In case of full-scale war, power will be handed over to commanders of military regions
In time of the war, governors, regional governments, autonomous republics and important cities, regional internal affairs offices, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Federal Security Service, the as well as certain units of the Russian Guard will be controlled by regional military commanders under the Russian Defense Ministry. The new systems of military administration were first inspected during recent exercises in the Caucasus, reports Izvestia.
“During the Caucasus-2016 strategic command-and-staff exercises of the Russian Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry tested the efficacy of military regional commands” - according to a high-ranking source in the Defense Department. “Cooperation with local governments was one of the major elements of the exercise, which overall was successful.”
Currently, changes to legislation are being drafted to allow a military emergency regime to be maintained, for the mobilization of citizens, businesses and factories, and defense (protection of industrial, military and social facilities from hostile diversions, and prevention of social disorder).
Previously, in the event of war, each regional department and local government were only responsible for their own specific tasks, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense . Now all power will be exercised by the military, who will organize and direct the activity of local authorities and law enforcements agencies.
According to Izvestia, the leadership of the Russian Defense Department was satisfied with the command and-staff exercises of local governments and governors of the Stavropol Region, Ingushetia, Crimea and Sevastopol.
In time of war, each of the five military regions will be divided into two parts – Operations And Strategic Command, and War-Time Military Command. The first oversees regiments, divisions, brigades and armies, and conducts military actions. A War-Time Military Command will direct the military emergency regime, organize mobilization and territorial defense.
Each military region also directs defense staff, which includes all local governments. It orders staff missions, controls their work, and responds to unexpected situations. The new military structure is based on “The defense plan of the Russian Federation for 2016-2020”, of November 2015 in which President Putin ordered ministries and departments to prepare the necessary documents.
As several high-ranking officials told Izvestia, the Ministry of Defense will be charged with all nineteen activities stipulated in Article 7 of the Federal Constitution Law On Military Emergencies, aimed at repelling or preventing any aggression against the Russian Federation. Besides mobilization and recall, these activities include maintaining public order and security, special operational procedures for industry and transport, seizure of property from organizations and citizens for national defense, suspension of political activities, propaganda and information.
“Previously, these nineteen sectors were divided between federal and local governments,” - military expert Vladislav Shulga told Izvestia. “But there was no overall coordination either for peacetime or wartime. Now the regional military command will plan in advance for a wartime regime under its direction.
Comment: These changes are logical, taking into account the need for massive military exercises, civil defense inspections and inventory of bomb shelters. Apparently, the authorities do not rule out a major war involving Russia. So far, inspections and preparations are aimed at a hypothetical scenario of military confrontation with the US and NATO, in which case Russia will declare a full military emergency.
Taking history into account, we will borrow some things from the Soviet experience, adapting them to today’s realities (cybersecurity, information, control of network streams etc.). The current situation demonstrates the validity of a purely volunteer army. However, in the event of conflict with NATO, we will have to institute a draft. The professional army suffices in peace time, but must be increased by mobilization when war breaks out (governors will be personally responsible for mobilization when regional military leaders declare a state of emergency.)
Overall, serious preparation are under way. Whether they will come into play depends on the further course of the Syrian war and the war in Ukraine.
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