PEACEKEEPING: TRANSLATED TEXTS OF THREE ORAL PRESENTATIONS GIVEN BY MEMBERS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ARMED FORCES
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
by Colonel-General Eduard A. Vorob'yev
Experience in the Use of Russian
Peacekeeping Forces for Peacekeeping Operations in the CIS
Military Aspects of Peacekeeping
and the Participation of Russian Armed Forces in UN Peacekeeping Operations
and in Areas of Armed Conflict on the Territory of the CIS and Russia;
Logistics Support of Peacekeeping Operations
by Colonel-General Eduard A. Vorob'yev
Mr. Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen:
First, please allow me to express my appreciation for the opportunity
to present the views of the Russian Ministry of Defense on approaches
Because of major world changes of recent years, a qualitatively new
military-political environment has arisen.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the bipolar
model of international relations has ceased to exist, and a qualitatively
new military-political and military-strategic environment is forming.
This development has had a significant destabilizing effect on individual
regions of the world and on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
The probability that instability and crises will evolve into open armed
conflict is highest in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, on the
territory of the former Soviet Union, in Southeast Asia and in Africa.
Factors contributing to the rise of crisis situations and armed conflict
As a consequence of conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union, a so-called "migration crisis" could take place. Already approximately 860 thousand people from the countries of the "Near Abroad" have arrived on Russian territory. According to various assessments, if a crisis occurs on the territory of the former Soviet Union the stream of refugees to the West could reach as high as 8 to 10 million people. This in turn could lead to a significant decline in both the economic situation and internal political stability in the countries of West and Central Europe.
The end of the ideological confrontation contributes to a partnership between Russia and the USA in the name of maintaining the general peace. At present, with the end of rivalry for spheres of world influence, the security interests of the United States and Russia have converged. They focus on ways to manage the new multi-polar balance of power. The developing Russian-American cooperation, examples of which are the meeting between Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton in Vancouver in April of 1993, Russian Defense Minister P. Grachev's visit to the US in September of 1993, and the upcoming summit in January  in Moscow, creates new possibilities for joint international peacekeeping and peacemaking activity. Acting together, the USA and Russia could combine their efforts to create an effective global mechanism for preventing and resolving international conflicts.
Because of the seriousness of these conflicts, their management will be neither quick nor easy. These tasks require new concepts and flexible mechanisms for their realization, as well as great patience.
For many reasons Russia finds herself at the epicenter of peacemaking activity on the territory of the former Union. Its own basic efforts are understandably being directed at managing crisis situations and armed conflicts in areas immediately contiguous to its borders, since stability in those territories is vital to the Russian state and to its citizens, 25 million of whom live in the "Near Abroad".
In certain "hot spots" Russia has been and remains the only power capable of separating the hostile sides and bringing them to a negotiating table. Real world experience confirms that no international organization or group of states will take the place of our peacemaking efforts on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
In UN circles, the CSCE has noted several times that Russian peacemaking on the territory of the former Soviet Union has its own distinctive features as compared to "standard" UN practice elsewhere. Specifically, I am referring to the fact that the conflicting sides themselves participate in the peacemaking forces and that there is an authoritative umpire--it is these parties which are the most interested in stability in the given region. For example, in the Dniester area of the Republic of Moldova and in Georgia's Southern Ossetia, in addition to Russian military contingents, for the first time in the history of peacekeeping operations, units of the conflicting sides themselves participated in the operations.
There are both benefits and drawbacks in this approach. Among the benefits
are an in-depth knowledge of the situation and of the area of operations,
stringent control over observance of the ceasefire, and reduced tensions
between the conflicting sides, etc.
It is unfortunate that a greater understanding of Russia's independent peacemaking role on the territory of the former Union has so far not brought support for the idea that Russia be permitted to carry out the operations under the CSCE mandate.
Russia views participation in international peacekeeping activity as
an element of its foreign policy and of its national security policy.
Problems of peacekeeping are now duly reflected in the military doctrine
which was approved recently by the Security Council of the Russian Federation;
for the first time the doctrine states, in writing, that:
"Russia will assist in the efforts of the world community and the various organs of collective security for the prevention of wars and armed conflicts, peacekeeping and peace restoration, and, for this purpose, considers it essential to maintain armed and other forces for conducting peacekeeping operations in accordance with the UN Security Council or in keeping with international circumstances."
In 1992-1993, using the existing combat potential of two large ground forces units and a composite [non-TO&E] battalion of air-assault troops, the Ministry of Defense is carrying out the mission of forming and training peacekeeping contingents as well as having them participate in resolving conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the republics of Moldova and Georgia and also in the collective peacekeeping forces of the CIS forces in Tajikistan.
This action was not taken because it makes life easy. This solution to the problem creates difficulties for the Ministry , scatters forces and resources, and is not efficient on an organizational level.
