Russia’s Military Doctrine: Facts And Details

Military exercise at Baltic Fleet base in Kaliningrad Region

On February 5, 2010, Russia’s president approved a new military doctrine.


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A military doctrine is a theoretically substantiated and officially adopted long-term set of guidelines for the organizational development of the armed forces, use of military force and achievement of military objectives.A military doctrine is subordinate to military policy, being its chief derivative. It is the scientific and practical baseline for developing military concepts, programs, plans and other official documents that extend and elaborate on its contents.

Russia’s military doctrine defines the political, strategic and economic foundations of its military security. It is one of Russia’s main strategic planning documents and a system of officially accepted views on provisions for the country’s armed defense.

The military doctrine is aimed at identifying and addressing Russia’s main threats. It is periodically revised to take into account geopolitical changes at home and abroad.

Before 1991, Russia, being a constituent republic of the USSR, was guided by the Soviet Union’s pronouncedly defensive military doctrine that was approved in 1987. This doctrine became null and void after the USSR’s disintegration.

Russia adopted the doctrine titled “The Main Premises of the Transition-Period Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation” in 1993.

It stated that Russia had no potential adversaries. Russia committed to avoiding the use of military force for anything other than self-defense. Nuclear weapons were regarded as a political deterrent rather than a means of warfare. The “reasonable sufficiency” principle guided the policies with regard to the country’s military potential that was to be maintained at a level commensurate with existing threats. The doctrine did not mention NATO at all.


However, NATO’s expansion and its operations in Yugoslavia in 1999 necessitated a number of adjustments to the doctrine.The Russian Federation’s first comprehensive military doctrine was approved in 2000. It systematically and firmly described the contemporary military-political situation, its destabilizing factors and sources of threats, defining any buildup of forces by other states near Russia’s borders as “the main external threat.”

A new military doctrine was adopted in 2010, because the nature of threats to the country’s defense security had changed substantially in the years since its last revision.

The 2010 military doctrine is divided into four parts: Terminology and general provision; military threats and threats to Russia; the country’s military policy; military-economic support for national defense.

According to the doctrine, the likelihood of a large-scale war involving Russia has subsided, but military threats are growing in intensity in a number of sectors.

The main military threats listed in the document are the strengthening of NATO through the acceptance of new members, the deployment of anti-missile defense systems, aggravation of military-political tensions and exacerbation of interstate relations, as well as the creation of conditions for the use of military force.


The establishment and training of illegal armed groups, their operation in the Russian Federation or in the territory of its allies, are also classified as military threats to Russia. Such threats also include provocative demonstrations of military force in the form of military exercises held in states bordering Russia or its allies, intensified activities of armed forces of certain states or groups of states involving partial or full-scale mobilization and the conversion of these states” government and military command-and-control agencies to wartime operation.The doctrine is aimed at the peaceful and nonviolent prevention and settlement of crises and conflicts. Russia is prepared to defend and uphold not only its own national interests and security, but also those of its allies.

The main distinction of this doctrine from its predecessor (2000) is that it allows the country’s armed forces to be deployed outside Russia’s borders in order to defend its interests and citizens, and to maintain international peace and security. The Russian president is empowered by law to decide on the use of the armed forces outside Russia.

The military doctrine emphasizes that nuclear weapons will remain an important deterrent against large-scale and regional wars. According to the document, “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to nuclear weapons and other types of mass destruction weapons being used against it and/or its allies, as well as in the case of a conventional aggression against the Russian Federation, which jeopardizes the very existence of the state.” This language is based on the principle of “defensive nuclear containment” and does not presuppose the delivery of a “preventive” or a “preemptive” nuclear strike.

According to the military doctrine, the main priorities for the development of the armed forces are the improvement of its air defense system and the creation of an aerospace defense system. Other priorities include improving the image of military service and better preparing Russian citizens for military service.The country’s focus on defense-related military-economic efforts is possible because of the high level of financial and material-technical support given to the military to meet its targets.

