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History of the participation of Russian military personnel in peacekeeping missions

Currently, Russians participate in UN peacekeeping missions mainly in the role of military observers and police

History of the participation of Russian military personnel in peacekeeping missions

Photo: tass.ru

TASS-DOSSIER. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire and all hostilities in the conflict zone around Nagorno-Karabakh from 00:00 Moscow time on November 10, 2020. In particular, an agreement was reached on the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the region. A peacekeeping contingent (1960 servicemen, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of other equipment) is being transferred from the Russian Federation to the conflict zone.

TASS has prepared material on Russian military peacekeeping.

After the collapse of the USSR, the Russian Federation continued to participate in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations (UN) as a successor state. At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Russian representatives were part of the UN military observer groups in the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, the border of Iraq and Kuwait), Western Sahara, Cambodia and Yugoslavia. In addition, the Russian Federation has joined the peacekeeping process on the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Since 1992, Russian servicemen have been part of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS, and since 2007 - in the peacekeeping contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

At present, Russians participate in UN peacekeeping missions mainly in the role of military observers and police officers (the latter are from the RF Ministry of Internal Affairs). As of the end of August 2020, the UN peacekeeping force included 70 Russians: 26 military observers, 25 participants in police missions and 19 staff officers. Russia ranked 70th out of 120 in terms of total force contributions (including police officers provided). In 2020, military personnel and police from the Russian Federation participate in nine UN peacekeeping missions: in the Middle East, South Sudan, CAR, Western Sahara, DR Congo, Sudan, Kosovo, Colombia and Cyprus.

The legislative framework

The creation of peacekeeping contingents of the Russian Federation, the principles of their use and the procedure for use are determined by the law "On the procedure for the provision of military and civilian personnel by the Russian Federation to participate in activities to maintain or restore international peace and security" signed by President Boris Yeltsin on June 23, 1995 (last amendments were made 4 June 2014). The principles of using Russian peacekeepers abroad are spelled out in the RF Military Doctrine and the RF Foreign Policy Concept.

Peacekeepers in Yugoslavia

In 1992-1995, more than 1,000 Russian peacekeepers represented the RF Armed Forces as part of the UN peacekeeping forces on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, where a civil war was going on. In 1995-1997, the Russian 629th separate UN battalion took part in the peacekeeping operation in Sarajevo. In November 1995, a 1340-strong Russian independent airborne brigade of peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed, which, as part of an international force led by NATO, participated in ending the armed conflict in the former Yugoslav republics. On June 25, 1999, by decision of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, 3,600 Russian peacekeepers were sent to Kosovo and Metohija (withdrawn on July 24, 2003).

Peacekeepers in the former USSR

On July 9, 1992, mixed Russian-Georgian-North Ossetian peacekeeping forces entered the zone of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, which led to the cessation of hostilities. The mission lasted until Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia in 2008.

On July 21, 1992, the Russian Federation and Moldova signed an agreement on the settlement of the armed conflict in Transnistria. In accordance with the document, six battalions of Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict zone (they were not part of the Russian 14th Guards Army stationed in Transnistria). After 1996, the number of peacekeepers declined. The contingent includes 441 Russian servicemen.

On September 24, 1993, by decision of the Council of CIS Heads of State, the CIS coalition peacekeeping forces were created, whose task was to normalize the situation in Tajikistan, where there was a civil war. The 201st motorized rifle division of the RF Armed Forces, which was part of the forces, numbering about 6,000 people, launched peacekeeping activities on the Tajik-Afghan border. Under an agreement concluded between the Russian Federation and Tajikistan in 1999, a Russian military base was created on the basis of the division in 2004 (currently the number of personnel exceeds 6,000).

On June 13, 1994, by decision of the Council of CIS Heads of State, over 1,800 Russian peacekeepers were brought into the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. The contingent stabilized the situation in Abkhazia. The mission lasted until October 2008.

Peacekeepers in Africa

In 1995-1996, Russian military helicopter pilots were part of the personnel of the UN Verification Mission in Angola, where the civil war continued. From June 2000 to September 2005 in Sierra Leone, more than 100 Russian military pilots were involved in providing aviation support to the UN mission.

From June 2004 to December 2006, servicemen of the RF Armed Forces participated in the UN peacekeeping operation in Burundi. From April 2006 to March 2012, the UN peacekeeping forces in Sudan and South Sudan included a Russian aviation group of about 120 people with four Mi-8 helicopters.

From September 2008 to December 2010, a military unit of the RF Armed Forces with up to 100 servicemen participated in the EU operation in support of the UN presence in the Republic of Chad and the Central African Republic.

Over the years, Russian officers were part of the UN military observer groups in Rwanda, Georgia, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, East Timor, DR Congo and other countries. Unlike members of the UN military contingents, UN military observers do not have weapons, but at the same time enjoy diplomatic status and immunity.

Training of peacekeepers

The training of peacekeeping officers for participation in UN operations began in the USSR in 1974 at the Higher Officer Orders of Lenin and the October Revolution of the Red Banner courses "Shot" them. Marshal of the Soviet Union B.M.Shaposhnikov (Solnechnogorsk, Moscow Region; courses were disbanded in 2009). Since 2005, servicemen of the RF Armed Forces have been trained to participate in peacekeeping operations in the 15th separate guards motorized rifle peacekeeping brigade of the Central Military District (the village of Roshchinskoe, Samara Region).

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