We are unanimous in the opinion that the creation of Russia's peacekeeping forces must be carried out on the principle that they are subordinate to the upper levels of government (to the President, the government); their organizational structure, composition and numerical strength must conform to the requirements of our military doctrine; they must match Russia's concept of security and her international obligations; they must be consistent with a centralized government; they must make maximum use of the existing military potential and structures; they must reflect continuity of national traditions, the norms of international law and the experience of peacekeeping forces in other countries.
In 1994 a plan which contains a concept for Russia's participation in peacekeeping activity will be developed and adopted in the [Russian] Security Council; in the Duma there will be a law on peacekeeping forces and a statute on peacekeeping forces--an addendum to the law. In other words, peacekeeping will be put on a normative, legal footing.
At the same time, two ground-forces motorized rifle divisions will be given a new organizational structure which meets the requirements for military contingents participating in peacekeeping operations. The necessary training materials and gear will be created and, beginning in 1995, these missions will be removed from the responsibilities of the air-assault troops.
The organizational structure of peacekeeping units must allow for the autonomy needed by battalions (companies) to execute the mission. It must also anticipate the resources needed to support the day-to-day living needs of unit personnel. Peacekeeping units should be brought fully up to strength and have rapid, maneuverable hardware transportable by air. They should also be equipped with light arms, and reinforced by communications systems, by command and control, and by engineering and logistics which assure the autonomy of their actions.
At the governmental level, there has already been a decision to create an Interagency Board for coordinating Russia's participation in peacekeeping. Its joint chairmen will be the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, S.V. Lavrov, and the Deputy Minister of Defense, G.G. Kondrat'yev.
Many different groups will be involved full-time in the preparation of statutes and recommendations on the whole range of problems relating to Russia's participation in peacekeeping: 16 ministries, agencies, Russian Federation committees, as well as representatives of social and other non-governmental organizations for preparing statutes and recommendations.
Peacekeeping mechanisms on the territory of the former Soviet Union are still in the formation stage. The legal basis for peacekeeping operations on the part of CIS countries is contained in an agreement "On Groups of Military Observers and Collective Forces for Peacekeeping in the CIS" (20 Mar 92, 11 states) and also in the particular accords between Russia and the interested side in each specific situation.
In our opinion, Russia's peacekeeping forces should include units and subunits of the Ministry of Defense (military contingents) together with their command and control bodies. These forces should be formed and trained for participation in peacekeeping operations, and military, civilian and police personnel (the lead staff of the mission, observers, and experts). Communications and logistics units should also be included.
Russia's Ministry of Defense recruits, forms, trains, equips and controls the military contingents of peacekeeping forces and is responsible for their logistical support. In any case, it is our opinion that the political and military-strategic control of operations must remain in the hands of the UN, CSCE, or the CIS, depending upon whose decision led to the peacekeeping operation.
In our opinion, those formations and units which comprise the Russian peacekeeping forces should be in a separate category, i.e., their numbers, arms and equipment should not be counted when calculating the maximum levels which are limited by treaty obligations in the European part of Russia.
Serious financial issues arise for us in the financing both Russia's
peacekeeping forces and peacekeeping operations on the territory of the
former Union. In 1992 alone, the Ministry of Defense spent more than 2.5
billion rubles (1992 prices) for these purposes.
Second, despite the fact that in May of 1992 the heads of the CIS states passed a resolution (the Protocol was signed) "On the Recruiting, Structuring and Logistical and Financial Support of a Group of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS", which called for covering these expenditures though contributions from the CIS states or in kind (according to a special CIS contribution scale), the reality is that Russia has not received a single ruble for peacekeeping activity.
And third, we assume it to be logical that the international community, which is inclined towards recognizing Russia as a sort of guarantor that any clashes will not grow into regional wars, will express this not only in words but in deed by partially covering, out of UN resources, Russia's peacekeeping expenses in the "Near Abroad". Alternatively, it should count Russia's expenditures as a contribution to UN peacekeeping operations.
We assume that the financing of Russia's peacekeeping forces must be taken from the federal budget and that outlays related to peacekeeping operations on the territory of the former Union will be covered by financial contributions from the CIS states on an apportioned basis.
A peacekeeping operation which involves a military contingent serves as a continuation of political and diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in a region where an armed conflict could arise or has already arisen.
The consent of the two sides engaged in the conflict is a fundamental condition for conducting such an operation.
On the basis of inter-state accords: Russia's peacekeeping forces can be activated as a third neutral side (umpire) to resolve an armed conflict. [Examples of this are:] The Dniester region of Moldovan Republic, the South Ossetia area of the Republic of Georgia, as part of the collective peacekeeping forces of the CIS (Tajikistan) and under the aegis of the UN, the CSCE and other regional organizations (Yugoslavia).
Peacekeeping operations are radically different from the missions carried out by the military line units and subunits (military groups) of the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the State Committee for Emergency Situations during emergencies and during armed conflict inside the Russian Federation, i.e., these forces support and execute the missions of the President and government of Russia to establish public order within the country.
