Why Russia is urgently forming a combat army reserve BARS?

The analyzes were made by Alexey Yarovy for Defense Express. Their assessments, opinions and comments on the topic do not reflect the position of BulgarianMilitary.com


MOSCOW, ($1=73.09 Russian Rubles) – In August 2021, the Russian Armed Forces began to urgently form a combat army reserve [BARS] from reservists, who are primarily called to the Armed Forces in an emergency [including when there is a threat of armed conflict]. In peacetime, BARS reservists will be trained at meetings, contacted, and paid for. What will BARS be and why it is being prepared so massively and urgently – let see.

The military enlistment offices and organizational and mobilization departments [WMD] of all military districts and the Northern Fleet of the Russian Armed Forces have begun urgent and mass recruitment of the mobilization human reserve [MRS] of law enforcement agencies, and first of all the Armed Forces. This is the first time this has been done in post-Soviet Russia. In a short period, it is planned to create BARS contingents from reservists who have signed contracts.

BARS is created by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation. Citizens of Russia who were in the reserve of the Armed Forces, who are suitable for health [categories A and B], education [not less than 9th grade], prof. psycho. suitable [1-3 categories], without convictions or not under investigation and not drug addicts.

First of all, these are those who have just served in the Armed Forces, Cossacks, security guards who graduated from military departments, and so on. Soldiers, sergeants, sergeants, and ensigns up to the age of 42, officers up to the age of 47, majors and lieutenants up to the age of 52, and colonels up to the age of 57 [and those with equivalent naval ranks] can sign a contract with the MoD.

The first contract is concluded for 3 years, the next – for 1-5 years. The reservists will be assigned to the units where they have to come to the meeting every month [up to 3 days] and where they will be engaged in military training.

Annually, reservists can be called to a long [up to 1 month] meeting, where they can be involved in training and other tasks [protection of military and state facilities, maintaining law and order, and eliminating the consequences of natural disasters]. Participation in all meetings is paid by the Ministry of Defense, with the preservation of the place of work and average earnings [the company is compensated]. The reservist will be reimbursed for travel expenses, rent, and travel expenses.

When concluding the first contract, reservists will receive a one-time payment [soldier-sergeant 18-39 thousand rubles., Officer – 34-66 thousand rubles.], Depending on the term of the contract. For participation in the meeting for 3 days, a sergeant-soldier will receive up to 5 thousand rubles, an officer – up to 10 thousand rubles., And for 30 days – a sergeant-soldier will receive up to 25 thousand rubles., An officer – 30-75 thousand rubles. . For a simple stay in BARS reservists will receive 12% of the salary of servicemen [for rank and position].

In total, the payment for the year for the colonel will be 156,540 rubles., Lieutenant – 120,865 rubles., Sergeant – 85,190 rubles., Private – 59,455 rubles. Reservists will receive social protection, as well as military personnel. They will be provided with uniforms, free meals, medical care, and insurance payments.

The total number of BARS according to the military commissar of Karelia, Colonel A. Artemyev – up to 100 thousand people. WMD and military registration and enlistment offices of all military districts and the Northern Fleet, as well as illegally – in the occupied Crimea and ORDLO launched the most active campaign to recruit reservists in BARS. On the resource www.youtube.com, there is a lot of information about the performances of military commissars of regions and cities of Russia, which advertise the service in BARS.

The largest contingent of BARS, according to the head of the WMD of the Southern VO, Colonel K. Zapatotsky, will be in this district [38 thousand people]. It follows that the Southern VO accounts for 38% of BARS reservists, and this suggests that this district is preparing to attack Ukraine.

According to official statements, BARS is intended for participation in exercises, protection of objects, maintenance of law and order, and liquidation of consequences of natural disasters. But the protection of facilities – the function of the territorial defense forces, maintaining law and order – the Rosguard, the elimination of the consequences of natural disasters – the Ministry of Emergencies. But to create BARS to duplicate their functions does not make sense. Remains involved in the exercises, but as whom?

