Putin's decree reorganizing Russia's military districts

27 February 2024

In Russia, the Moscow and Leningrad military districts have been recreated and the Southern one has been enlarged

Russian President Vladimir Putins signed a decree on the re-establishment of the Moscow and Leningrad military districts and the inclusion of Donbass and Novorossiya in the Southern Military District.

By the same decree, from March 1, the Western Military District is abolished, and the Northern Fleet is deprived of the status of an "interspecific strategic territorial association," which actually equated it with military districts.

TASS has collected the basic information about the changes.

New old counties

  • The Moscow and Leningrad military districts were abolished in 2010, when the Western one was created on their basis. In 2014, the Northern Fleet was separated from its composition, transformed into a joint strategic command, whose troops were stationed in the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions, Komi and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
  • The recreated Moscow and Leningrad military districts included the regions that were part of them at the time of abolition.
  • The administrative bodies of the Moscow Military District will be located in a historical building on Kosmodamianskaya Embankment in Moscow. They are scheduled to be transferred there in March.

Reasons for reorganization

  • The need to recreate the Moscow and Leningrad military districts was announced by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in December 2022 at the final board of the military department with the participation of the president. Then the minister explained this by the need to respond to "NATO's desire to increase its military potential near Russian borders, as well as to expand the North Atlantic Alliance at the expense of Finland and Sweden."
  • In December 2023, Putin said that Russia was forced to recreate the Leningrad Military District and concentrate "certain military units" there due to Finland's accession to NATO.
  • Finland and Sweden have submitted applications to join the North Atlantic Alliance in May 2022. The first officially became a member of the bloc in April 2023, the second will be able to join it after the approval of its application by the parliament of Hungary - the last country that has not yet done so.

Expansion of the Southern Military District

  • The Southern Military District includes the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
  • By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, two regions of Donbass were part of the Kyiv Military District, and two regions of Novorossiya were part of the Odessa Military District.

russia military districts

Reference: Report from the Russian news agency TASS