Peacekeeping forces are neutral and are utilized outside the national
borders of the Russian Federation based on a UN Security Council mandate,
the CSCE, the CIS or inter-government accords (including those of the
After the mandate to conduct the peacekeeping operation has been received,
an accord will be struck between the host country and the countries taking
part in the operation. It should include a statement concerning:
Information about the region in question must be constantly collected and analyzed by all services in the state, and it must be specifically collated in the Interagency Board for the Coordination of Peacekeeping--in the interests of the activities of the peacekeeping forces.
Information about the conflict area may include:
Nevertheless, for now the major powers are very skeptical about intervention with force. Ongoing attempts to pass laws that support the use of force for peace restoration could lead to the start of a new round of rivalry among the great powers, and actions by the world community could lose their neutrality. Peace enforcement operations would lack sufficient approval.
Another problem, in our opinion, is that there has been no definition of precise and reasonably compatible criteria for determining which military actions should be taken to enforce the peace.
The UN Security Council will not be able to effect the management of military and financial resources when it is has to cope with a number of conflicts simultaneously. Simply put, the need for peace enforcement operations conducted by the UN will exceed the resources the UN has available.
Therefore, despite the fact that it is generally reflected in the UN charter, this problem raises many complex political and legal issues and requires further analysis. But even if it proves impossible to work out any consistent and explicit legal underpinnings for peace enforcement intervention, it is important to make the effort and to get to work identifying those crimes against humanity which will automatically lead to action by the Security Council. The legal documents for this purpose are the UN Charter, the Convention Against Genocide, the 1949 Geneva Convention and its Protocols on the defense of the civilian population.
We are convinced that permanent, joint action and the development of
contacts between Russia, the UN and international organizations, as well
as bilateral Russian-American meetings, will assure the continuity of
cumulative international experience and will refine the problem-solving
mechanisms related to armed conflict and force.
Thank you for your attention.
Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Before turning to an examination of Russia's first-hand peacekeeping experience, I would like to outline for you briefly several aspects of the internal political situation in the CIS states and in Russia, problems in the creation of Russian Peacekeeping Forces, and the role and place of the Russian Federation armed forces in resolving armed conflicts within the borders of the CIS.
Part I. [Omitted by presenter due to conference time constraints. Text unavailable.]
Part II. Some Aspects of the Internal Political Environment within the CIS States and Russia.
With the collapse of the USSR and the resulting political situation, the process of dividing up the political, economic and military interests of the sovereign states has begun. This has resulted in the loss of formerly smooth regional economic ties and a gradual decline in the level of all types of production in all the Republics of the former Union.
It should be noted that within the CIS states there is now a sufficiently powerful social base oriented towards strengthening national independence in situations where the composition of the population is multi-national. This often lends an expressly nationalistic character to political decisions and ignores the interests of the non-indigenous population.
Without a doubt the open question of the reestablishment of repressed nationalities is having a negative impact on the status and prospects for the development of the internal political situation in the CIS. This includes groups who live in close proximity to one another, a situation which leads to mistrust and mutual political and territorial claims, fans the flames of nationalistic conflict and results in armed conflicts.
A lack of internal unity among peoples of different nationalities, among peoples who have formed their own communities within the boundaries of their national borders, increasingly is provoking crisis situations. Events taking place in Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, South Ossetia and Russia all attest to this.
The rise of nationalism as manifested in the wide dissemination of chauvinistic ideas leads to an exacerbation of cross-national clashes both within individual states (the problem of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia and of North Ossetia and Ingushetia in Russia) and also between states (Armenia and Azerbaijan). There is also the concomitant declaration of political and territorial claims.
Still on the agenda is the intense struggle between political parties within the CIS states which will resort to any means for the achievement of their own, not always noble, goals.
Using nationalistic slogans in the course of a political battle or in religious or other disagreements inflames passions, aggravates the situation, and has a destabilizing effect on the general course of events.
The process of the formation of a Commonwealth of Independent States and of the states which did not join the Commonwealth, all on the territory of the former USSR, and the existence of antagonisms inside the states of the Commonwealth and, to some extent, between them, make it necessary to create a Collective Peacekeeping Force for stabilization and for peacekeeping in the CIS member-states.
Very serious attention has been devoted to this problem at nearly every meeting between the CIS heads of state. I would like to mention several documents adopted at meetings of the CIS heads of state which directly affect our topic today.
At a meeting in Kiev on March 20, 1992, an Accord was adopted "On Groups of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Commonwealth of Independent States". Article 6 of this Accord concerning participation of our Peacekeeping Forces in UN, CSCE and CIS peacekeeping operations expressly states: "The states party to this agreement may, in accordance with their obligations under the UN charter, other international agreements and by mutual consent, agree to the participation of military and civilian peacekeeping personnel in peacekeeping efforts undertaken by CSCE organs and structures and in UN peacekeeping operations being carried out in accordance with a decision of the UN Security Council".
The CSCE is not currently conducting peacekeeping operations. Its peacekeeping efforts consist of travel to conflict sites, consultations, meetings, etc.
