Armed Forces of South Ossetia
|Armed Forces of South Ossetia|
|Supreme Commander in Chief||Anatoliy Bibilov|
|Minister of Defense||Lieutenant-General|
|Chief of the General Staff||Colonel Viktor Fedorov|
The Armed Forces of South Ossetia is the military of the partially recognised state of South Ossetia. The force consists of 16,000 soldiers: 2500 officers and active-duty soldiers and 13,500 reservists. It includes an Army and an Air Corp.
2008 South Ossetia War
The South Ossetian military fought against the Georgian forces in the 2008 South Ossetia War. At the time of the major Georgian offensive, the bulk of the Ossetian force was concentrated in the settlement of Java to the north of Tskhinvali. According to Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, what thwarted the Georgian operation in the end was the resistance offered by peacekeepers and lightly armed South Ossetian units that stayed behind to defend the capital. Also Russian regular army forces entered the fighting on August 8 and drove deep into Georgia proper, occasionally accompanied or followed by South Ossetian militia who committed serious human rights violations, particularly in the Georgian villages of South Ossetia.
According one estimate, the losses of the South Ossetian military forces, militia, and volunteers in the war amounted to 150 dead. According to a 2012 statement by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Russia had been training the South Ossetian militias as part of the Russian General Staff's 2006–2007 plan to rebuff Georgia in case of war.
Partial incorporation into Russian Armed Forces
In March 2015, members of the Parliament of South Ossetia put forward a proposal to dissolve South Ossetia's military and fold it into the Russian Armed Forces, but the proposal was ultimately rejected by South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov and Defense Minister Ibrahim Gassayev. The South Ossetian units were to be incorporated into the Russian military but remain separate units.
On 31 March 2017, defence ministers of the two countries signed agreements whereby some units of the armed forces of South Ossetia would go under Russia′s command.
- 15 tanks: 5 T-55s and 10 T-72s)
- 24 self-propelled howitzers: 12 122mm 2S1 "Gvozdikas and 12 152mm 2S3 "Akatsiya"s
- 6 122mm BM-21 "Grad" multiple rocket launchers
- 12 122mm D-30 howitzers
- 4 100mm MT-12 "Rapira" anti-tank guns
- 30 mortars
- 52 armoured combat vehicles BRDM-2, BMP-1 and BTR-70
- 6 9K31 "Strela-1" mobile, short-range, low altitude surface-to-air missile systems
- 10 ZU-23-2 short-range air defense cannons
- 4 Mi-8 helicopters
- Otokar Cobra personnel carrier (captured from Georgia in the August 2008 war)
After the 2008 South Ossetia War, some of the tanks captured from Georgia's forces have been transferred to the South Ossetian military.
- IS-2 tank - phased out of service since 1995.
- IS-3 tank - phased out of service since 1995.
- T-10 tank - phased out of service since 1995.
- Grom missile- Captured in Russo-Georgian War. Probably no longer in service.
- General Staff
- Intelligence Company
- Communications Battalion
- Transport Battalion
- Special Forces Company
- Sniper Company
- Engineering Company
- Security Company
- Republican Guard (founded in 1991)
- Guard of Honour
- Military Brass Band of the Ministry of Defense (founded in 1996)
- 10 Battalion
- 11 Battalion
- 13 Battalion
- 15 Battalion
- Tank Brigade
- Logistics Brigade
- 17 Battalion
- 18 Battalion
- 19 Battalion
- 20 Battalion
- 21 Battalion
- 22 Battalion
- 23 Battalion
- 25 Battalion
- 26 Battalion
Personnel and Training
There are 2,500 active duty soldiers and 13,500 reservist members within the South Ossetian Army (SOA). Training within the SOA is conducted by both experienced South Ossetian troops and members of the Russian Airborne Troops. In August 2009 the SOA and Russia reorganized the 4 Air Mobile Brigade, as a joint forces brigade, which would have an active Russian military base in South Ossetia. The Russian Airborne Troops are reported to have established an active military base outside of Java, South Ossetia and are reported to have trained SOA recruits since the summer of 2009.
Parts of uniform
- Dark Green: All Standard South Ossetian Armed Forces Personnel
- Light Blue: Russian Airborne Troops and the joint 4 Air Mobile Brigade in South Ossetia
All uniforms are donated by the Russian Ground Forces, the tri-coloured Flora pattern is standard issue throughout the SOA. It is planned that the SOA will wear a variant of the Ukrainian BDU camouflage.
South Ossetian Army Spetsnaz
It is rumored[by whom?] that the SOA has established a small company-sized group of specially trained SOA Spetsnaz based out of 4 Air Mobile Brigade HQ in Java. The SOA Spetsnaz is reported to have been training in Russia since late 2009, and has a strength of approximately 65 personnel. If existent, the SOA Spetsnaz would be highly trained in Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Search and Destroy, and personnel recovery missions. The SOA Spetsnaz would be distinguishable by their scarlet berets.
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- Russia had plan to rebuff Georgian aggression – Putin Archived 2012-08-11 at the Wayback Machine. The Voice of Russia. August 8, 2012.
- Kucera, Joshua (January 19, 2017). "South Ossetia Keeps Its Military, For Now". EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017.
South Ossetia's armed forces will become part of the Russian armed forces but will retain separate units, the self-declared republic's authorities have announced. The plan appears to be a compromise worked out between the de facto leadership in Tskhinvali and their patrons in Moscow [...] In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his de facto South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov signed an agreement on "alliance and integration" which included a provision calling for "certain units of the armed forces of South Ossetia to enter the structure" of the Russian military.
- Подписано соглашение о вхождении части подразделений армии Южной Осетии в ВС РФ TASS, 31 March 2017.
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