Russian Ministry of Defence

Russian Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation ( _ru. Министерство обороны Российской Федерации) exercises operational leadership of the armed forces of Russia.

The Russian Minister of Defence is the nominal commander of all the armed forces, serving under the president of the Russian Federation, in whom executive authority over the military is vested. In this capacity, the minister exercises day-to-day operational authority over the armed forces. The General Staff, the executive body of the Ministry of Defence, implements instructions and orders of the defense minister.

The armed forces chain of command prescribed in Russian military doctrine clearly establishes central government control of the military. The Russian president is the commander in chief. The State Duma exercises legislative authority over the Ministry of Defence through the Government of Russia, which is nominally responsible for maintaining the armed forces at the appropriate level of readiness.


The Ministry of Defence is managed by a collegium of two first deputy ministers, two deputy ministers, [Scott and Scott 2004] and a chief military inspector, who together form the principal staff and advisory board of the minister of defense. The executive body of the Ministry of Defence is the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is commanded by the Chief of General Staff. 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.' [William Eldridge Odom, 'The Collapse of the Soviet Military,' Yale University Press, 1998, p.27] Russian General Staff officers exercise command authority in their own right. In 1996 the General Staff included fifteen main directorates and an undetermined number of operating agencies. The staff is organized by functions, with each directorate and operating agency overseeing a functional area, generally indicated by the organization's title.

"Military Thought" is the military-theoretical journal of the Ministry of Defence.


The Minister of Defence and his personal aides and advisors, as well as the Collegium of the Ministry of Defence, head the whole structure. An outline structure of the Ministry of Defence includes the groupings below, but this structure was in transition when it was recorded four years ago, with several deputy minister posts being abolished: [H.F. Scott & William F. Scott, Russian Military Directory 2004, p.61-82, 97-116]
*Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation
*Federal Service for the Defence Order
*Federal Service for Technical and Export Control
*Federal Special Construction Agency of the MOD
*11th Directorate of the MOD (function unclear)
*12th Main Directorate of the MOD (nuclear weapons)
*16th Directorate of the MOD
*Hydrometrological Service of the Armed Forces
*Military Inspectorate
*Directorate of Information and Public Relations
*1st Separate Brigade of Protection of the MOD
*Archives of the Armed Forces
*State Corporation for Air Traffic Control
*Central Theatre of the Russian Army
*All-Russian Centre for Retraining Officers
*General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
**directorates, departments, etc
**Russian Ground Forces
**Russian Air Force
**Russian Navy
**Strategic Rocket Forces
**Russian Airborne Troops
**Russian Space Troops
*First Deputy Minister of Defence
**Main Directorate for Combat Training of the Armed Forces
**Directorate of Force Management and Security of Military Service
*Army General Nikolay Pankov, State Secretary - Deputy Min. of Defence [ [ State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Defence] , Russian Ministry of Defence, accessed May 2008]
**Liaison with Political Power Institutions
** [Main] Directorate for Indoctrination [Political Work, Morale]
** [Main] Directorate for International Military Cooperation
**Directorate for Military Education of the Ministry of Defense
**Directorate of Foreign Relations
**Directorate of Force Management & Security of Military Service
**Directorate of Ecology & Special Means of Protection Min Def RF
**Press Service of the Ministry of Defence
**Flight Safety Service of Aviation of the Armed Forces RF
*Deputy Minister of Defence - Chief of Rear of the Armed Forces
**Military medical, trade, transportation, food, clothing, etc
*Deputy Minister of Defence - Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces
**Test ranges, study centres, Military research institutes etc
**Main Automotive-Armoured Tank Directorate of the MOD (GABTU)
**Autobase of Ministry of Defence
**Military Registry
**Federal State Unitary Enterprise Rosoboronexport
**Military Industrial Council
*Deputy Minister of Defence - Chief of Construction and Billeting Service
**Main Military Construction Directorate
**Main Quarters Exploitation Directorate
**other Directorates, departments etc
*Lyubov Kudelina, Deputy Minister of Defence for Financial-Economic Work
**Financial-Economic Section of the MOD
**Directorate of Military-Economic Analysis and Expertise
**Financial Inspectorate of the MOD
**Federation of Trade Unions for Civilian Workers of the Armed Forces
*Deputy Minister of Defence - Chief of the Main Department of Cadres [personnel]
**military schools, etc

Historical context

Thie structure of the Russian defense ministry, which has a superficial similarity to the division of power in the United States military establishment, does not imply military subordination to civilian authority in the Western sense, however. The historical tradition of military command is considerably different in Russia. The tsars were educated as officers, and they regularly wore military uniforms and carried military rank. Joseph Stalin in his later years in power frequently wore a military uniform, and he assumed the title Generalissimo of the Soviet Union. Likewise, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was named Marshal of the Soviet Union.

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

In May 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed General of the Army Pavel Grachev to the post of Minister of Defence. Grachev's decision to side with Yeltsin in the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, when the president called up tanks to shell the Russian White House to blast his opponents out of parliament, effectively deprived the State Duma of its nominal an opportunity to overturn the president's authority. At least partly for that reason, Yeltsin retained his defense minister despite intense criticism of Grachev's management of the Chechnya campaign and the Russian military establishment in general. Finally, Yeltsin's victory in the first round of the 1996 Russian presidential election spurred Yeltsin to dismiss Grachev.

In March 2001, Sergei Ivanov, previously secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation was appointed defense minister by President Vladimir Putin, becoming Russia's first civilian defense minister. [Peter Finn, [ Russian Leader Expands Powers of a Possible Successor] , Washington Post, February 16, 2007] Putin called the personnel changes in Russia's security structures coinciding with Ivanov's appointment as defense minister "a step toward demilitarizing public life." Putin also stressed Ivanov's responsibility for overseeing military reform as defense minister. What Putin did not emphasise was Ivanov's long service within the KGB and FSB and his then rank of General-Lieutenant within the FSB.

List of Ministers of Defence


*loc - [ Russia]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ministry of Defence (Russia) — Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation Министерство обороны Российской Федерации Flag of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Defence (Ukraine) — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Міністерство Oборони України Ministerial insignia Agency overview Formed September 3, 1 …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan — Аzərbаycаn Rеspubliкаsının Мüdаfiə Sənаyеsi Nаzirliyi Coat of Arms of Azerbaijan Agency …   Wikipedia

  • Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine — Головне управління розвідки Міністерства оборони України HUR emblem Agency overview …   Wikipedia

  • Russian Navy — Военно морской флот России Voyenno morskoy flot Rossii Naval Ensign Active 17 January 1992 present …   Wikipedia

  • Russian Ground Forces — The Russian Ground Forces ( ru. Сухопутные войска Российской Федерации, tr.: Suhopútnyje vojská Rossíjskoj Federácii ) are the land forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. While the Russian… …   Wikipedia

  • Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov — Career (Soviet Union ⁄ Russia) …   Wikipedia

  • Russian Space Forces — Flag of the Russian Space Forces Active 2001 present Country Russia …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Education and Science (Russia) — Russian Ministry of Education Logo Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Russian: Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации) oversees scientific institutions, education and school accreditation in the Russian… …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment — of the Russian Federation Министерство природных ресурсов и экологии Российской Федерации …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

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