To answer this question accurately, I had to watch many videos with speeches of military commissars, and in one of them Lieutenant Colonel A. Fedorov from the Irkutsk region it was said that the reservists at the meeting will be engaged in driving BMPs, tanks, firing from all types of weapons [ie combat training of all-military units, not territorial troops, Rosguard and MOE].

And in another video, Lieutenant Colonel V. Belan, a Spassk military officer, said that the reservists would replenish the combat units of the incompletely manned units to which they were assigned. And in the third video, the military commissar of Khakassia, Colonel A. Titov, mentioned the formation of a motorized rifle brigade.

In the RF Armed Forces, most divisions are not fully staffed. For example, in the Free Economic Zone, there is a lack of 1 general military regiment in 5 divisions, and in the Southern VO only 2 divisions have just begun to be formed, and some army formations are also missing.

BARS reservists are called upon to quickly complete these connections to the staff. That is why they are called – combat army reserve. But this becomes a secret, and only the chatter of the three military commissars allowed it to be revealed. However, the fact that this is a secret is a dangerous sign.

What is the reason for such haste in the acquisition of BARS in the Southern VO? The population of the districts of the district is over 26 million people. Of these, given low wages and unemployment in the North Caucasus, it is easy to recruit the right number of reservists. But the speed of formation of BARS is surprising. Only one month is allotted for the selection of personnel for the two armies. These are the norms of the Second World War.

Expert retired colonel V. Litovkin believes that this is due to the exercises “West-2021” because such exercises usually involve reservists. A similar version was expressed by columnist V. Mukhin and expert, retired captain of the 1st rank S. Ishchenko. It was reported that as part of these exercises, reservists have already been transferred to the Kaliningrad region. And the New Century telegram channel even suggested that this was due to the transfer of power in Afghanistan to the Taliban movement. Especially since the Southern VO is geographically close to the Afghan direction.

In turn, Russian military expert Alexander Goltz wrote in his column on the Republic website that such a sharp increase in the number of reservists can be explained by two goals – preparation for a major war and the transition to a contract army.

“The worst option for the creation of BARS is the possibility that the mobile reserves are hastily created, assuming to start large-scale hostilities in one and a half to two years. With all the consequences for the Russians,” Goltz wrote.

“The most optimistic, of course, is the assumption that the Russian authorities are preparing to make a gift to the people in 2-3 years [just before the presidential election] and cancel the compulsory conscription into the armed forces. If so, we can expect the revival of another initiative, which promised considerable relief of the army tax for at least some of our citizens,” said in his column.

Meanwhile, another Russian military expert, Viktor Murakhovsky, told the BBC that the project to increase the number of reservists was because the Ministry of Defense was able to find funds for it.

According to him, the experiment with the mobilization of the human reserve, which has been conducted since 2015, has given some experience. At the same time, the Russian military used the principle that underlies a similar American system in creating a contractual reserve.

“There is also an army reserve on the contract, and if necessary, they become the core of the deployment of units of the new formation, which must participate [in hostilities], in addition to the army that exists in the event of a large-scale conflict,” he said.

According to Murakhovsky, in Russia such a reserve does not exclude general mobilization, it will be its component, the nucleus around which new units will be created. At the same time, such a reserve, he said, also does not mean that Russia is moving to a contract army, as there may be problems during the deployment during military conflicts, Murakhovsky said.

Here is what the citizens of Russia wrote in the comments to the commercials of the military commissars, who called to serve in the BARS [spelling preserved]:

  • “Somewhere they are gathering this cannon fodder. Don’t be fooled when instead of training you find yourself somewhere in Tajikistan, in Syria or to suppress rallies against foam for 3 thousand a month”;
  • “Another scam, they don’t know how to keep those who left the army, but they left because of the lawlessness that is happening there. An adventure for people looking for adventure”;
  • “Let them look for ideological ones for such monetary satisfaction – I collect more metal on the construction site.”

But from personal experience – the author of this note had to participate in such meetings during the Soviet era. If the BARS meeting is organized similarly, the BARS reservists will remain completely unprepared for battle and incompetent. And the customs in the army do not change much.


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