At a meeting in Tashkent on May 15, 1992, two documents were adopted which regulate the status, recruiting and multi-lateral support of military observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces as well as a "Protocol on the Rules for Forming and Activating Groups of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in Conflict Zones".
Lastly, a meeting in Minsk on January 22, 1993, saw the passage of a "Decision on Measures to Stabilize the Situation on a Sector of the National Border of the Tajikistan Republic and Afghanistan", and of other documents.
Russia's goal, and the goal of other participating CIS countries, is to build a democratic state governed by the rule of law and to strive for relations with other states based on respect for state sovereignty; for the inalienable right to self-determination; for the principles of equality and non-interference in internal affairs; a complete rejection of the use of force or the threat of force; peaceful control of disagreements which arise; and respect for human rights and freedoms. These are reasons why Collective Peacekeeping Forces are created.
To halt the bloodshed in the so-called "hot-spots" on the territory of a number of sovereign states of the former USSR and beyond its borders, and also in accordance with the above-listed documents of understanding and with the consent of the leadership of several of these states, a number of peacekeeping units and subunits have been formed from the armed forces of the Russian Federation and are active.
Based on the situation as it is currently unfolding, we can draw the
South Ossetia. The presence of a military contingent has made possible: a substantial improvement of the region's socio-political situation; a transition from combat actions to a search for a peaceful solution; a return of refugees; putting local authorities back to work, etc. A withdrawal of Russian troops was discussed, but the situation currently developing in the Tskhinval area may significantly violate the accords already reached and could lead to an escalation of armed conflict. Therefore, it has been decided to halt the withdrawal of the Russian battalion.
Abkhazia. Negotiations processes to implement the articles of the Summary Document of the Moscow meeting (3 Sep 92) have been disrupted. In this beautiful area, as before, military relations between the sides are purely war-like--harsh and barbarous in nature. Needless to say, this situation seriously affects the local populace and the Russian-speaking population in particular. It is unfortunate that for now the leadership of both Georgia and Abkhazia are at opposite poles in their points of view as to the way out of the conflict, which of course does not further the process of political management of the conflict. In looking to the future, it is safe to say that this region is, and apparently will remain for the time being, extremely unstable.
North Ossetia and Ingushetia. The stand-off between militarized groups has been eliminated. The situation in the conflict zone is now of a manageable and predictable nature. While a definite stabilization of the socio-political situation has been achieved, the sides remain irreconcilable. As long as the primary cause (in our opinion) of destabilization has not been eliminated (to date there has been no solution to the question of the Chechen Republic), no improvement is likely.
Tajikistan. The threat of military clashes continues. The opposition, and chiefly the Islamic fundamentalists, are preparing very ardently for a spring/summer campaign. At present, a combat-ready group (more than 1500 men, including as many as 500 Afghan Mujahideen) has been created, and Tajik refugees are undergoing combat training on Afghan territory. By the start of the offensive, the total number of combat personnel could reach 5,000.
As a result, issues surrounding the use (or increased use) of armed forces in conflicts on CIS territory have become a permanent topic of discussion at the highest levels (Kiev, twice in Tashkent, Minsk). Nevertheless, the idea everyone approves of, i.e., the creation of a multi-national peacekeeping force, is still not a reality.
The primary burden of responsibility for the functioning of such forces and for carrying out peacekeeping efforts has fallen almost completely on the shoulders of the Russian armed forces.
As a result, numerous problems arise, the most serious of which is a lack of any laws on the management of Russian forces on the territories of other states and frequent accusations that Russia supposedly continues to behave like a domineering superpower.
It seems premature be "proud" of the Russian army's peacekeeping involvement, because the actions of the peacekeeping forces are still a long way from highly professional in every case, if we leave out the sufficiently rather experience of the Russian battalion in Yugoslavia and the generally positive results of military intervention in the Dniester area and in South Ossetia.
The army's involvement in halting armed conflicts is still not very popular with military personnel. On the whole, military personnel oppose using the army to carry out what are essentially police functions.
The performance of peacekeeping tasks entails a daily risk to life and limb, which leaves a very, very serious imprint on how military personnel approach their tasks. The activity of Russian military contingents occurs under conditions of endless provocations from both of the warring sides. People die.
Part III. Problems in Creating Peacekeeping Forces.
A. Purpose, missions, composition and status of military observer groups and the Collective Peacekeeping Force
The purpose of the creation of the military observer groups and Collective Peacekeeping Force (also called the Peacekeeping Group) is to render mutual assistance within the framework of the CIS, based on mutual consent, in order to manage and prevent on the territory of any CIS member-state cross-national, ethnic, religious, socio-political conflicts which involve a violation of human rights.
Because of the specificity and non-combat nature of the functions it
performs, the Peacekeeping Group has only very strictly defined missions.
The composition of the Peacekeeping Group might be as follows:
All staffing of all Peacekeeping Group components is done on a voluntary, contractual basis.
