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.

You can see all issues of Rondeli Russian Military Digest at this page. For your convenience, we have added the Digest Content Search that helps users find the digest’s issues containing information they need using key words and phrases.

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


Geostrategic Activities

War in Ukraine – One Ukrainian military service member was killed and three were wounded by Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 28 June-4 July 2021.

Russia in Africa – According to a UN report, between 800 and 2,100 “military instructors” from Russia, Syria, Libya and other countries operate in the Central African Republic (CAR), with most of them coming from Russia. The report says these individuals have personally taken part in the fighting in the country, and committed war crimes.

As the Netherlands Defense Minister stated on 29 June 2021, on 24 June, Russian military planes conducted mock attack against and jammed communications of the Dutch frigate Evertsen in the international waters of the Black Sea. According to the Russians, Su-30 fighters and Su-24 attack aircraft took part in the incident.


Structural Changes

Russian sources indicate that the 503rd Mechanized Regiment was established in 2020 within the 19th Mechanized Division (HQ in Sputnik, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania). The new regiment is reportedly located in Nesterovskaya, Republic of Ingushetia.

Russians have reportedly decided to establish a rotational presence of Su-35S multi-role fighters at the Yelizovo air base (Kamchatka Krai). The rotating units of fighters will belong to various air regiments of the Russian air force based in the Far East.



Rearmament and Modernization

The newly established 503rd Mechanized Regiment (Nesterovskaya, Republic of Ingushetia) of the 19th Mechanized Division (HQ in Sputnik, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania) received a batch of over 10 BTR-82A armored personnel carriers.

Twenty 9K333 Verba man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) were delivered to the the 201st Military Base (a mechanized division with HQ in Dushanbe, Tajikistan).



Troops of the 3rd Special Forces Brigade (Tolyatti, Samara Oblast) of the Central Military District held an exercise in Uzbekistan.

S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems in occupied Crimea, Ukrainedrilled together with the Russian military aircraft based on the peninsula.

Russian forces in occupied Tskhinvali Region, Georgia, conducted an air defense exercise employing Tor-M1 short-range surface-to-air missile systems.


Arms Exports

Kazakhstan intends to acquire Russian Tor-M2K short-range surface-to-air missile systems.


[1] 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.