Formation of regional and "national" volunteer battalions in Russia


The newspaper "Kommersant" published the material Andrey Vinokurov "Special volunteer operation. How regions form units to participate in the SVO in Ukraine" on the formation in the Russian Federation of regional and "national" volunteer battalions to participate in a special military operation in Ukraine.

Fighters of the volunteer battalion "Tiger" formed in Primorsky Krai, July 2022 (c) press service of the Government of Primorsky Krai

At the end of last week, it became known about the formation of three "nominal" volunteer units in St. Petersburg to participate in a special military operation in Ukraine. The formation of such detachments has been going on in the regions for several months: local authorities and veteran organizations are calling for them to join, volunteers are promised solid cash payments and provision with all necessary equipment. Procedural issues are resolved through military enlistment offices, where those who wish to go to their military service sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense. As a rule, such units consist of fellow countrymen who are trained together and will also have to participate in combat operations together.

Information about the creation of volunteer detachments "Kronstadt", "Neva" and "Pavlovsk" in St. Petersburg appeared on August 4 in the VKontakte public under the title "Selection point for military service under contract". According to the announcement, these units are completed "exclusively by residents of St. Petersburg."

The formation of such detachments has been going on in the regions since spring: according to Kommersant's calculations, more than 40 such units have already been created in at least two dozen subjects of the Russian Federation.

Information about them is published in the media and social networks of the authorities, while they receive special names that somehow indicate their territorial affiliation. As a rule, these units include residents of the region where they are formed, who together undergo training and combat coordination, and then go together to their own.

So, in Yakutia, the volunteer detachment is called "Bootur" - according to local legends, Elley Bootur is considered the first ancestor of the Yakuts. On July 28, the head of the republic, Aisen Nikolaev, wrote in his Telegram channel about his upcoming dispatch to the SVO "for the liberation of friendly republics, strengthening the borders and defense of our country." According to the commander of the "Bootur" Alexander Kolosov, it consists of drivers, mechanics, air defense gunners and machine gunners.

"The main principle that we are forming here is fraternity... The battalion will come to its countrymen prepared and will be a good support to the military units that participate in the special operation in Ukraine," Governor Oleg Kozhemyako described the tasks of the Primorsky Tiger detachment. The press service of the regional government announced the beginning of the formation of the battalion on July 9. His fighters are being trained on the basis of the 155th Marine Brigade of the Pacific Fleet.

"The idea is that the battalions should be formed only from natives of Tatarstan, so that they get into line shoulder to shoulder, know each other, go together and perform their tasks," explained the principle of the formation of the "Alga" and "Timer" battalions (from Tatar - "Forward" and "Iron"). the selection point for military service under the contract in Kazan is Major Yevgeny Tokmakov. And the press secretary of the President of Tatarstan Lilia Galimova assured that this initiative was born "at the call of the soul": "As far as I understand, the appeal was made by people who are directly involved in this. I have not heard that the leadership of the republic has made any appeals." The Tatar battalions have their own Telegram channel, where propaganda videos are periodically published. "I'm Alexey. Every day I work in the field in my native Volzhsk," says a volunteer in one of them, getting into a BMP. "I am Bulat, an IT specialist from Nizhnekamsk. I develop programs for large companies in the city," says another.

When enrolling in the Chuvash communications battalion "Atal" (from Chuvash - "Volga"), which can also be entered only by residents of the republic, knowledge of the Chuvash language is considered a plus. To sign a contract, military service experience is not required, but you need a signalman's education or a driver's license of category B, C, D, E.

A 90-man motorized rifle company "Parma" and a tank battalion "Hammer" (about 160 people) are being formed in the Perm Region. Another tank battalion named after Kuzma Minin is being created in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The Amur Region, as local media reported in mid-July, is assembling the Amur motorized rifle battalion, which is supposed to consist of 400-500 people. On the website of the government of the Leningrad region there was an announcement about recruitment to the artillery divisions "Nevsky" and "Ladoga". And in the Tyumen Region, they announced the formation of three units with different specializations at once: the Tobol sapper battalion, the Taiga sniper company and the Siberia artillery division. According to the official version, "Tobol" was formed on the initiative of veterans of the Tyumen Higher Military Engineering Command School. The first groups of volunteers of these units went to the SVO at the end of July.