A separate section of the doctrine is dedicated to the country’s military-industrial complex and yet another section concentrates on the Russian military’s political and technical cooperation with foreign states.

According to the doctrine, its provisions may be adjusted to take into account changes in the nature of military threats, military security and defense operations, and the state of the country’s development.

The military doctrine was amended in 2014, when new threats emerged, specifically NATO’s expansion in the direction of Russia’s borders and its plans to develop a global missile defense system and deploy strategic weapons in outer space.

On December 26, 2014, the Russian president endorsed the updated military doctrine.


Its main provisions remain the same, but there are new clauses on securing Russia’s interests in the Arctic and on allied relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The new aspects of the military doctrine include defining operations by foreign private military companies in the vicinity of Russia’s borders as an external threat. The same applies to regimes established in neighboring states, whose policies threaten Russia’s interests, and to the subversive activities of foreign intelligence agencies or their coalitions against Russia.The document notes that military is facing more domestic dangers and threats and is increasingly dealing with cyberwarfare threats.

Russia regards expanding the range of its partner states, including members of BRICS (a new element in the doctrine), CSTO, CIS, OSCE and SCO, as a move that will help to contain and prevent military conflicts.

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How the naval mine gave St. Petersburg breathing space

January 1, 2015 Alexander Vershinin, specially for RIR
In the Crimean War of 1854-55, with Anglo-French naval forces massing against Russia and threatening the capital St. Petersburg, the Russians came up with an ingenious way of protecting the Baltic port, becoming the first in the modern era to employ floating mines.
How the naval mine gave St. Petersburg breathing space
    Russia’s Navy prepares for practical training in laying of mines in 1912. Source: Open source

It is the year 1854. Russia is locked in conflict with a strong coalition of European countries and comes under pressure across the length and breadth of its territory.In Crimea, Sevastopol comes under heavy siege, while Anglo-French forces attempt to storm Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Far East and bombard the northern port of Arkhangelsk.

The capital St. Petersburg will be next – unless the Tsar’s overstretched fleet can throw up an effective defensive shield around Russia’s “Window to Europe”.

As the threat grows from a powerful British naval squadron, a German-born physicist working with the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moritz Hermann von Jacobi, receives orders from the top to prepare a new secret weapon.

While early forms of naval mines had been used by the Chinese since ancient times, this weapon only became known in Europe in the 16th-17th centuries. But the main drawback with early prototypes was their indiscriminate destruction of any vessel once set, friendly forces included.

Moritz Hermann von Jacobi. Source:

Russian engineers hit on the solution in the early 19th century when they fitted mines with electric detonators, using two simple contacts hooked up to a power source on land. The contacts connected as a ship passed and the flowing volts would trigger the explosive charge.

Jacobi also equipped his mines with iron detonator cylinders housed in a wooden cask 28 inches cm tall and 20 inches wide, containing 22-33 lbs of gunpowder. However, the first use of such mines showed that the rudimentary design caused the gunpowder to grow damp.

The engineer subsequently modified the mine housing, adding an additional protective layer of copper and increasing the explosive charge to 55 lbs of powder.

Mine-laying in the Baltic Sea by St. Petersburg began in April 1854 with the placement of 100 units between two artillery emplacements that protected the city, separated by a mile of open water.

The number of charges in this first ever combined mine and artillery screen was increased in June 1855. In little more than a year the entire eastern part of the Gulf of Finland was set with almost 2,000 mines, 500 of which were built to Jacobi’s design and another 1,500 under a similar project by Immanuel Nobel, son of the Swedish engineer Alfred Nobel.

Setting the Nobel mines under the city of Kronstadt. Drawn by E. Nobel. Source: Open source

Four British ships hit mines, but due to the small explosive charge, none were seriously damaged. The mines still did their job, however, keeping the enemy at a good distance from St Petersburg.

The commander of the British squadron reported to London the difficulties posed by “infernal devices” on the port’s approaches.

