The article of the Federal Law contains 10 points on the defense, most of them were changed or supplemented in 2017 and 2020. According to these points, territorial defense headquarters are created from the moment martial law is introduced in certain regions or in parts of regions, as well as in municipalities. These headquarters are led by governors, and they also include all law enforcement agencies. Some information is not specifically indicated in this article: for example, who will be included in the “formations” of the territorial defense and whether citizens will be forced to take defensive measures.
Decree of the President of Russia dated July 01, 2014 No. 482 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Territorial Defense of the Russian Federation” could not be found in the public domain on the official Internet portal of legal information. However, The Insider I found a mention of this decree in a document dated April 13, 2021 following the results of the “round table” of the Committee of the Federation Council on Defense and Security, which was held on March 30 of the same year. The decision was signed by the chairman of the committee, Viktor Bondarev. In one of the paragraphs, he refers to this very decree of Putin, which says that formations of the Armed Forces of Russia and other troops are involved in the conduct of the territorial defense , and to carry out certain activities, the forces and means of federal and regional executive authorities, local governments and emergency formation of organizations . The document also contains the aforementioned Article 22 of the Federal Law “On Defense”. It follows from Bondarev’s decision that back in the spring of 2021, the Federation Council was talking about the defense and mobilization exercises:
"Note as important for the preparation of territorial defense the practice of holding large-scale mobilization exercises with the heads of executive authorities and heads of municipalities with the discussion of problematic issues of activity in the field of territorial defense by the Main Directorate of Special Programs of the President of Russia."
In addition, the decision following the results of the "round table" states that in order to provide information support to the headquarters of the territorial defense, regional control centers (RCCs) were "created and tested".
In Ukraine, with which Russia started a war in 2022, there are Territorial Defense Forces (TRO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which are led by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The brigades of the defense forces are formed on the basis of the military reserve, and you can also join them voluntarily, this does not require experience in military service. It is not clear whether brigades will be created in Russia by analogy with the Ukrainian ones.
How is the defense defined in Russia?
According to Article 22 of the Federal Law "On Defense", these are measures carried out during martial law :
- for the protection and defense of military, important state and special facilities;
- facilities that ensure the vital activity of the population, the functioning of transport, communications and communications, energy facilities;
- objects that pose an increased danger to human life and health and to the natural environment;
- measures to combat sabotage and reconnaissance formations of foreign states and illegal armed formations;
- to identify, prevent, suppress, minimize and (or) eliminate the consequences of their sabotage, intelligence and terrorist activities in order to create favorable conditions for the functioning of these facilities and the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations, bodies and special formations.
Where and how is the defense carried out?
All events are held on the territory of Russia or in certain regions where martial law has been introduced. In all regions, or in part of the territory of the regions, in municipalities, from the date of the start of martial law, "interdepartmental coordinating bodies" (headquarters of territorial defense) are created. The order of creation is determined by the President.
The activities of all headquarters are regulated by federal laws or "other regulatory legal acts", as well as regulatory legal acts of the regions and municipal legal acts adopted in order to implement the Federal Law in the field of defense. The heads of headquarters are the highest officials in the subjects (governors), local government officials who head the local administration, who are personally responsible for the performance of duties.
The tasks of the headquarters of the defense
- to coordinate the actions of bodies, formations and organizations that carry out measures for the defense;
- to coordinate the measures for the defense with the provision of martial law, mobilization measures, civil defense measures and measures to counter terrorism.
- development of draft regulatory legal acts in the region, draft municipal legal acts of the municipality on the implementation of measures for the defense;
- ensuring the implementation of measures for the defense;
- control of the state of forces and means created for the implementation of measures for the territorial defense by executive authorities;
- other powers in the field of territorial defense, provided for by regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation;
- within the limits of their powers, headquarters are responsible for the state of forces and means created to carry out measures for the defense of the area and exercise control over the indicated forces and means.