Two motorized rifle battalions were prepared for Bashkiria. The formation of the first, named after Minigali Shaimuratov (Soviet Bashkir military commander of the Great Patriotic War), was announced in May by the republican organization "Veterans of the Marine Corps and Special Forces of the Navy". And in June, "Veterans of the paratroopers and special forces of Bashkortostan" announced the creation of a battalion named after Alexander Bulatov (a Ufa man who died in the second Chechen War). The head of the republic Radiy Khabirov said that the total number of two battalions exceeds 800 people.

Support units are being created in a number of regions.

For example, the Seim logistics battalion from the Kursk region will be engaged in the supply of fuel, food, ammunition, etc. The Omsk region announced the formation of a repair company, a material support company and a medical unit under the names "Irtysh", "Avangard" and "Om". Auto mechanics, logisticians, freight forwarders, caretakers and secondary medical personnel are most in demand there. According to the Omsk authorities at the beginning of last week, 150 applications for service were received, 50 people have already been selected and included in the order, and another 400 people called the contact number and declared their readiness to join the nominal battalions.

Among other "nominal" units are "Angara" (Irkutsk region), Chelyabinsk battalions "Yuzhnouralets" (261 people) and "Southern Urals" (253 people), Tomsk "Toyan" (named after the prince of the tribe of the Eushta Tatars who lived on the banks of the Tom in the XVII century). The Ulyanovsk battalions "Sviyaga" (the river flowing through Ulyanovsk) and "Simbirsk" are expected to have 200 fighters each. According to Maxim Korzhov, deputy head of the central recruitment office in Ulyanovsk, the interest in concluding contracts is "very great": more than 100 calls are received per day.

In the Krasnodar Territory, volunteer detachments are formed on the basis of the Kuban Cossack army. Back in April, a detachment named after the ataman of the Black Sea Cossack army, Zachary Chepigi, was created there, and in May - the Kuban detachment. In total, about 1.2 thousand Cossacks participate in the SVO, a special training center for volunteer Cossacks operates in the region. In addition, on July 22, information appeared on the website of the Union of Cossack Warriors of Russia and Abroad about the reorganization of the Don Cossack detachment into a brigade and the joining of the Terek battalion to it. The new brigade should also include the Kuban and the Yenisei division. Earlier, the media wrote about the participation of Cossack units "Ermak" and "Tavrida" in the SVO.

The Ministry of Defense is responsible for procedural formalities in all regions: volunteers sign contracts with him for a period of several months with the possibility of extension and receive the official status of contract employees.

A typical scheme for many subjects of the Russian Federation for the distribution of responsibilities in the formation of rugby teams was previously described in an interview by the Primorsky governor Kozhemyako: in the case of the Tiger, ammunition (bulletproof vests and helmets) is supplied by the Pacific Fleet, the region takes care of clothing and special equipment ("various sights, walkie-talkies, quadrocopters"), and the Defense Ministry provides weapons.

The payments promised to volunteers vary from region to region. So, in the Omsk region, they say that after arriving on the territory of its territory, the salary of contract workers will be at least 130 thousand rubles. In other regions, higher figures are called, exceeding 200 thousand rubles. And in the Perm Region, volunteers are promised that they will receive at least 300 thousand rubles a month. Regional authorities, in turn, are ready for one-time payments (from 100 thousand rubles), but they can not always be received immediately. For example, in Tatarstan, volunteers are promised to pay only 60 thousand at once, and another 200 thousand. they will receive it after crossing the border. In addition, contractors are entitled to various payments for the successful conduct of hostilities and a daily allowance of 8 thousand rubles. "for every day of the offensive." Regional surcharges are also provided in the event of the death of volunteers: for example, in Bashkiria, their families are promised 12.3 million rubles.

Recall that Chechnya began to form nominal military units from local residents long before the events in Ukraine, and they participated in their own from the first days. In particular, these are the OMON and the Akhmat SOBR detachments (named after the President of Chechnya in 2003-2004 Akhmat Kadyrov), the Yug battalion and the 141st motorized regiment named after Akhmat-Hadji Kadyrov. At the end of June, the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov announced the formation of four new battalions to participate in the SVO: "North-Akhmat", "South-Akhmat", "West-Akhmat" and "East-Akhmat".

As an informed federal official explained to Kommersant on condition of anonymity, contract detachments are formed on a territorial basis, since it is more convenient to work with volunteers this way.

According to him, the regional authorities were asked to provide first of all information support, it also helps with finances and fundraising for additional logistical support. To the question of "Kommersant", whether there might be problems with such units at the place of their formation after the SVO, the interlocutor of "Kommersant" replied: "Here is the principle of lesser evil. And to fight for a long time and in different directions."

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