North Caucasus Military District

The North Caucasus Military District was a military district of the Russian Armed Forces, which became in 2010 the Southern Military District and lately also included the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla.

North Caucasus Military District
Северо-Кавказский военный округ
Northcaucasus md emb.png
North Caucasus Military District Coat of Arms
FoundedMay 4, 1918
Country Soviet Union (1918–1991)
Russia Russian Federation (1991 – 1 Sept 2010)
BranchRussian Ground Forces
TypeMilitary district
Part ofMinistry of Defence
DecorationsOrder of the Red Banner Order of the Red Banner
Anatoly Kvashnin

It comprised the Republic of Adygeya, the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Karachay–Cherkess Republic, the Republic of North Osetia-Alaniya, the Chechen Republic, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Rostov oblasts. It has the same borders as the Southern Federal District. Its last commander was Lieutenant General Alexander Galkin, appointed from January 2010.


The District was originally established on 4 May 1918, and reorganized as a field formation during the Russian Civil War. The First Cavalry Army was formed in the District in November 1919.[1] The District was reformed in the early 1920s with its headquarters at Rostov. Kliment Voroshilov was made district commander. During the 1920s and 1930s, the District became home to many training establishments, which were to multiply greatly during World War II.

The 23rd Rifle Division was reported to have formed in the district prior to August 1932.[2]

In June 1941 the district's first line troops comprised the 64th Rifle Corps commanded by Major General A.D. Kuleshov with the 165th and 175th Rifle Divisions, the 26th Mechanised Corps with the 52nd and 56th Tank Divisions and the 203rd Mechanised Division (103 Mech Div?), the 28th Mountain Rifle Division, and the 157th Rifle Division.[3] The 19th Army was formed in the District in May–June 1941 under former district commander Ivan Konev and was engaged against the Germans from the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. 50th and 53rd Cavalry Divisions were also formed here, joining the Soviet Western Front.

Later the District became the site of the battles around Rostov in November 1941 where the Germans suffered defeat, and the Battle of Stalingrad, which has been described as the most ferocious battle to date. Following the conclusion of the Battle of the Caucasus, the North Caucasian Front and the headquarters of the 56th Army were disbanded in accordance with a Supreme Command directive of the 20 November 1943. The Independent Coastal Army was formed, for the second time, on their base.

North Caucasus Military District Map

Immediately following the war, to demobilize the force, on 9 July 1945 the territory was split into three military districts: Donskoy, Stavropol, and the Kuban. The Donskoy Military District was located in the territory of the Rostov, Stalingrad, and Astrakhan Oblasts, the Stavropol military district consisted of Stavropol Krai, Grozny Oblast, Kabardino-Balkar ASSR, and North Ossetian ASSR, and the Kuban Military District comprised the territory of Krasnodar Krai (formed by the headquarters of the 60th Army). The Kuban Military District comprised the 29th Rifle Corps (73, 102nd Rifle Division and 217th Rifle Divisions), as well as the 9th Rifle Division.[4] By summer 1946 the 29th Rifle Corps had been reduced to commanding the 8th, 9th, and 39th Independent Rifle Brigades. They were reexpanded into divisions in 1951. The staff of the Donskoy Military District was located in Rostov-on-Don, and was considered the heir of the traditions of the North Caucasus Military District. Among the formations in the Don Military District was the 6th Rifle Corps, which had arrived from Latvia in 1945. In early 1946 its three rifle divisions were reduced to independent rifle brigades (the 15th, 18th, and 46th, though the 15th disbanded in 1947).

In 1946 the Donskoy Military District was renamed again as the North Caucasian MD. The official Russian military website notes the work of the soldiers of the district in helping repair the ravages of the war.

The important Kapustin Yar test range was created in the District following the war.

In 1955 the district's forces included the 6th Rifle Corps (68th Mechanised Division and 372nd, soon to become 68th, Rifle Division). Other forces included the 29th Rifle Corps, 9th Rifle, 19th Rifle, 24th Guards Rifle, 46th Rifle, and 73rd Mountain Rifle Division, and the 1st Guards Tank Division.[5]

In 1957 the 12th Rifle Corps became the 12th Army Corps (Soviet Union). At the time it controlled the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division and the 92nd Motor Rifle Division (Ordzhonikidze, Severo-Osetinskaya ASSR), which became the 19th MRD in 1964. In 1957 the 29th Rifle Corps became the 29th Army Corps, but nine years later it was moved to Belogorsk, Amur Oblast, in the Far East Military District.[6]

The District was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1968.

In 1974 the 14th Tank Division was established at Novocherkassk, to replace the 51st Tank Division which was moving to Mongolia.[7]

In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the District's HQ address as Rostov-na-Donu 18, Ulitsa Tekucheva, Dom 135.

In 1980 the 12th Army Corps controlled the 9th Motor Rifle Division (Maykop), the 156th Motor Rifle Division (mobilisation) (Novorossiysk), and the 113th Motor Rifle Division (mobilisation) at Goryachiy Klyuch, Krasnodar Krai. The 113th Motor Rifle Division was formed in 1978, and in 1981 moved to Molkino, Krasnodar Krai.[8] The same year, the 34th Army Corps controlled the 82nd Motor Rifle Division (Volvograd) and 197th Motor Rifle Division (Uryupinsk).

