Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation

 

Russian Military Transformation Tracker has been reporting structural changes in the Russian military since August 2018. You can see all issues of the Tracker athis page. For a comprehensive geographic view of the Russian military structure see our Interactive Map of the Russian Military Forces.

 

The Central Russia

On 21 December 2022, Russian defense minister Shoigu announced that two new Military Districts – the Moscow and Leningrad ones – would be established in near future.

The move would in practice mean division of the existing Western Military District in two.

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The 245th Mechanized Regiment was established within the 47th Tank Division (HQ in Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast) of the 1st Tank Army (HQ in Bakovka, Moscow Oblast) in the spring of 2023. The 47th Division itself had been established on 1 December 2021 as was reported in Issue 5 of the Tracker.

 

The Western Frontier (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and the Russian border area with the first two countries)

In early 2023, Russians renamed some of units within the 1st Army Corps (HQ in Donetsk, occupied part of Ukraine) and the 2nd Army Corps (HQ in Luhansk, occupied part of Ukraine). The two Corps had been established by Russians in the Russian-occupied part of Ukraine’s Donbas region in November 2014.

The following units were renamed within the 1st Army Corps:

The 3rd Mechanized Brigade (Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed into the 132nd Mechanized Brigade.

The 100th Mechanized Brigade (Donetsk, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed into the 110th Mechanized Brigade.

The 11th Mechanized Regiment (Makiivka, Donetsk Oblast, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed and transformed into the 114th Mechanized Brigade.

The 2nd Separate Tank Battalion “Dizel” (Donetsk, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed into the 10th Separate Tank Battalion.

The following units were renamed within the 2nd Army Corps:

The 2nd Mechanized Brigade (Luhansk, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed into the 123rd Mechanized Brigade.

The 6th Mechanized Regiment (Kadiivka/Stakhanov, Luhansk Oblast, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed and transformed into the 6th Mechanized Brigade.

The 7th Mechanized Brigade (Bryanka, Luhansk Oblast, occupied part of Ukraine) was renamed into the 127th Mechanized Brigade.

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Existence of a new 87th Regiment within the 1st Army Corp (HQ in Donetsk, occupied part of Ukraine) was noted in Russian sources in early April 2023. It remained to be clarified, however, whether the unit was meant to be a permanent structural fixture in the Russian armed forces, or was one of the numerous temporary mobilization units used in the war against Ukraine.

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Steregushchiy / Project 20380 class corvette Merkury joined the Russian navy on 13 May 2023. Located at the Baltiysk naval base in Kaliningrad Oblast, the corvette was set to be added to the Black Sea Fleet after the end of the Russo-Ukrainian War.

 

The Baltic Region

Buyan-M / Project 21631 class corvette Grad joined the Baltic Fleet on 29 December 2022.

 

The Caucasus

Russian sources reported in May 2023 that a new 40th Army Corps was being established in Stavropol Krai within the Southern Military District.

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By February 2023, existence of the 19th Mechanized Division’s (HQ in Sputnik, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania) newly re-established 292nd Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was noted.

 

Ural, Siberia, Central Asia 

Russian official sources indicated that a new 25th Army was being established since at least early June 2023. The Army was planned to be formed by 1 September and to be battle-ready by 1 December 2023, after which it was to be sent to the front in Ukraine.

 

The Far East

Russian sources claimed in May 2023 that the 390th Naval Infantry Regiment had been established in the Pacific Fleet and was taking part in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

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In March 2023, Russia said it had stationed a coastal missile battalion of Bastion mobile coastal defense missile systems on the island of Paramushir in the northern part of the Kuril Islands.

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On 29 December 2022, Borei-A / Project 955A class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Generalissimus Suvorov joined the Pacific Fleet. It was set to be stationed at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky naval base sometime during 2023.

On the same day, Alexandrit / Project 12700 class minesweeper Anatoly Shlemov also joined the Pacific Fleet.

 

Overseas

The al-Jarrah air base in northern Syria was restored by Russia and the Assad regime for joint use by their air forces as of January 2023.