North Caucasus Military District

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North Caucasus Military District
Северо-Кавказский военный округ
Northcaucasus md emb.png
North Caucasus Military District Coat of Arms
Founded May 4, 1918
Country  Soviet Union (1918 - 1991)
Russia Russian Federation (1991 - 1 Sept 2010)
Branch Russian Ground Forces
Type Military district
Part of Ministry of Defence
Headquarters Rostov-on-Don
Decorations Order of Red Banner.png
Order of the Red Banner
Anatoly Kvashnin

The North Caucasus Military District was a military district of the Russian Armed Forces, which became in 2010 the Southern Military District and lately also included the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla.

It comprised the Republic of Adygeya, the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Karachay–Cherkess Republic, the Republic of North Osetia-Alaniya, the Chechen Republic, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Rostov oblasts. It has the same borders as the Southern Federal District. Its last commander was Lieutenant General Alexander Galkin, appointed from January 2010.


The District was originally established on 4 May 1918, and reorganised as a field formation during the Russian Civil War. The First Cavalry Army was formed in the District in November 1919.[1] The District was reformed in the early 1920s with its headquarters at Rostov. Kliment Voroshilov was made district commander. During the 1920s and 1930s the District became home to many training establishments, which were to multiply greatly during World War II.

The 23rd Rifle Division was reported to have formed in the district prior to August 1932.[2]

In June 1941 the district's first line troops comprised the 64th Rifle Corps commanded by Major General A.D. Kuleshov with the 165th and 175th Rifle Divisions, the 26th Mechanised Corps with the 52nd and 56th Tank Divisions and the 203rd Mechanised Division, the 28th Mountain Rifle Division, and the 157th Rifle Division.[3] The 19th Army was formed in the District in May–June 1941 under former district commander Ivan Konev and was engaged against the Germans from the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. 50th and 53rd Cavalry Divisions were also formed here, joining the Soviet Western Front.

Later the District became the site of the battles around Rostov in November 1941 where the Germans suffered defeat, and the Battle of Stalingrad, which has been described as the most ferocious battle to date. Following the conclusion of the Battle of the Caucasus, the North Caucasian Front and the headquarters of the 56th Army were disbanded in accordance with a Supreme Command directive of the 20 November 1943. The Separate Coastal Army was formed, for the second time, on their base.

North Caucasus Military District Map

Immediately following the war, to demobilise the force, on 9 July 1945 the territory was split into three military districts: Donskoy, Stavropolsky, and Kubansky. The Donskoy Military District was located in the territory of the Rostov, Stalingrad, and Astrakhan Oblasts, the Stavropol military district consisted of Stavropol Krai, Grozny Oblast, Kabardino-Balkar ASSR, and North Ossetian ASSR, and the Kuban Military District comprised the territory of Krasnodar Krai (formed by the headquarters of the 60th Army). The Kuban Military District comprised the 29th Rifle Corps (73, 102nd Rifle Division and 217th Rifle Divisions), as well as the 9th Rifle Division.[4] By summer 1946 the 29th Rifle Corps had been reduced to commanding the 8th, 9th, and 39th Independent Rifle Brigades. They were reexpanded into divisions in 1951. The staff of the Donskoy Military District was located in Rostov-on-Don, and was considered the heir of the traditions of the North Caucasus Military District. Among the formations in the Don Military District was the 6th Rifle Corps, which had arrived from Latvia in 1945. In early 1946 its three rifle divisions were reduced to separate rifle brigades (the 15th, 18th, and 46th, though the 15th disbanded in 1947).

In 1946 the Donskoy Military District was renamed again as the North Caucasian MD. The official Russian military website notes the work of the soldiers of the district in helping repair the ravages of the war.

The important Kapustin Yar test range was created in the District following the war.

In 1955 the district's forces included the 6th Rifle Corps (68th Mechanised Division and 372nd, soon to become 68th, Rifle Division). Other forces included the 29th Rifle Corps, 9th Rifle, 19th Rifle, 24th Guards Rifle, 46th Rifle, and 73rd Mountain Rifle Division, and the 1st Guards Tank Division.[5]

In 1957 the 12th Rifle Corps became the 12th Army Corps (Soviet Union). At the time it controlled the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division and the 92nd Motor Rifle Division (Ordzhonikidze, Severo-Osetinskaya ASSR), which became the 19th MRD in 1964. In 1957 the 29th Rifle Corps became the 29th Army Corps, but nine years later it was moved to Belogorsk, Amur Oblast, in the Far East Military District.[6]

The District was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1968.

