Volga-Urals Military District

Volga-Urals Military District

The Volga-Ural Military District is a military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed on 1 September 2001 by the amalgamation of the Volga Military District and the Ural Military District. The headquarters of the Ural Military District, located at Yekaterinburg became the new headquarters of the merged district.


The new merged district draws upon the history of the former Ural, Volga, and Kazan Military Districts. The Kazan Military District was first to be formed in the Volga province of the Russian Empire, by order of the Defence Minister of 6 August 1864, as one of fifteen military districts being formed. Each district was intended to command combat formations, as well as act as a military-administrative organ on a regional scale - 'the War Ministry on a local level'. The Kazan Military District, with its headquarters in Kazan, took in the Orenburg, Kazan, and Ufa provinces, part of the Perm province, and the Ural and Turgay regions. In 1911, the 16th and 24th Army Corps were formed in the district, and just before the First World War, the district's staff was reorganised as the Fourth Army.

Following the October Revolution, the staff of the old imperial military districts hindered the creation of the new Soviet Red Army, and to surmount this, a new structure was established on 31 March 1918, including the creation of the new Volga and Ural Military Districts. Much of the fighting in the Russian Civil War took place on the districts' territory. The official Russian Defence Ministry site notes the combat actions of the 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th Rifle Divisions which took place on the eastern front of the war, as well as other formations and units.

After the end of the Civil War the armed forces were reduced and the Ural Military District disbanded, on 21 April 1922. It was reformed on 17 May 1935 with its staff located at Sverdlovsk, amid the international tensions caused by the Nazis' rise to power in Germany and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria. The 57th Rifle Division of the Volga District and the 82nd Rifle Division from the Urals were involved in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol with the Japanese in 1939.

World War II

During World War II the two districts despatched over three thousand units to the front, totalling two million men. Five armies, 132 divisions, and over 300 regiments and battalions were established. Among them was the 153rd Ural Rifle Division, which for its' combat record in Belarussia and Smolensk was 'ranged among the Guards' on 18 September 1941 as the 3rd Guards Rifle Division. Also formed in the Ural District, with the tremendous effort of factory workers there, was the 30th Ural Tank Corps, later to become the 10th Urals-Lvov Tank Corps, today the 10th Guards Uralsko-Lvovskaya Tank Division within the Moscow Military District.

During the war, the city of Kuybyshev (now Samara) served as the alternate capital of the Soviet Union, and the Urals area became the biggest arsenal in the country, with many factories relocated from the west. The Soviet Third Guards Army arrived from Germany and was redesignated as the new Volga MD headquarters in late 1945. As part of the massive demobilisation exercise of 1945-6 the Kazan Military District was briefly reformed, encompassing the Tatar, Udmurt, Mari and Chuvash ASSRs.


The Ural Military District was commanded between 1948 and 1953 by Marshal Georgi Zhukov.By a Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 15 January, 1974, for their large contributions to the strengthening the defense power of the state and its armed protection both the Volga and Ural military districts were rewarded with the Order of the Red Banner. In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the HQ address of the Ural Military District as Sverdlovsk, K-75, Ulitsa Pervomayskaya, Dom 27, which also housed the officers' club.

On 1 September 1989 the Districts were merged with the new headquarters in Samara, but in late July 1992 the Ural District was reformed, as the region had become a near-boundary area with the new states of Central Asia. From 1992 also the two districts received large numbers of units and formations returning from the former groups of forces (including the Second Guards Tank Army, and the 16th and 90th Guards Tank Divisions from the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany) and the ex-Soviet republics, the reception of which required enormous effort on behalf of the District HQs and the regional administrations. Many of these units were subsequently disbanded, including the 15th Guards Tank Division (withdrawn from the Central Group of Forces), which for much of the 1990s and early 21st century was at Chebarkul and only disbanded in 2004-5.

Today the district comprises:
*34th Motor Rifle Division, Yekaterinburg (includes elements of the former 15th Guards TD. Divisional honorifics 'Simferopol Red Banner, Order of Suvorov named for S. Ordzhonikidze.' Structure in 1989-90 included the 341st TR, 105, 276, 324 MRR, and the 239 Arty Regt. Until 1955 the division was designated the 77th Rifle Division; 1957 became 126th MRD; 1965 became 34th MRD.)
*15th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade (which took part in the command post peacekeeping Exercise Normandie-Nieman 07 in April 2007 with the 1st Mechanised Brigade (France)) [French Army, Terre Information Magazine, No.185, June 2007, p.7]
*2nd Army, Samara (formerly headquarters Ural Military District)(history closely associated with 2nd Guards Tank Army)
**27th Guards Motor Rifle Division, Totskoye
**Russian 201st Motor Rifle Division, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
*5th Air Army of VVS and PVO
*other formations and units

Today the District comprises the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Republic of Mari El, the Republic of Mordovia, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Udmurt Republic, the Chuvash Republic, Kirov, Kurgan, Orenburg, Penza, Perm, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, and Chelyabinsk Oblasts, and the Komi-Permyak, Khanty-Mansiysk, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs.

Volga District Commanders since the Second World War

*Генерал-полковник ВН Гордое (09071947-071946),
*генерал-полковник В А Юшкевич (071946-111950),
*генерал-лейтенант ГН Перекрестов (11 1950-1953),
*генерал-полковник В И Кузнецов (1953-1957),
*генерал-полковник В Н Комаров (1957-1960),
*генерал-полковник А Т Стученко (1960 1961),
*генерал-полковник ИГ Павловский (1961-1963),
*генерал-полковник НГ Лященко (1963-1965),
* генерал-полковник НВ Огарков (1965-1968),
* генерал-полковник АМ Паршиков (1968-1971),
* генерал-полковник ЮА Науменко (1971-1975),
*генерал-полковник ПГ Лушев (1975-111977),
*генерал-полковник ВН Кончиц (11 1977-7),
*генерал-полковник А Я Ряхов ('),
*генерал-полковник В А Патрикеев (7-03 1989)
*General Colonel АМ Макашов(03 1989-08 1991),
*General Colonel A I Segreev (с 09 1991)


*Official Russian Defence Ministry website, www.mil.ru
*Scott and Scott, The Armed Forces of the USSR, Westview Press, Boulder, Co., 1979
*Feskov et al, The Soviet Army during the period of the Cold War, Tomsk University, Tomsk, 2004
*See also [http://warfare.ru/?lang=&catid=321&linkid=2229 VUMD at Warfare.ru]

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