Commanders 1918–2010Edit

Post 1989Edit

In 1989, the 14th Tank Division was transferred to the MVD, and retitled as the 100th Motorised Division for Special Use MVD.[7]

The official website underlines the importance of the District as a border formation with the task of securing the southern boundary of the Russian Federation. The first conflict the District became involved in during the post Soviet period was the attempted secession of South Ossetia from Georgia to join North Ossetia, which is a federal subject of the Russian Federation. Soldiers from the District became involved in protecting installation in Vladikavkaz from irregular fighters in late 1992.

In 1990, there were three army corps in the district.[12] The 42nd Army Corps at Vladikavkaz commanded the 19th Motor Rifle Division, the 12th Army Corps at Krasnodar, briefly to become the 49th Army, commanded the 9th MRD, and the 34th Army Corps at Volgograd commanded the 82nd Motor Rifle Division. Units directly under district command included the 110th Artillery Division at Buynaksk, the 173rd District Training Centre at Groznyy, one SSM, one SAM, one artillery, and one pipeline brigade. There were also reserve (no equipment) units: an artillery brigade, an anti-tank brigade, and a SAM brigade.

The former 8th Guards Army of Stalingrad fame, was withdrawn from East Germany to the site of its greatest victory, now named Volgograd, in May 1993. While being transferred to the Caucasus, it became 8th Guards Army Corps. The 58th Army's creation was announced on April 26, 1995; previously there had only been corps headquarters in the District (and the 58th was formed from the previous 42nd Army Corps headquarters).[13] 8th Guards Army Corps was disbanded in 1998.

On December 1, 1993, the 136th Motor Rifle Brigade was established at Buynaksk, Dagestan. In 1996-97, the brigade was merged with the 204th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment "Uman-Berlin" as the 136th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.[14] The 204th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment was transferred to the North Caucasus at some point during the transformation of the 94th Guards Motor Rifle Division, returning from the GSFG, to become the 74th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade in the Siberian Military District.

In 2006 the District included the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division at Khankala, in the environs of Grozny in Chechniya, the 20th "Prikarpatsko-Berlinskaya" Guards Motor Rifle Division (which may have absorbed the 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade), the 33rd Independent Motor Rifle Regiment (Volgograd), the 131st Motor Rifle Brigade (Maykop – former 9 MRD), the 58th Army (headquarters at Vladikavkaz) with the 19th Motor Rifle Division, 136th "Umansko-Berlinskaya" Independent Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, and other brigades and regiments, the 4th Air Army, the Transcaucasus Group of Forces,[citation needed] the Caspian Flotilla,[citation needed] and other formations and units. These other formations and units included the newly forming 33rd and 34th Independent Motor Rifle Brigades (Mountain).[15]

The District was the primary Russian military formation responsible for managing the Chechen conflict throughout the First and Second Chechen Wars. Insurgent activity slowly decreased in the early 2000s. Twenty-six soldiers won the star of the Hero of the Russian Federation in the first war, and 43 in the second.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the Armed Forces did not have the primary role in directing the anti-terrorist effort in the North Caucasus region. The Regional Operational Headquarters (ROSh), chaired by the Deputy Director FSB RF (Head of the department for protection of the constitutional structure and the campaign against terrorism) directed and conducted the counter-terrorist operation.[16] Subordinated to it was the Combined Grouping of Troops (OGV) in the North Caucasus drawing on the Armed Forces, the Interior Troops, the FSB, and other agencies.

During the 2008 South Ossetia War, troops from this district were involved in combat operations in South Ossetia and inside Georgian territory.

The Southern Military District was formed on October 22, 2010,[17] and the North Caucasus Military District was disbanded. Lieutenant General Alexander Galkin took command of the Southern Military District.

Subordinate UnitsEdit

Structure, and units of the North Caucasus Military District 2010

Order of the Red Banner North Caucasus Military District 2010:

7th Guards (Mountain) Airborne Division, in Novorossiysk (under command of the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) Command in Moscow)


  1. ^ Russian Ministry of Defence,History of the North Caucasus Military District Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine,, accessed August 17, 2007
  2. ^ Poirer and Connor
  3. ^ Niehorster, Order of Battle June 1941
  4. ^ Feskov et al. 2013, 516–517.
  5. ^ Feskov, V.I.; K.A. Kalashnikov; V.I. Golikov (2004). The Soviet Army in the Years of the 'Cold War' (1945–1991). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. p. 49. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.
  6. ^ Holm, 35th Combined Arms Army, 2015.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Michael Holm,
  9. ^ Feskov, V.I.; K.A. Kalashnikov; V.I. Golikov (2004). The Soviet Army in the Years of the 'Cold War' (1945–1991). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.
  10. ^ "Biography of Colonel-General Vladimir Zakharovich Romanovskii – (Владимир Захарович Романовский) (1896–1967), Soviet Union". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  11. ^ [1], accessed January 2008. Trofimenko was a former commander of the Central Asian MD (pre 1941), the 7th Army (Soviet Union), and the Belarussian Military District.
  12. ^ Andrew Duncan, 'Russian forces in decline — Part 4,' Jane's Intelligence Review, December 1996.
  13. ^ — creation of 58th Army
  14. ^ Сергей Турченко (5 September 2010). "Кровавая проверка боеготовности. Всего один смертник сумел прорвать оборону мотострелковой бригады". Свободная пресса (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  15. ^ Jamestown Foundation, Putin's Order on Mountain Brigades Results in Competing Forces
  16. ^ C.W. Blandy, Advent of Mountain Brigades, Conflict Studies Research Centre, November 2007
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2010-12-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ 100th Experimental Reconnaissance Brigade – see