Center-2011 begins today

The most important event of the Russian military’s annual training calendar begins today. Major fall exercises have a long history in the Russian military, but in recent years they have begun to attract more and more publicity. In large part, this is because top military commanders have sought to publicize them to a greater extent […]

The Russian military’s manpower problem

The greatest failures of Russian military reform over the last two years have been in the realm of manpower and staffing. Policy in this area has been wildly inconsistent and has shown no sign of either prior planning or strategic thinking during the reform process. I’ll focus here on just one aspect — the continuing […]

Valdai Club 3: Touring the Don-2N Radar Facility

On May 26, we were taken to the Don-2N radar facility in Sofrino, about a 2 hour drive northeast of Moscow. We were taken around the station by Major General Vladimir Derkach, the Chief of Staff and First Deputy Commander of the Russian Space Forces. After the obligatory tea, the first stop, of course, was […]

Armed Forces of Central Asia and the Regional Threat Situation

In the most recent issue of NVO, Aleksandr Khramchikhin has a very useful description of the forces located in Russia’s Central Operational Strategic Command. This is in the context of an article examining the total array of forces located in or near Central Asia, including Kazakh, Uzbek, Pakistani, and Chinese forces in the region. I […]

The Politics of History in the Former Soviet Union: Editor’s Introduction

This issue of Russian Politics and Law continues the discussion of historical politics that was begun in the previous issue. The articles presented here show how processes similar to those that have occurred in Russia are taking place in other former Soviet states—including Estonia, Ukraine, and the countries of Central Asia.

Ground Forces Structure and Locations: Part 1

This post is in part for my own reference, but I thought it might be useful for others as well. What follows is, as best I can determine, the location of all the the ground forces units. Specific locations are listed where ever I can find them. This is based on the old military district […]

Center–Periphery Relations After Ten Years of Centralization

In the 1990s the dominant paradigm that governed studies of center- periphery relations in Russia focused on the weakness of the central state and the perception that it might result in the breakup of the Russian Federation, much as state weakness in the late Gorbachev period led to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Then Vladimir Putin became president and […]


For contributions (interviews, statements and articles), please contact me at gorenbur AT Articles Russia Matters, April 23, 2019, “How Much Did Orthodox Church Help Revive Russia’s Military and Nuclear Complex?” (Review of Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy by Dima Adamsky) Washington Post, The Monkey Cage, November 28, 2018, “Russia and Ukraine had a short naval battle. […]