Officially known as the Russian Ground Forces (sukhoputnyie voiska Rossiiskoi federatsii), the army in its current form dates to 1992 when a plan to maintain a joint military among the various members of the Commonwealth of Independent States broke down; however, the Russian army has a long historical tradition associated with both its Soviet and tsarist heritage. The Ground Forces are currently commanded by General of the Army Vladimir Boldyrev, who replaced Alexey Maslov in 2008.
   The primary responsibility of the army is to defend the Russian Federation from aggressors as well as retain occupied territory. The major units include motorized rifle troops, tank troops, rocket forces and artillery, and special units. The Ground Forces were formed during a chaotic period shaped by the large-scale withdrawal of military units from the former Warsaw Pact members (1989–1991) and Newly Independent States (1991–1993) that formerly comprised the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Russian army, however, still maintains a peacekeeping presence in a number of former Soviet states, including Tajikistan, Moldova, and the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since 1991, it has served in small numbers in Croatia, Bosnia, Lebanon, and sub-Saharan Africa.
   Immediate post-Soviet plans for reform were complicated by conflicting opinions among the leadership over the role and purpose of the army in a post–Cold War environment. The constitutional crisis of 1993 did little to improve the image of the new force as it was drawn into a political dispute between Boris Yeltsin and members of the Congress of People’s Deputies. Shortly thereafter, Yeltsin initiated the disastrous first Chechen War. The army’s performance in the conflict was universally lambasted. The Ground Forces’ difficulty in taking the capital Grozny, abuses of civilian populations, criminal behavior including selling weapons to insurgents, and numerous desertions of soldiers diminished the army’s reputation in the country at large.
   A series of reforms instituted in 1997 did little to improve the situation as resources were siphoned away from the basic needs of the army (most notably, the abolition of the Ground Forces Headquarters) in favor of special units and detachments. Under Vladimir Putin, the headquarters was reinstituted and military spending increased for the first time in years; however, the army continues to suffer from significant social and financial issues. As a result of positive changes, the army performed comparatively well during its 2008 deployment in the South Ossetian War with Georgia. Due to its legacy as a conscript army serving the interests of a quasi-totalitarian society, the culture of leadership leaves much to be desired. Economic demands placed on young officers, who are poorly paid, exacerbates this situation.
   Women, who are not conscripted, make up about 10 percent of the army. The poorly paid contract soldiers, known as kontraktniki, tend to be of low quality, often joining the army as a last resort when they have failed at other careers. Despite the current situation, Russia’s military planners hope to raise the number of volunteer soldiers to 70 percent in the near future.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Army — Ar my, n. [F. arm[ e]e, fr. L. armata, fem. of armatus, p. p. of armare to arm. Cf. {Armada}.] 1. A collection or body of men armed for war, esp. one organized in companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under proper officers.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Army — ist der verkürzte Ausdruck z. B. für United States Army British Army British Indian Army Continental Army Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • army — [är′mē] n. pl. armies [ME & OFr armee < armer, ARM2, v.] 1. a large, organized body of soldiers for waging war, esp. on land 2. a military unit, usually two or more army corps, together with auxiliary troops 3. STANDING ARMY …   English World dictionary

  • Army — est un film indien réalisé par Raam Shetty, sorti en 1996. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 Lien externe …   Wikipédia en Français

  • army — [n1] military force, usually for land armed force, artillery, battalion, battery, brigade, cavalry, column, command, company, corps, detail, division, flight, formation, infantry, legion, outfit, patrol unit, platoon, regiment, soldiers, soldiery …   New thesaurus

  • army — index band Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • army — (n.) late 14c., armed expedition, from O.Fr. armée (14c.) armed troop, armed expedition, from M.L. armata armed force, from L. armata, fem. of armatus armed, equipped, in arms, pp. of armare to arm, lit. act of arming, related to arma tools, arms …   Etymology dictionary

  • army — host, legion, *multitude Analogous words: throng, press, crush, *crowd, mob, rout, horde …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • army — ► NOUN (pl. armies) 1) an organized military force equipped for fighting on land. 2) a large number of similar people or things. ORIGIN Old French armee, from Latin armare to arm …   English terms dictionary

  • Army of Me — Infobox Single Name = Army of Me Artist = Björk Lower caption = UK CD1 from Album = Post B side = Cover Me You ve Been Flirting Again Sweet Intuition Released = April 21, 1995 Format = CD Recorded = Genre = Electronica Length = 3:54 Label = One… …   Wikipedia

  • army — noun 1 group of soldiers ADJECTIVE ▪ great, huge, large, massive, mighty, powerful ▪ small ▪ ragtag (inf …   Collocations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.