In accordance with the agreement "On Groups of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Commonwealth of Independent States" and the "Protocol on the Rules for Forming and Activating Groups of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in Conflict Zones", the most important decision on the conduct of an operation with the use of the Collective Forces is made by the Council of the CIS Heads of State based on the request of one or several CIS member-states and the consent of all conflicting sides.
The UN Security Council and the Acting CSCE Chief are then informed of the decision to carry out such an operation.
The mandate for such an action is confirmed by the Council of the CIS Heads of State based on a recommendation of the foreign affairs ministers or their authorized representatives.
The time when the Collective Forces' peacekeeping action is complete is determined by a decree from the Council of the CIS Heads of State based on a conclusion a panel of expert observers from the member-states party to the Agreement.
The personnel of the Collective Peacekeeping Force enjoy the status,
privileges and immunity per the "Convention of Privileges and Immunities
of the United Nations", passed by the UN General Assembly on February
13, 1946, which includes the following basic principles:
B. Conditions for the Use of Collective Forces
C. Leadership of the Peacekeeping Group
D. Formation and Preparation of the Peacekeeping Contingent
The Collective Peacekeeping Forces are formed from military contingents designated by the member-states party to the Agreement.
Among them are units and subunits who: have fully completed the combat training program; are at 100% TO&E; have all types of rations per standards no lower than those established by the CIS Combined Force as suitable for the physical and geographical conditions of the region where the missions are to be carried out.
Drawing on UN peacekeeping experience, the reinforced rifle battalion is in our opinion the most suitable unit for the Collective Force. It can be utilized for accomplishing military control of a specific area, for example, for controlling a buffer zone by not admitting armed or military personnel into that zone or by assuring that the area is not used for any purposes connected in any way with military activity. In other instances motorized battalions are essential for guarding specific objectives or vital structures. For example, it can guard military dumps where weapons and hardware are stored, or it may serve as a visible presence in order to assist in the creation of a safe environment in certain areas.
Based on this, we train military peacekeeping contingents according to a program especially developed for this purpose by the RF armed forces. The program was designed with the knowledge that service in the units will be voluntary and that there will be a constant turn-over of personnel due to separation into the reserves or completion of fixed periods of service.
Collective Forces units are staffed as a rule from personnel who have served more than six months and are capable of carrying out special tasks. Therefore, along with concrete skills within their specialty, personnel must master special skills.
Training is done in two stages. In the first stage there is a developing of company-battalion teamwork, and one month is devoted to this. In our opinion this time is more than sufficient to develop teamwork to the fullest extent.
In the second stage, combat and special skills are honed further.
At first glance it might seem superfluous to create one additional program in the place of a combat training program, but experience in using peacekeeping forces has shown otherwise. Thus, when the personnel of the 27th Guard Motorized Rifle Division (GMRD) completed such a six-week program and arrived to augment the 201st Motorized Rifle Division in Dushanbe, they quickly familiarized themselves with the situation at hand and functioned adroitly under difficult conditions.
Note that in the training, increased attention should go to preparing personnel for independent actions under circumstances unusual for soldiers, i.e., circumstances in which the weapon does not play a primary role, but rather the ability to make contact and to achieve assigned goals without using force is of primary importance.
As a result of all this training the soldier must master a whole series of new qualities, such as the ability to: separate warring sides; create barrier zones for security; guard important objectives in populated areas and with a large number of people present; serve at control checkpoints as a part of foot or mobile patrols; participate in disarming formations; carry out monitoring and observer functions; use a weapon properly; observe personal security rules; blockade groups, and much more. Finally, I will not go into the experience of using peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, North Ossetia, Ingushetia or Tajikistan, since although there are some differences, the experience in each case is essentially analogous. Therefore, I will discuss the practical experience the peacekeeping forces have had in the Dniester area.
As I mentioned, in accordance with the bi-lateral Agreement between the Russian Federation and Moldova "On the Principles of Peaceful Management of the Armed Conflict in the Dniester Area", and based on the Moscow oblast RF directive No. 9 of 23 Jul 92, the RF armed forces contingent was formed on a voluntary basis, originally with six battalions, and was introduced into the conflict area over the period 23 July through 31 August 1992.
The Ministry of Defense jointly with the RF Ministry of the Interior
has created a Joint Control Commission in Bendery consisting of representatives
for Russia, Moldova and the Dniester area. This commission determined
that the composition would be:
Because Belarus and Ukraine declined to designate their own military contingents for Moldova, three additional battalions each were formed from Moldova and the Dniester region.
I will briefly touch upon the experience of our battalions' peacekeeping actions in this region.
The personnel serve in the zone of responsibility between the conflicting sides over a total area approximately 225 km wide and 4 to 15 km long.
In the zone of responsibility a traffic regulation system is established, observation posts are set up, mobile groups are created for patrolling sectors, important objectives are placed under guard and a duty unit is designated.