In 1974 the 14th Tank Division was established at Novocherkassk, to replace the 51st Tank Division which was moving to Mongolia.[7]

In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the District's HQ address as Rostov-na-Donu 18, Ulitsa Tekucheva, Dom 135.

In 1980 the 12th Army Corps controlled the 9th Motor Rifle Division (Maykop), the 156th Motor Rifle Division (mobilisation) (Novorossiysk), and the 113th Motor Rifle Division (mobilisation) at Goryachiy Klyuch, Krasnodar Krai. The 113th Motor Rifle Division was formed in 1978, and in 1981 moved to Molkino, Krasnodar Krai.[8] The same year, the 34th Army Corps controlled the 82nd Motor Rifle Division (Volvograd) and 197th Motor Rifle Division (Uryupinsk).

Commanders 1945-2010

Post 1989

In 1989, the 14th Tank Division was transferred to the MVD, and retitled as the 100th Motorised Division for Special Use MVD.[7]

The official website underlines the importance of the District as a border formation with the task of securing the southern boundary of the Russian Federation. The first conflict the District became involved in in the post Soviet period was the attempted secession of South Ossetia from Georgia to join North Ossetia, which is a federal subject of the Russian Federation. Soldiers from the District became involved in protecting installation in Vladikavkaz from irregular fighters in late 1992.

In 1990, there were three army corps in the district. The 42nd Army Corps at Vladikavkaz commanded the 19th Motor Rifle Division, the 12th Army Corps at Krasnodar, briefly to become the 49th Army, commanded the 9th MRD, and the 34th Army Corps at Volgograd commanded the 82nd Motor Rifle Division. Units directly under district command included the 110th Artillery Division at Buynaksk, a training division at Groznyy, one SSM, one SAM, one artillery, and one pipeline brigade. There were also reserve (no equipment) units : an artillery brigade, an anti-tank brigade, and a SAM brigade.(Duncan JIR 1996) The 58th Army's creation was announced on April 26, 1995; previously there had only been corps headquarters in the District (and the 58th was formed from the previous 42nd Army Corps headquarters).[11]

In 2006 the District included the 42nd Motor Rifle Division at Khankala, in the environs of Grozny in Chechniya, the 20th "Prikarpatsko-Berlinskaya" Guards Motor Rifle Division (which may have absorbed the 56th Guards Separate Air Assault Brigade), the 33rd Separate Motor Rifle Regiment (Volgograd), the 131st Motor Rifle Brigade (Maykop - former 9 MRD), the 58th Army (headquarters at Vladikavkaz) with the 19th Motor Rifle Division, 136th "Umansko-Berlinskaya" Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, and other brigades and regiments, the 4th Air Army, the Transcaucasus Group of Forces,[citation needed] the Caspian Flotilla,[citation needed] and other formations and units. These other formations and units included the newly forming 33rd and 34th Separate Motor Rifle Brigades (Mountain).[12]

The District has been the primary Russian military formation responsible for managing the Chechen conflict throughout the First and Second Chechen Wars. Insurgent activity slowly decreased in the early 2000s. Twenty-six soldiers won the star of the Hero of the Russian Federation in the first war, and 43 in the second.

Today the Armed Forces do not have the primary role in directing the anti-terrorist effort in the North Caucasus region. The Regional Operational Headquarters (ROSh), chaired by the Deputy Director FSB RF (Head of the department for protection of the constitutional structure and the campaign against terrorism) directs and conducts the counter-terrorist operation.[13] Subordinated to it is the Combined Grouping of Troops (OGV) in the North Caucasus drawing on the Armed Forces, the Interior Troops, the FSB, and other agencies.

During the 2008 South Ossetia War, troops from this MD were involved in combat operations in South Ossetia and inside Georgian territory.

The Southern Military District was formed on October 22, 2010,[14] and the North Caucasus Military District was disbanded. Lieutenant General Alexander Galkin took command of the Southern Military District.

