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Eyes west! A shift in focus in Russia’s Southern Military District. OSW COMMENTARY 2020-09-08.

Wilk, Andrzej (2020) Eyes west! A shift in focus in Russia’s Southern Military District. OSW COMMENTARY 2020-09-08. UNSPECIFIED.

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    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Southern Military District (SMD), which is the smallest of all the main administrative units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in terms of landmass, has been one of the most powerful districts and one of those playing the greatest roles in the armed conflicts in which Russia is engaged. In the two Chechen wars and the strike against Georgia in 2008, it bore the main brunt, and at present currently, along with the Black Sea Fleet (which is under its command), it bears the main responsibility for operations against Ukraine and for the military operation in Syria. Until the mid-2010s, the natural theatre for operations and area of SMD military activity was: the Caucasus, Turkey, the Middle East, and Iran. The conflict with Ukraine caused the SMD’s centre of gravity to shift to regions directly bordering Ukraine and occupied Crimea. The changes to the structure and the twofold increase in the SMD’s capability observed since that time show that the southern direction is no longer a priority. Examples of this increase include: the forming of the new 8th Army (A) on the Ukraine border and expansion of the group in Crimea. The vast majority of SMD units are currently preparing for operations in the western direction. Ukraine has become the main target, but if a conflict should break out on NATO’s eastern flank, the SMD’s task would be to provide direct support for operations in Central Europe.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level > subnational/regional/territorial
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 10:47
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 10:47

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