The zone of responsibility is divided into three security sectors: the northern sector (Rybnitsa), the central sector (Dubossary) and the southern sector (Bendery) from 60 to 80 km wide and from 4 to 15 km in length. Within the borders of each sector along the perimeter of the security zone joint bilateral or trilateral posts are set up (a total of 27). Observation posts monitor the opposing groupings in their designated sector and utilize all available observation instruments for this purpose. Each post has 6-9 or more men.
On the roads, bridges, crossings, large forks in the road and at other objectives, trilateral checkpoints are set up--a total of 11 in the zone of responsibility.
In addition, mobile posts are set up on armored vehicles and on all-terrain vehicles. These carry out their missions by patrolling along roads and valleys, and 2-3 personnel are sent out on foot to reconnoiter the terrain parallel to the direction of movement where combatting groups may be present.
Units designated for guarding important industrial and vital services objectives take up a circular defensive and provide protection.
In order to handle tasks that come up suddenly, in each sector a reserve group is created from representatives of the three sides, up to platoon-size.
As an example, 432 men took up posts simultaneously (185 from Russia, 125 from Moldova, and 122 from the Dniester Republic). They are on duty for 2-3 days and are then replaced.
In the zone of responsibility two heightened-security zones, with 5 commands, have been created (in Bendery and Dubossary).
Replacement of personnel (due to the expiration of their contracts) was completed in the second half of 1992 with a separate reconnaissance battalion and a motorized rifle regiment of the 27th Guard Motorized Rifle Division (GMRD) of the Volga Military District. Currently undergoing training are the replacement peacekeeping forces from the 27th GMRD, which has been converted to a special TO&E structure.
Based on the probable development of the situation in the Dniester area, withdrawal of our peacekeeping forces without a final political solution to the conflict does not seem advisable, since one may expect the hostile sides to resume combat actions immediately upon their withdrawal.
On the whole it can be said that Russia's purposeful and coordinated actions to manage the conflict situation in the Dniester area, including the actions taken under the Russian Ministry of Defense, have brought significant stabilization and control over the situation in the region.
Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to express the hope that my brief presentation has helped you to become familiar with the basic aspects of the situation as it has developed in the CIS and in Russia, with regard to politics and to our growing role as peacekeepers, and also with our experience in using our peacekeeping forces.
In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation for your cordial reception as well as my wish for the continued prosperity and well-being of the American people and your wonderful country.
Thank you for your attention.
Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Peacekeeping operations which involve bringing in military contingents and military personnel as observers are carried out in accordance with Article 40 of the UN Charter under the following conditions: the sides involved in the conflict must consent; 10 (of 15) members of the UN Security Council, including all permanent members, must approve of the operation; the nations must be prepared to designate voluntarily the appropriate forces and means for the operation.
Thus, we proceed from the assumption that all mechanisms and procedures
for providing collective security under the aegis of the UN will be worked
out and firmly in place before any actions will be undertaken. The basic
principles underlying such operations are:
The military operations cannot be conducted in isolation. Rather, they must be closely linked with political efforts to regulate conflicts. If this linkage is missing, a dangerous "syndrome of mistrust" towards the UN arises. As a result, the countries providing military contingents begin to lose their interest and motivation to participate in the action, and public opinion in these countries will negatively affect the government. Something similar to this is happening now in the USA in connection with the American involvement in operations in Somalia and Haiti.
We also believe it would be advisable to strengthen and possibly augment the existing structures for planning, preparing and controlling peacekeeping operations.
We also believe that revitalizing the activity of the Military-Staff Committee is worth considering seriously; it was intended to assist the Security Council when military issues are involved.
Meanwhile, we should focus our attention on proposals to create a unique "general staff" under the UN Secretary General. This staff would include a group of military and civilian experts capable of planning, coordinating and rapidly initiating peacekeeping operations. We support the idea of strengthening the UN Secretary's peacekeeping department.
We were very interested in the ideas contained in the "UN Reserve Forces" concept suggested by the Secretary General. The very fact that the Security Council would have at its disposal a compact, mobile, international "rapid reaction" force could become a significant factor in deterrence and reinforce the UN's conflict prevention capabilities.
At the same time, military peacekeeping forces cannot be permitted to participate in combat operations. Furthermore, as a rule they are to be equipped only with light arms to be used exclusively for self-defense.
As Russian military contingents and military observers are made available to the UN, and as rules for their use within the framework of peacekeeping operations are defined, Russia is guided by the appropriate decisions of the UN Security Council. At the same time, as military contingents are sent into UN peacekeeping operations, for Russia the security of its military personnel in the conflict area is of foremost importance.
The world community does have experience in organizing and conducting peacekeeping operations: since the UN began in 1948 there has been a total of 30 such operations (counting those currently underway), in which approximately 600,000 military and civilian personnel from more than 100 countries have participated. More than 800 of these lost their lives in the performance of their duties.
