A great video of Russian military power in Russian military exercise. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Russian: Вооружённые Си́лы Росси́йской Федера́ции, tr. Vooruzhonnije Síly Rossíyskoj Federátsii) are the military service of Russia, established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 7 May 1992, Boris Yeltsin signed a presidential decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces troops on the territory of the Russian SFSR under Russian control. The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the president of Russia. Although the Russian armed forces were formed in 1992, the Russian military dates its roots back to the times of the Kievan Rus'.
The armed forces are divided into:
the three "branches of Armed Forces" (вида вооружённых сил): the Ground Force, Air Force, and the Navy
the three "separate troop branches" (Отдельные рода войск): the Strategic Missile Troops, the Aerospace Defense Forces and the Airborne Troops
the Rear of the Armed Forces, which has a separate status of its own
There are additionally two further "separate troop branches" maintained by the Ministry of the Interior, the Border Force and the Internal Troops. These are not normally included as branches of the "Armed Forces" but are nonetheless used in armed conflicts.
The number of troops is specified by decree of the President of Russia. On 1 January 2008, a number of 2,019,629 units, including military of 1,134,800 units, was set. In 2010 the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimated that the Russian Armed Forces numbered about 1,040,000 active troops and in the region of 2,035,000 reserves (largely ex-conscripts). As opposed to personnel specified by decree, actual personnel in the forces and paid was reported by the Audit Chamber of Russia as 766,000 in October 2013. As of December 2013, the armed forces are at 82 percent of the required manpower.
According to SIPRI, Russia spent nearly $72 billion on arms in 2011. Russia is planning further increases in its military spending, with draft budgets showing a 53% rise in real terms up to 2014. However, SIPRI adds that many analysts are doubtful whether the industry will be able to deliver on such ambitious plans after decades of stagnation following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation serves as the administrative body of the Armed Forces. Since Soviet times, the General Staff has acted as the main commanding and supervising body of the Russian armed forces: 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.' However, currently the General Staff's role is being reduced to that of the Ministry's department of strategic planning, the Minister himself, currently Sergey Shoygu may now be gaining further executive authority over the troops. Other departments include the personnel directorate as well as the Rear Services, railway troops, Signal Troops and construction troops. The Chief of the General Staff is currently General of the Army Valery Gerasimov.
The Russian military is divided into three services: the Russian Ground Forces, the Russian Navy, and the Russian Air Force. In addition there are three independent arms of service: Strategic Missile Troops, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, and the Russian Airborne Troops. The Air Defence Troops, the former Soviet Air Defence Forces, have been subordinated into the Air Force since 1998. The Armed Forces as a whole are traditionally referred to as the Army (armiya), except in some cases, the Navy is specifically singled out.
Since late 2010 the Ground Forces as well as the Air Forces and Navy are distributed among four military districts: Western Military District, Southern Military District, Central Military District, and the Eastern Military District which also constitute four Joint Strategic Commands — West, South, Central, and East. Previously from 1992 to 2010, the Ground Forces were divided into six military districts: Moscow, Leningrad, North Caucausian, Privolzhsk-Ural, Siberian and Far Eastern and Russia's four fleets and one flotilla were organizations on par with the Ground Forces' Military Districts. These six MDs were merged into the four new MDs, which now also incorporate the air forces and naval forces.
There is one remaining Russian military base, the 102nd Military Base, in Armenia left of the former Transcaucasus Group of Forces. It likely reports to the Southern Military District.
The Navy consists of four fleets and one flotilla:
Northern Fleet (HQ at Severomorsk) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command West.
Baltic Fleet (HQ at Kaliningrad in the exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast) subordinated to Joint Strategic Command West.