit planned to move into the building of the Ground Forces High Command on Frunze Embankment - the so-called "third house" the Ministry of Defense. The military department had begun to deploy the National Defense of the State Control Center (NTSUOG), which consisted of a command and control centers and control daily operations . Inside the historic building complex will be built a new super-modern, in which will be placed NTSUOG.

The building complex on the Arbat (Znamenka) became the main headquarters of the armed forces - the Navy, Air Force and Army (SV). Currently, the Main Staff of the Navy, Air Force and CB are respectively in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Balashikha (CAO).

Frunze Embankment

The complex of buildings of the Ministry of Defense of Russia on Frunze Embankment was until recently housed the Main Staff of the Land Forces. The building in Znamenka now house the Main Command of the Land Forces and the Air Force, as well as several other bodies of military administration. In recent years two more large towers were additionally built into the Frunze Embankment complex, which greatly increased his already enormous volume.

A modern national theater was recently built in in the complex, and in front of the building will be equipped with built two helicopter pads on a separate high-rise structure and a special dock on the Moscow river for hovercraft. The procedure for the use of helicopters and boats will be based on the situation that requires the organization of operational works minister leadership and management of the military department.

The construction of these buildings started in 1940, the author of the project was the architect LV Rudnev, which together with VO Mutsem created sketches of front and bas-reliefs. By 1951 the work had been completed. The building looks really grand, in the style of Stalinist Empire style, and perfectly embodies the power of the state.

The complex includes an office building, built in the years 1938-1951 by architects Lev Rudnev and Vladimir Munts, and the new building, built in his courtyard in 2014 as part of a Russian national defense control center. Rumor has it that the building of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff on the Arbat is connected by underground tunnels with the Kremlin, and even a direct metro line to the main headquarters of the Strategic Missile Forces in the Moscow region Vlasikha.

The old building, built Rudnev and Munz, goes on Frunze Embankment three symmetrical buildings. Side body merged with the central passages with huge (~ 6 floors in height) arches that during the reconstruction in 2014 were closed with stained glass with images of Russian soldiers: old, who holds a sword in his hand, and modern - with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a child in her arms. The facade is decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the medals ( "For the Defense of Leningrad", "For the Defense of Sevastopol" and others), also on the upper level is placed the coat of arms of the USSR, surrounded by banners and bas-reliefs of Soviet soldiers.

The new building, constructed in 2014 in the courtyard, visually looks easier and cheaper to old buildings and distracting from the overall ensemble, breaking its original grandeur. Its facade is decorated with figures of double-headed eagle - the emblem of the Russian Federation without heraldic shield - posted in the upper tiers of the side buildings.

First shift of National Defence Control Center (NTSUO) Russia went on duty March 28, 2014. NTSUO Russian Federation aims to become the brain center of the whole army; according to the plans, it will be fully deployed before the end of the year. The technical equipment of the Centre enabled receiving the necessary data from the whole territory of Russia mode, to analyze developments in the situation and the formulation of proposals for operational and strategic decision-making leadership of the country in peacetime and wartime.

The Armed Forces are controlled from a central command center (MSC) of the General Staff. It also tracks changes in the military-political situation in the world. At CCU duty service districts were closed, armies, divisions, brigades. The collection and analysis of information in different directions actually vested in the commanders, to make management decisions. But each of them every day had to solve a lot of other tasks. In modern conditions the volume of military-political information increased a hundredfold. The cycle of change was reduced from weeks and days to hours or even minutes. That is why there was an urgent need for a permanent and comprehensive monitoring of the processes occurring in the world, the country and the armed forces.

However the National Center [NTSUO] is not only a secret complex at the Frunze Embankment. It is also an extensive system of subordinate structures. The four military districts operate its regional centers, armies and corps - territorial centers, in the brigades and divisions - command posts. All of them are well-integrated into a single system of information flows.

Besides High Command and the General Staff of the Land Forces, this historic building housed a lot of important and "simple" controls. For example, the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate, the Main armored management, command of the troops of radiation, chemical and bacteriological protection Engineering Command of the Armed Forces, army aviation management, ordering a number of departments ...

Almost all of them are now dispersed all over Moscow. Main Command and Chief of Army Staff as Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Land Forces, housed in the building of the Combined Arms Academy to the Virgin's Field (incidentally, also built by Lev Rudnev), chemists went to the building of the former academy "Bauman", engineers - in the building of the former headquarters of the Warsaw Pact, and now the CSTO headquarters on Leningradsky Prospekt, the tankers to the headquarters of the rear, which also went to the Big Pirogovka (where was formerly located the main headquarters of the Air Force).

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