Direct Russian participation in UN peacekeeping operations has a 20-year history. In October of 1973 the first group of Russian military personnel was sent to the Near East as UN military observers. Beginning in 1991 Russian participation in these operations increased: in April, after the war in the Persian Gulf, a group of Russian military UN observers was sent the Iraq-Kuwait border area, and in September to the Western Sahara. By the beginning of 1992 the participation of our military observers had grown to include both the former Yugoslavia and also Cambodia.
At present, six groups of Russian UN military observers--a total of 105 personnel--are participating in peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the UN: 16 are in the Middle East (3 in Syria, 8 in Egypt, 4 in Israel and 1 in Lebanon), 15 along the Iraq-Kuwait border, 30 in the Western Sahara, 3 in Cambodia, 23 in the former Yugoslavia and 19 in Mozambique.
The principal tasks of the military observers are monitoring adherence to armistice agreements and ceasefires between combatants. In addition, they are tasked with preventing possible violations of accords and understandings between the conflicting sides; they attempt to do this by being a visible presence but without the right to use force. The selection of volunteers for UN observer positions is done by the Main Directorate for the Training and Disposition of Personnel, Moscow District, Russian Federation (RF). Training for these duties is done at annual, two-month courses (up to 100 persons per year) in connection with the senior officer courses of the "Vystrel" military college 4, where officers gain experience in maintaining combat documents and in working with topographical maps of the basic NATO countries which have been accepted by the UN system.
In April of 1992, for the first time in the history of Russia's peacekeeping
activities, a 900-man Russian infantry battalion was dispatched to Yugoslavia.
This action was based on UN Security Council Resolution No. 743 and was
in accordance with the decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation
No. 2462 of March 6, 1992. The battalion included: a command group, 5
rifle companies of 117 men and a headquarters company of 266 men.
A separate infantry battalion has been formed on a voluntary basis from the formations and units of the air-assault forces based on Russian territory. Personnel training is carried out at the training center in Ryazan and takes into consideration the recommendations of the UN Secretary General as well as the specifics of the missions being planned.
The battalion is based in the area of Klissa, Croatia, and carries out peacekeeping actions, the principal functions of which are:
The battalion is operationally subordinate to the UN. The commander-in-chief of all UN forces is the Secretary General of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Questions such as military discipline and the financing of the battalion fall within the competence of the national command.
According to official comments from the office of the UN Secretary General and of commander of the UN forces in the former Yugoslavia, the Russian battalion is handling its missions successfully. It is considered one of the best units of the peacekeeping contingent, and it's actions deserve high praise. From this battalion 2 personnel have been killed and 15 wounded in the course of carrying out their peacekeeping operations.
During the entire period (since April of 1992) of the Russian battalion's participation in peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, three personnel rotations have been carried out (this is done every six months), in accordance with the rules of the UN Secretariat. Personnel selection is voluntary and is made from soldiers and NCOs who have completed their mandatory service.
In order to better understand its battalion's activities and to identify problems and needs, the Russian Defense Ministry is officially permitted, with approval from the UN Secretariat, to send officers to visit the Russian contingent. It is also permitted to send a military transport plane to the former Yugoslavia as needed.
Issues connected with the logistics support of peacekeeping operations are extremely important and present a complex challenge both for the UN and for the national commands whose units and subunits are taking part in them.
The experience of the most recent large-scale operations (in the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Somalia) show just how important it is to coordinate the all aspects of the operation: planning, wise use of human and material-technical resources and the monitoring of the peacekeeping operations. A significant amount of criticism is leveled at the UN (some of it justified) because of a lack of management, excessive expenditures, etc. Russia favors strengthening the UN's control and inspection mechanisms.
Logistics support for Russian peacekeeping operations within the framework of the UN is provided through the Ministry of Defense in accordance with instructions received from the government of the Russian Federation.
Combat support, logistics support and rear support for national contingents participating in peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia are all handled centrally by the administrative components located in force headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, and by the UN Secretariat. Issues that cannot be solved by purchases or contracts on the local or world market are solved in the following manner: requests are sent from the battalion to the administrative organs at force headquarters and the UN Secretariat, addressed to the national command, i.e., requests to send weapons, military hardware and reserve units to those who are under the control of this national command (coordinating through the UN Secretariat payment for their cost and delivery). Requests may include medicines used in the national healthcare system, also billeting requirements, etc.
As you know, as a result of the collapse of the USSR, we are now in the process of dividing up interests in the economic, political and military spheres in the newly formed sovereign states.
Reforms which are not always well thought out, a declining standard of living, and rising prices all leave their imprint on the overall development of the situation and make stabilization difficult. Furthermore, the rise of nationalism and chauvinism aggravate cross-national antagonisms, both within a state, as is the case with Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia or North Ossetia and Ingushetia in Russia, and between states, as with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Understanding this situation, as well as the trends in the domestic political situation on the territory of the former USSR, leads us to the clear need to create a Collective Peacekeeping Force.
