Extraordinary Trainings Expected

By Daniil Rozanov

The CSTO gives higher priority to the trainings of the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (KSOR) in Armenia in 2012. This was declared during the press-conference in Yerevan by the Vice General Secretary of the Organization Valery Semerikov.

These shall not be ordinary trainings, as they are dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and 10th anniversary of the CSTO establishment. They shall involve total force block, military police, Ministries of Emergencies, special units.

A large group of employees of the Secretariat and the United CSTO Headquarters stay in Yerevan to arrange the trainings. Also holding of joint trainings which is however yet is an idea and no practical steps have been made in this direction.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization was founded on the ground of the Collective Security Treaty (CST) signed on May 15th of 1992 by the CIS states. The CSTO includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Yet in February of 2009 then Chairman of the Organization Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promised that collective forces of the CSTO shall be equipped with the most modern facilities and with its potential “they shall be not worse that the forces of North-Atlantic Alliance”. And nothing has been done in practice. Mostly as certain states had no documents defining legal status of national contingents included into KSOR.

The Collective Rapid Reaction Forces Treaty of the Collective Security Treaty Organization was ratified by the deputies of Belarusian Parliament on May 26th 2010. Main tasks of the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces were defined in this document as follows: participation in prevention and repelling the attacks, including aggression against the CSTO states, localization of armed conflicts, fighting international terrorism, drugs traffic, illegal turnover of weapon and munitions, other types of transnational organized crime. As well as enhancement of troops covering state borders and securing state and military facilities.

Corresponding units of KSOR shall be engaged within events on protection of population from the consequences of military actions, emergencies liquidation, provision of extraordinary humanitarian aid.

There is no need to prove the thesis that the specifics of KSOR tasks defines the content and variations of armament, and military facilities. The demand of each country in military possessions is defined grounding on the quantity of contingent provided for KSOR.

Particularly Belarus suggests providing for the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces of the CSTO more than 2 thousand people. Including a unit of Armed forced (about 2 thousand people), special Rapid Reaction Troop from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (80 people), officers of Anti-terror Center and a part of “A” troop from KGB (up to 30 people), units of Republican Special Actions Forces of the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus (about 30 people).

As for definite units, then according to some information, for example, Belarus delegates into KSOR the 5th special operations squadron of the Armed Forces, dislocated in Marjina Gorka (Minsk region), the anti-terror KGB unit “Alpha”, a special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs “Almaz”. Thus, as experts consider, Belarus together Russia and Kazakhstan shall become one of the key KSOR member-states.

According to Russian sources, Moscow provided for KSOR grouping the airborne division (supposedly the 98th Division of Guards) and the assault combat brigade (in Mass Media it is called the 31st ACB) – totally about 8 thousand of military men.  Russia also can involve into KSOR a special operations police troop “Zubr”, a special operations police troop “Rys’” and the Ministry of Emergencies troop “Leader”.

Kazakhstan shall be represented in KSOR by an assault combat brigade (up to 4 thousand people) and three troops, formed from the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergencies and bodies of state security. Armenia, Tajikistan and Kirgizia have limited with engagement of individual squadrons. Initially Bishkek was going to send for KSOR also special rapid reaction troop of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but after recent change of power this issue was “frozen”. Uzbekistan has refused to participate within the establishment of KSOR at all.

Thus suggested total quantity of KSOR contingent was defined as 15-20 thousand people who shall be supplied with technical means and options for mobile transportation into any place within the CSTO responsibility area. As for armament and equipage, means of connection and intelligence, then KSOR fighters for peacekeeping missions should be equipped and armed as minimum in accordance with the UNO standards.

However current economic situation forces doubting that most CSTO member-states are able to solve this task independently. In theory only Russia is able to do this. The reason for such doubts is insufficient financing of planned transformations in the CSTO armies, programs of development, production and purchase of new armament, as well as modernization of the ones in possession.

Russia has constantly increased its military budget in recent years. Most independent military analysts agree that these funds are spent extremely ineffectively, and Russian military-industrial complex today is simple not able to assure its armed forces with enough modern armament and combat equipment. And it is not talking about the allies.

The most significant thing lacks to assure the performance of troops (omitting satellites, unmanned vehicles, military electronics and other exotics). For example in order to transport its “mobile” brigades into the place of destination by the definite time armed forces of the Russian Federation have no sufficient transportation vehicles. First of all heavy military transport aircrafts and helicopters, which are able to transport armored and other heavy-weight means.

Consequently, it took almost five days for brigades from not far Moscow military command to get for example to the Union’s Belarus for operative-strategic trainings “West-2009”. And Volga-Ural military command had it even longer. So what can we at all say about the raids of KSOR units to far Central Asia.