During the Crimean War mines also protected Russian ports in Finland, the mouth of the River Dvina near Arkhangelsk, and the Dnieper Bay in the Black Sea and the Danube delta – a total of 3,000 devices that helped to redress the balance of power between the opposing fleets.

Drawn by Natalia Mikhaylenko. Click to view the infographics.

Mine design was continually improved until the end of the 19th century, demonstrated by increasing explosive power and buoyancy, as well as the navy’s technical ability to place them at the desired depth.

In the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, the Black Sea Fleet’s mining activity virtually paralyzed the activity of Turkish warships.

Mines were also used to great effect in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese war, employing the new technique of dropping them from conveyor belts mounted on small boats. Each charge held 120 lbs of explosives, which was enough to send the largest ships of the time to the seabed.

The Russian forces laid more than 4,000 mines during the war, destroying 13 Japanese ships, including two battleships.

Like the British and French in the Crimean War, the Germans enjoyed overwhelming superiority at sea in the First World War. The only way to protect St. Petersburg was through the unprecedented mass mining of the Baltic Sea, where 35,000 mines were laid over three years.

The naval command devised some ingenious ruses to protect the mining fleet. In November 1914, mine layers disguised as conventional light cruisers blocked the sea lanes off the coast of Sweden with mines.

Involving the construction of a decoy third smokestack on the vessels to replicate a cruiser’s silhouette, the deception deterred enemy forces from pursuing what they took for much faster vessels.

The Germans’ underestimation of the Russian mining work cost them dearly: In November 1916, the German squadron of 11 destroyers lost seven vessels to mine strikes.

But Britain, the pace-setter in most naval matters, better appreciated Russian skills in mine warfare, and requested that Russia send experts and technology to Britain.

Meanwhile, the Russian fleet coped brilliantly with the task of protecting St. Petersburg, preventing a single enemy ship from reaching the city throughout the war.

Alexander Vershinin is an historian and holds a Ph.D in History. He is a senior researcher at the Governance and Problem Analysis Center in Moscow.

Russian Tu-160 Bomber Excels US B1 Lancer

26.12.2014   Siberian Insider

Photo from

Upgraded Russian supersonic strategic bomber Tu-160 (NATO classification – Blackjack), which was considered the fastest missile carrier of the XXI century before improvement, with the new electronic systems receives even greater superiority in the sky and finds new advantages over American bomber B1 Lancer, Inquisitr writes.

Developed in the Soviet era, the Tu-160 has become a real pride of the Air Forces of the USSR.Upgraded bomber has the latest radar system and electronic warfare system with ultra-modern elements of guidance and control, which allows to hit targets with a high degree of accuracy in any weather and at any time of the day. Also by 2016, the Tu-160 is going to be equipped with upgraded engines such as NK-32. Thereafter, the aircraft will be capable of speeds of more 2.4 thousand kilometers (1.5 thousand miles) per hour, the newspaper notes.

Winston Churchill wanted to nuke Kremlin ‘to win Cold War,’ FBI memo reveals


The Yalta (Crimea) Conference of Allied leaders (February 4-11, 1945). First row, sitting: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and U.S.S.R. Marshal Josef Stalin before a meeting. (RIA Novosti)

The Yalta (Crimea) Conference of Allied leaders (February 4-11, 1945). First row, sitting: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and U.S.S.R. Marshal Josef Stalin before a meeting. (RIA Novosti)

A secret memo from the FBI’s archives has revealed that Britain’s Winston Churchill once urged the US to drop an atomic bomb to “wipe out” the Kremlin. He reportedly thought it was the only remedy against the spread of communism to the west.

Churchill, Britain’s prime minister during World War II and again during the Cold War 1950s, made his views known to a visiting American politician in 1947, The Daily Mail reported in a preview of a new book, “When Lions Roar: The Churchills and The Kennedys” by investigative journalist Thomas Maier. The book containing the secret FBI memo is to be published next month.

