Russian peacekeeping units will appear in 2021 in each district. By the end of 2020, a new organizational structure and its number will be approved, sources in the defense department told Izvestia. The general parameters have already been determined, and now the technical details are being worked out. It is assumed that more units of the Russian army will receive special training for humanitarian missions. Experts note that they can be deployed in conflict zones much faster than UN contingents, which was demonstrated in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Expanded the structure
According to Izvestia sources in the military department, the new organizational and staff structure of the peacekeeping units has already been determined. It is expected to come into force next year – only a few technical details remain to be agreed.
Well-coordinated concern: Putin praised the work of Russian peacekeepers The President held a meeting on the situation in Karabakh and took part in the APEC summit
Soon in each of the military districts (now there are four of them, from 2021 the Northern Fleet will receive the status of the fifth) one motorized rifle battalion, an aviation squadron, an engineer-engineer company and a medical detachment will begin to train peacekeeping activities. In addition, one battalion of marines in the Western, Southern and Eastern districts will fall into the category of peacekeepers, and an airborne assault battalion in the Northern Fleet.
Now the fully contractual 15th separate motorized rifle brigade of the Ground Forces (peacekeeping) and the 31st separate airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces, two battalions of the military police of the Southern Military District and a special medical unit of the Burdenko hospital specialize in performing such tasks. These are parts of constant combat readiness that can be transferred to the desired location in a matter of days.
This contingent receives additional training in performing special tasks. The military is taught English, international humanitarian law, conflict resolution, interaction with civilians, setting up checkpoints and inspecting vehicles.
The new peacekeeping units will retain their combat functions and weapons. But they will also receive additional retraining. The tasks that can be assigned to them are demonstrated at regular exercises. So, during the maneuvers of the CSTO peacekeepers “Indestructible Brotherhood – 2019” in Tajikistan, these units deployed a refugee camp in the conflict zone, organized the delivery of food, water and medicines to it by land and air. Also, in cooperation with combat aviation, the military repulsed the attacks of the militants. Then they worked out the rescue of the crew of a transport plane, conditionally shot down by the terrorists, and the liberation of the settlement occupied by the militants.
Peace Center: the structure of the peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation has been formed in Karabakh Units will be engaged in maintaining the ceasefire and resolving humanitarian issues
Russian troops took an active part in UN missions in the 1990s, recalled the former deputy secretary general of the organization, Sergei Ordzhonikidze. Then the country did not have specialized units and subunits that would constantly be trained as peacekeepers. Ordinary formations of the Airborne Forces and other troops equipped with small arms were sent abroad.
“It got to the point that the soldiers themselves repainted their helmets blue,” the diplomat recalls. – In general, then, and now, other members of the Security Council were very reluctant to discuss joint peacekeeping operations. The United States does not participate in them in principle, arguing that the American soldier cannot carry out the orders of foreign officers.
Today Russia has specialized peacekeeping units that can both conduct military operations and carry out humanitarian operations, added Sergei Ordzhonikidze. They are able to quickly arrive in the conflict area and stop it.
“The deployment of Russian peacekeeping units takes an order of magnitude less time than the UN contingents,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Izvestia. “After the decision was made in Karabakh, it took a day for our forces to be able to arrive at their destination. The UN does not have a permanent military contingent. When the Security Council decides to deploy peacekeepers, it usually indicates which countries are contributing them. Only then does planning begin, which at best takes a month. If it is urgent to put peacekeepers somewhere on the line of separation, the UN observers will be there in a few days, and the military contingent in weeks or even months. And in this sense, our peacekeepers simply have no competitors.
End civil wars
A new mission of the Russian peacekeepers has begun this year. The decision to introduce them to end the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh was agreed upon by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 9. A few hours later, the first planes with “blue helmets” went there. Fighters of the 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade quickly took positions between the warring parties and ensured the return of refugees to the region.
Humanitarian campaign: the Russian Federation has already sent more than a thousand peacekeepers to Karabakh A special interdepartmental center will be created to provide assistance to refugees and restore civilian infrastructure
Now Russian troops continue to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire conditions and the transfer of the Karabakh regions to Azerbaijan, stipulated in the agreement. They are also taking part in the demarcation of the new border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including in the disputed area, which runs through the Sotk gold mine.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the forces of our contingent have cleared 29.07 hectares of territory, 9.7 km of roads, 108 housing buildings and three social facilities, and 968 explosive objects have been found. For demining, not only sappers, but also Uran-6 engineering robots were deployed to Karabakh.
Since the 1990s, peacekeepers from Russia have been involved in resolving all conflicts in the post-Soviet space that arose after the collapse of the USSR. Until now, our contingent is in Transnistria.
In Tajikistan, the Russian military took part not only in ending the civil war and eliminating its consequences, but also helped guard the country’s long border with troubled Afghanistan.
Russian troops form the backbone of the joint peacekeeping contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization formed in 2007. It is designed to perform tasks on the territory of the countries included in this structure. But upon receiving a mandate from the Security Council, the UN can be involved in operations outside of them.