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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Geostrategic Activities

War in Ukraine – Three Ukrainian military service members were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 3-9 January 2022.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted numerous strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 3-4 January 2022.

Russian military transport aviation transported Russian troops to Kazakhstan as part of the Moscow-led CSTO military alliance’s intervention in support of the Kazakh regime that was facing rebellion against its rule. Troops from other CSTO member states were delivered to Kazakhstan by the Russian transport planes as well. The intervention became CSTO’s first actual joint operation in its history. Russian troops sent to Kazakhstan belonged to the 98th Airborne Division (HQ in Ivanovo), the 31st Air Assault Brigade (Ulyanovsk), the 45th Special Forces Brigade (Kubinka, Moscow Oblast), Special Forces units of the 76th Air Assault Division (HQ in Pskov), the 3rd Special Forces Brigade (Tolyatti, Samara Oblast), and 15th Mechanized Brigade (Roshchinsky, Samara Oblast). According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 70 Il-76 and five An-124 strategic airlifters participated in the transportation of the Russian and other CSTO forces.

Su-30SM fighters from Russia and Belarus conducted a joint patrol of the Belarusian borders on 5 January 2022.

According to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, NATO fighters based in Lithuania intercepted Russian military planes over the Baltic Sea five times during December 2021. Two incidents took place on 7 December, and others – on 14, 21 and 22 December 2021.


Structural Changes

A report emerged claiming that the 6th Tank Brigade (Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast) of the 1st Tank Army (HQ in Bakovka, Moscow Oblast) was being expanded into the 47th Tank Division. The information remained to be supported by other sources as of the time of writing.


Rearmament and Modernization

The 177th Naval Infantry Regiment (Kaspiysk, Republic of Dagestan) of the Caspian Flotilla has been fully rearmed with AK-74M Obves assault rifles.

AK-74M Obves



The Black Sea Fleet’s naval aviation and air defense forces held an anti-UAV exercise in occupied Crimea, Ukraine.


Arms Exports

Russia reportedly delivered another batch of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers to Belarus.

Egypt and Algeria reportedly joined Indonesia in rejecting acquisitions of Su-35 fighters from Russia.


*The weekly number of exercises in the Russian armed forces is very large. Therefore, all cannot be included in this digest. The exercises that are included are selected by the author for their strategic significance, particularly large scale, involvement of numerous units and locations, and/or involvement of other nations’ territories under the Russian occupation.