Britain and the Soviet Union had been allies during WW2. However, according to the memo written by an FBI agent, Churchill asked a Right-wing Republican senator, Styles Bridges, to help persuade then-President Harry Truman to launch a nuclear attack which would make the former USSR easy to deal with.

The FBI memo claims Churchill insisted that the “only salvation for the civilization of the world would be if the President of the United States would declare Russia to be imperiling world peace and attack Russia.”

The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb in 1949, much to the surprise to the United States, which was apparently unaware that the Soviet Union possessed nuclear weapons.

Britain’s wartime leader allegedly pledged that if an atomic bomb could be dropped on the Kremlin, “wiping it out,” it would be “a very easy problem to handle the balance of Russia, which would be without direction.”

Churchill, who served as British PM twice, from 1940-45 and 1951-55, warned that if this was not done, Russia would attack America within “the next two or three years, when she gets the atomic bomb and civilization will be wiped out or set back many years.”

Duma plans to revise Soviet appraisal of military conflict in Afghanistan


December 24, MOSCOW
“Time has come to give a fair assessment of the Afghan war which should necessarily be endorsed on a official level,” chairman of the Russian Union of Veterans of the Afghan War said

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. The Russian Union of Veterans of the Afghan War (RSV) has suggested that the Russian parliament should revise a resolution, adopted at a Congress of deputies of the former Soviet parliament 25 years ago, which gave its appraisal of the Afghan war as “detrimental to this country both in political and moral aspects.”

RSV Chairman Franz Klintsevich has suggested that the Afghan conflict should be given a new, fair assessment at an official level. Klintsevich is a deputy of the State Duma and represents the United Russia faction, which put forward a corresponding initiative. Klintsevich is a member of the Duma Committee on Defense.

“Time has come to give a fair assessment of the Afghan war which should necessarily be endorsed on a official level. This is our sacred duty to all those who perished on the Afghan land,” Klintsevich told journalists on Wednesday. The Duma might pass a corresponding resolution to this effect by February 15 timed to coincide with the date when the last Soviet soldier left the Afghan soil in February 1989,” the MP said.

The Russian-Afghan war continued from 1979 until 1989. The former Soviet top political structure — the Politbureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, passed a resolution to send Soviet troops to Afghanistan in December 1979. An officially declared purpose of the deployment of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan was “to prevent a threat of foreign military invasion.” As a matter of fact, the Soviet troops were dragged into a large-scale military conflict. The withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan began in May, 1988.

The Soviet Union lost 15,000 servicemen, and 53,000 more servicemen were wounded in the Afghan war.

Filatov: production of “rocket train” rail-mobile missile system will resume soon

15.12.2014   Siberian Insider

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The development of the military railway missile system (rail-mobile missile system) in the near future will resume, said on the first day of the weekend, the Deputy commander of the strategic Missile forces to work with the personnel Andrey Filatov.

Rail-mobile missile system is unique in its own way missile system, which could go on a combat patrol routes 1, 5 thousand kilometers from the place of permanent deployment and duty offline for several months. The main developer of the complex in the Soviet times was the design Bureau ” southern ” in Ukraine.

“In the near future changes in the materialization of this idea will happen. I can say that we should wait. I think that this idea will be implemented in the near future, ” said Filatov on the air of radio station “Echo of Moscow”.

Russia Restored Rare Aircrafts


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“Russian aviation company” is preparing to fly the legendary route “Alaska-Siberia”. During the Great Patriotic War the US supplied the USSR herewith lend-lease. Memorable event is timed to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. To this date the re-enactors of the company also plan to restore a number of vintage aircraft. The project was approved in the Federal Air Transport Agency and the Defense Ministry of Russia.

One of the aircraft, which will be restored – a Soviet MiG-3, called by fascists “air tank”. The plane was shot down in a dogfight near Murmansk in September 1941. He made a hard landing and miraculously remained virtually intact.

Rare aircrafts will make a flight from the USA to Russia by Krasnoyarsk airway “AlSib” in 2015.