Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation

Rondeli Russian Military Digest is a weekly brief that reports key activities by and developments within the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Researchers, civil servants and everyone else interested in what is going on in the military of one of the most dangerous nations on the planet – tune in and enjoy.

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For a comprehensive geographic view of the Russian military structure see our Interactive Map of the Russian Military Forces.


Geostrategic Activities

Russia maintains large concentration of military forces and equipment assembled at various points on the Russian territory near Ukraine and in occupied Crimea. See gathering points of additional Russian forces and equipment as well as locations of permanent Russian maneuver units in these areas on an interactive map.

A static shot from the interactive map showing Russian forces gathered near Ukraine and in Crimea

On 29 December 2021, Vladimir Putin announced that he had made an agreement with the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to hold a joint military exercise in February or March of 2022. This development could be significant in the context of the ongoing accumulation of Russian military forces and equipment near Ukraine.

War in Ukraine – One Ukrainian military service member was killed and three were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 27 December 2021-2 January 2022.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 27 and 30 December 2021, and on 1-2 January 2022.

Fighters from Russia and Belarus conducted a joint patrol of the Belarusian borders on 29 December.

The Pacific Fleet’s flagship Slava / Project 1164 Atlant class guided missile cruiser Varyag and Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Tributs left Vladivostok on 29 December 2021 for a long-range voyage. Among destinations of the two warships are the Seychelles.


Structural Changes

On 29 December 2021, the Russian military reported official establishment of the 56th Air Assault Regiment (Feodosia, Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine). The regiment had been created on the basis of the 56th Air Assault Brigade and transferred to Crimea from Kamyshin in Volgograd Oblast. The regiment was included into the 7th Air Assault (Mountain) Division (HQ in Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Krai).