Subordinate Units

Structure and units of the North Caucasus Military District 2010

Order of the Red Star North Caucasus Military District 2010:

  • Combat formations:[15][16]
    • 8th Guards Independent (Mountain) Motor-Rifle Brigade "Shavlinskayy", in Borzoy equipped with BMP
    • 10th Independent Spetsnaz Brigade, in Molkino
    • 17th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Shali equipped with MT-LBV
    • 18th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Khankala and Kalininskaya equipped with BTR
    • 19th Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade "Voronezh-Shumlinskaya", in Vladikavkaz
    • 20th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade "Carpathian-Berlin", in Volgograd equipped with BMP
    • 22nd Guards Independent Spetsnaz Brigade, in Bataysk
    • 33rd Independent (Mountain) Reconnaissance Brigade, in Botlikh equipped with MT-LBV
    • 34th Independent (Mountain) Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Zelenchukskaya equipped with MT-LBV
    • 56th Guards Independent Airborne Brigade, in Kamyshin
    • 100th Independent (Experimental) Reconnaissance Brigade, recently formed in Mozdok[17]
    • 136th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade "Uman-Berlin", in Buynaksk equipped with BMP
    • 205th Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Budyonnovsk equipped with MT-LBV
    • 4th Guards Military Base "Vapnyarsko-Berlin", in South Ossetia
    • 7th Military Base "Krasnodar", in Abkhazia
    • 102nd Red Order Military Base, based in Armenia
      • 73rd Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Yerevan
      • 76th Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, in Gyumri
  • Missile and Artillery formations:
    • 1st Guards Missile Brigade "Orsha", in Krasnodar
    • 291st Artillery Brigade, in Maykop
    • 439th Guards MLRS Brigade "Perekop", in Znamensk
    • 943rd Multiple Rocket Launcher Regiment, in Maykop
    • 7016th Artillery Reserve Base, in Maykop
    • 573rd Independent Artillery Reconnaissance Battalion
  • Air defence formations:
    • 67th Air-defence Missile Brigade, in Volgograd equipped with the Buk missile system
    • 1138th Air-defence Command Center
  • Radar formations:
    • 131st Independent Radio-technical Brigade, in Rostov-on-Don
    • 48th Independent Radio-Technical Battalion, in Vladikavkaz
  • Engineering formations:
    • 11th Engineer Regiment, in Prokhladny
    • 57th Independent Engineer Battalion
  • NBC-defence formations:
    • 118th Independent NBC-defence Battalion, in Frolovo
    • 860th Independent Flamethrower Battalion, in Oktyabrsky
  • Signal formations:
    • 175th (Communications Hub) Signal Brigade "Luninetsko-Lipskaya"
    • 176th (Territorial) Signal Brigade
    • 234th Independent Signal Regiment
    • 148th Independent (Rear) Signal Battalion
    • 395th Independent Signal Battalion
    • 97th Independent Electronic Warfare Battalion, in Vladikavkaz
    • 1270th Independent Electronic Warfare Center, in Kovalevka
  • Other formations:

7th Guards (Mountain) Airborne Division, in Novorossiysk (under command of the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) Command in Moscow)

  • 108th Guards Airborne Regiment, in Novorossiysk
  • 247th Guards Air-Assault Regiment "Caucasian Cossacks", in Stavropol
  • 1141st Guards Artillery Regiment, in Anapa


  1. Russian Ministry of Defence,History of the North Caucasus Military District,, accessed August 17, 2007
  2. Poirer and Connor
  3. Niehorster, Order of Battle June 1941
  4. Feskov et al 2013, 516-517.
  5. Feskov,, V.I.; K.A. Kalashnikov; V.I. Golikov (2004). The Soviet Army in the Years of the 'Cold War' (1945-1991). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. p. 49. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Holm, 35th Combined Arms Army, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1
  8. Michael Holm,
  9. Feskov,, V.I.; K.A. Kalashnikov; V.I. Golikov (2004). The Soviet Army in the Years of the 'Cold War' (1945-1991). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. [1], accessed January 2008. Trofimenko was a former commander of the Central Asian MD (pre 1941), the 7th Army (Soviet Union), and the Belarussian Military District.
  11. — creation of 58th Army
  12. Jamestown Foundation, Putin's Order on Mountain Brigades Results in Competing Forces
  13. C.W. Blandy, Advent of Mountain Brigades, Conflict Studies Research Centre, November 2007
  17. 100th Experimental Reconnaissance Brigade - see


  • Scott, Harriet and William F. Russian Military Directory, 2002
  • Scott; Harriet and William F. (1979). The Armed Forces of the USSR. Boulder: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-89158-276-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>