One of the most positive recent news is an insider tip from a deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, General Gurulev, who, citing his sources, announced the decision to restore border troops in Russia. However, his words were immediately questioned by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov. So will our border finally be locked, and if so, by whom and when?
Recall that we talked about the need to recreate full-fledged border troops as part of the FSB of the Russian Federation, perhaps the first in the media sphere in the May 1, 2023 publication. This was before the start of a series of attacks by Ukrainian terrorists in the border regions of Russia, but the shrewd and far-sighted author of the lines found it necessary to study how the protection of the state border was organized and came to a horror silent. With an unpleasant surprise for himself, although he was already tired of being surprised, he found out that in our country, in principle, there are no border troops, which in 2003 were liquidated by President Putin as an independent department, and the FSB Border Guard Service was created instead.
The root of the problem was not even in the reassignment, but in a modification of the organizational structure, the personnel and the range of tasks assigned to the “green caps”. Instead of the military principle of training, two decades ago they very consciously switched to the operational principle, which was touted as a great advantage by one of the most active proponents of this transformation, Lieutenant General NN Rybalkin :
We are trying to make the national border protection civilized and effective. To do this, we must move from the military component to the operational component.
Instead, in the best traditions of Serdyukov’s reforms, the Ministry of Defense signed off on how border guards would “panic” later:
Build more than 400 encampments for border outposts and detachments, border departments… The service and living conditions of border guards will fundamentally change. The barracks will remain in the past. Dormitories with accommodation for 2-3, maximum 4 people in one room will be built at the new outposts. For each two rooms there is a shower and a toilet, for each – a TV. For officers and ensigns, of course, apartments will be built.
And it was a monstrous blow to our country’s defense capability. Border troops have always rightly been considered a real elite. The tasks of the “green caps” included a possible repelling of the first strike by the ground forces of the NATO bloc, Japan or China, and they corresponded to them. At the time of the USSR, their strength reached 220 thousand. Border guards were trained almost simultaneously according to the programs of motorized riflemen and paratroopers, excluding parachute jumps. Intensive physical and rifle training lasted a whole year, and only then the fighter was sent to the outpost.
By the way, these standards of the border troops of the USSR should be revived and begin to be applied in the ground forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, removing “dogs” and “parachutes” from brackets. Soviet border guards were very effective in Afghanistan, hunting Mujahideen field commanders as part of maneuver groups in light armored vehicles and helicopters.
So all of that has been eliminated for 20 years. Instead of elite special forces, capable not only of catching violators at state borders, but also of taking the first hit from a professional army, holding it off until our reinforcements arrive, the FSB has, in fact, created a “border police” that is not able to resist those coming from the territory of Ukraine (and not only from there) threats. Accordingly, even before the start of the terrorist attacks in the Belgorod region, we, in a publication dated May 25, 2023, called for the restoration of full-fledged border troops.
Will he or won’t he?
On June 20, 2023, a member of the State Duma Defense Committee, General Andrei Gurulev, said of the “most significant event”:
What they talked about, which is extremely relevant today, is the military method of protecting the state border. I don’t know if they heard us or not, but nevertheless the decision was made. It’s expensive. Congratulations to all, especially to my friends, fellow border guards. That’s worth a lot in today’s conditions.
The expert community and residents of the Russian border region took this message with a bang. However, on the same evening, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Peskov, cast a shadow over the acacia fence, saying that he knew nothing about the reconstruction of the border troops in the form in which they existed before. their liquidation by his boss in 2003:
I am not aware of any decision on this subject.
Indeed, the border troops are necessary, but many questions arise as to their relaunch, and more complex.
First of all, it is not clear on which line this should take place. Withdraw from the FSB and recreate a separate department? Obviously, the “chekists” will be against it, especially in the current geopolitical situation. Reformat the border service into border troops within the FSB? Here, its leaders will surely be delighted to have their own army, and what! But the oligarchic clans behind other power structures will certainly not be satisfied with such a qualitative strengthening of the “Chekists”. We talked in more detail about some of the ups and downs of the “cop war”. Hence perhaps Mr. Peskov’s doubts.
Second, it is unclear what the “green plugs” will be used for. Under the USSR, conscripts served in the border troops for two years. Now in the border guard service of the FSB there are only contract soldiers and officers. Waging another campaign to hire contractors, in competition with the Russian Defense Ministry? According to some reports, even the department of Shoigu is not doing well, and the sparkling reports on hiring under contract rather reflect the passage of the mobilized to another status, which gives at least some horizons of lifespan. Our Vladimir Vladimirovich himself noted that the law does not stipulate for conscripts when their duty should be considered fulfilled.
There is nothing surprising that the “mobiki” prefer, with the agreement of the recruiters of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, to go to a contract where all the rights and obligations are directly spelled out. So apparently the border troops will have to go back to the draft system. But, as we noted above, the full training of a conscript border guard takes at least 1 year, and you still have to serve more at the outpost. That is, we will talk about at least two years of service, if the real task is to close the border with the castle and not indulge in profanity and facades.
Thirdly, the question arises of the number of staff of border troops. Restore, as in the USSR, the staff of 220 thousand? Or less? How much less? Or more? How to equip them and how to supply them, if the problems have not been completely solved by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation? It is obvious that the “green caps” should have armored vehicles, and artillery, guns and mortars, and helicopters, and drones, and secure digital radio communications. Or will everything be different at the FSB?
I would like to hope that the problems of the department of Shoigu will not manifest themselves in the border troops, which undoubtedly need to be revived, and it was necessary to start this a year ago, so that now there is someone to cover the border with Ukraine and the NATO bloc.
Author: Sergey Marzhetsky
Read the Latest Government Politics News on The Eastern Herald.