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Caucasus war prompted radical reforms in Russian forces: Expert

Last Updated: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 21:35

Moscow: The five-day Caucasus war between
Russia and neighbouring Georgia over the breakaway republic of
South Ossetia resulted in the most radical reforms of the
Russian armed forces since 1918, according to a top defence

"Although a superficial observer could see a quick
victory over the NATO-trained Georgian army by prompt and
massive response by the Russian armed forces, the military
experience of 8/8/8 was viewed by the political and military
leadership of the country as contradictory and a new stage of
radical reforms was launched," said Dr. Ruslan Pukhov, the
Director of independent Centre for the Analysis of Strategies
and Technologies (CAST).

"This was the most radical reform of the military
machine since the establishment of the Red Army in 1918," he

Releasing the English edition of the CAST publication
"The Tanks of August" today on the second anniversary of the
Caucasus war, Pukhov said drawing its lessons the political
and military leadership realised the need for quick reshaping
of the national armed forces to effectively act in local
conflicts on the former Soviet territory.

"Within an unprecedented quick timeframe, by the end
of the 2009, the Russian armed forces acquired a new profile,
which in principle differs from many traditional
characteristics of the Red, Soviet and post-Soviet Russian
Army," Pukhov said.

He said the recent Vostok-2010 massive wargames --
including over 20,000 men and machines in the Far East close
to the borders of China and Japan -- involved combat jets
taking off from air bases in the western parts of the country
and after several in-flight refelling immediately went into
action several thousand kilometres away. For Pukhov, it was
one of the examples of a new shape of the Russian armed

"The main idea of the military reform is to abandon
the traditional model of the Imperial and Soviet model of mass
mobilisation and transition to an army consisting of
well-equipped and fully-staffed constantly battle-ready units
in the peacetime," he underscored.

Edited by Pukhov, the 144-page `The Tanks of August`
is a collection of papers written by the experts of the CAST
on the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia on August
8-12, 2008.

The book looks into the transformation of the Georgian
armed forces under President Mikhail Saakashvili and details
Tbilisi`s key preparations for the war. It also analyses the
post-war deployment of Russian military bases in Abkhazia and
South Ossetia, now recognized by Moscow as independent states.


First Published: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 21:35

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