At meetings between the heads of the Commonwealth states (on 20 Mar 92 and 15 May 92 in Kiev and Tashkent) several agreements were worked out. They are: "On Groups of Observers and Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS", "Protocol on Rules for Formation and Activation of Groups of Military Observers and the Recruitment of Peacekeeping Forces in Conflict Zones", as well as other documents relating to the recruitment and logistics support of these forces.
Based on these documents and on inter-governmental accords, Russian military contingents have been used since July of 1992 in peacekeeping operations in Southern Ossetia and in the Dniester region. Military observers have been placed on the banks of the Humist River in Abkhazia and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Under crisis conditions in Tajikistan at the request of the Republic, the 201st Motorized Rifle Division has been carrying out operations since September of 1992. Their purpose is to guard and defend the most important state and economic objectives, patrol dangerous areas, escort convoys carrying humanitarian cargo, and serve as the guarantor of peace and security in the region.
In the south of Russia events have developed which necessitate the creation of a combined group (11,000 military service personnel) made up from the troops of the North-Caucasus military district. This force was created on the territory of Northern Ossetia and Ingushetia. As a result of its active operations, this group has succeeded in separating the combatants and, in concert with the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it has guaranteed the establishment out of state-of-emergency procedures. At the present time there are approximately 1000 men in this area directly engaged in peacekeeping tasks. Thus, as we are reporting to you today, since the summer of 1992, Russian armed forces have been actively and successfully carrying out peacekeeping functions in several regions of the former USSR and in Russia. The total number of military personnel engaged in peacekeeping operations at any one time has reached approximately 15,000.
The Russian armed forces leadership has now acquired a certain amount of experience in these new operations, which in many ways are unusual for an armed force, and we are ready to share our experience with you.
Based on a political decision about peacekeeping operations, mixed,
governmental, multi-lateral commissions are being created in order to
work out a mechanism for implementing the terms of a treaty (accord) .
Mixed governmental commissions have the full authority of their governments
to resolve political, economic and military issues in the areas where
peacekeeping operations are underway. Based on this, relations are established
between all peacekeeping bodies and political and administrative authorities
of the region. A number of issues are within the competence of military
peacekeeping authorities, i.e., of the combined headquarters and commands.
In addition, peacekeeping forces act on these issues in concert with local
authorities and with the commands of the opposing sides. The basic issues
resolved by military contingents as they carry out peacekeeping operations
are as follows:
The training of units and subunits designated for peacekeeping forces is carried out in a three-month program specially created for them by the RF Armed Forces. The training was put together with two factors in mind, i.e., that staffing for the units would be on a voluntary basis and that there would be constant personnel turnover because of their regular release into the reserves. Considerable attention is given to preparing personnel for independent actions in an environment and in situations where use of weapons is prohibited. In the course of this training, skills and abilities are acquired which teach the personnel how to: make contacts with the population of the conflicting sides; check transport activities in order to identify any unlawful import or export of arms and ammunition; guarantee the security of transport activities and the functioning of communications systems; serve at check-points either in foot patrols or in mobile patrols, etc. All of these actions require the officers and soldiers of small units to display a high degree of independence, initiative, communicativeness, and have excellent physical preparation. It is essential to keep in mind that military personnel often must execute their duties while completely separated from their units and in direct contact with people who represent the interests of the combating sides. Thus arises a serious need for legal training as well.
We are coming to believe that logistics support for peacekeeping operations should be carried out in accordance with the standards and conditions of peace time. In order to cut transport expenses, units depart for the conflict region with an increased level of reserve matériel (sufficient for 1 1\2 to 2 months). Subsequently, peacekeeping forces and subunits are supplied from the bases and dumps of troop structures located in the region or in very close proximity to the conflict zone.
Issues surrounding the utilization (or increased utilization) of armed forces in conflicts on CIS territory have become a constant topic of discussions at the highest level (in Kiev, in Tashkent--twice, in Minsk). Nevertheless, it should be noted that this idea of which all concerned parties approve, i.e., the creation of a multi-national peacekeeping force, has so far not yet been implemented.
The basic burden of responsibility for the functioning of such forces and for conducting peacekeeping efforts rests almost entirely upon the shoulders of the armed forces of Russia. The cost of financing these measures is also borne chiefly by Russia.
Many problems arise as a result. The most serious of these is the absence of laws regulating the use of Russian forces on the territory of other nations and the frequent accusations that Russia continues to pursue the imperialistic politics of a superpower.
We are prepared to continue to share our peacekeeping experience and to broaden cooperation in the peacekeeping arena between the armed forces of our states, both within the framework of bilateral contacts and also through the UN, CSCE and NACC. It seems to me that our meeting here today will contribute to the effectiveness of such work, as will further discussion of problematic issues in this area at various seminars, conferences and meetings involving Russian and American military experts and those of other interested countries.
Thank you for your attention.
4. "Vystrel" is a military college near Moscow and is below the level of the Frunze Academy. It offers an advanced course for commanders and also trains UN peacekeeping observers. Peacekeeping troops are trained elsewhere. --Trans. BACK