Friday, December 23, 2022

Regional Battalions have No Future Except Perhaps in Chechnya, Russian Military Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 22 – The regional battalions formed in the spring or summer as a kind of “hidden mobilization” have lost much of their purpose now that real mobilization has been declared and will disappear entirely once the war in Ukraine is over because they are under the control of the army rather than the FSB, Russian military experts say.

            There are about 60 of these battalions, each of which numbers a few hundred men, the SibReal portal reports. Of these, 23 have been formed in 14 regions each of the Urals. Legally, they are subordinate to the military unlike the Wagner Group which has no official relationship and is a tool of the FSB (

            “These battalions should not be compared to the Wagner PMC because they are integrated into the structure of the armed forces, while the PMCs are isolated from it” and serve only as a counterweight to the military for the FSB, two Russian specialists on the military, Yan Matveyev and Pavel Luzin, say.

            They could only be effective for defense of their own territories, and they are anathema to the regular army and its tradition of extraterritoriality, something that senior officers view as fundamental to maintaining military discipline, Luzin continues. Consequently, after the war in Ukraine, they will be disbanded, with the possible exception of Chechen ones.

            Matveyev says that in his view, there may not be a problem then to be solved because he thinks these battalions will be used as cannon fodder and entirely destroyed during the course of the war.” Those who remain alive will simply be sent home after they turn in their weapons to the regular arm.

            Luzin agrees” the very idea of such volunteer battalions “turned out to be zilch. There were few who wanted to kill and die. They have no future. And they will inevitably be abandoned as they naturally disappear.”

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