Western Military District

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Western Military District
Западный военный округ
ZVO Russia medium emblem.svg
Emblem of the Western Military District
FoundedOctober 20, 2010 – present
Country Russia
TypeMilitary district
Part ofBanner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (obverse).svg Russian Armed Forces
HeadquartersGeneral Staff Building, Saint Petersburg
DecorationsOrder of Lenin Order of Lenin
Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlyov

The Western Military District (Russian: Западный военный округ) is a military district of Russia.

It is one of the five military districts of the Russian Armed Forces, with its jurisdiction primarily within the western central region of European Russia. The Western Military District was created as part of the 2008 military reforms, and founded by Presidential Decree №1144 signed on September 20, 2010, as an amalgamation of the Moscow Military District, Leningrad Military District and Kaliningrad Special Region.[1] The district began operation on October 20, 2010, under the command of Colonel-General Valery Gerasimov.

The Western Military District is the second smallest military district in Russia by geographic size. The district contains 26 federal subjects of Russia: Belgorod Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Ivanovo Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Karelia, Kostroma Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Novgorod Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Saint Petersburg, Smolensk Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Tver Oblast, Tula Oblast, Vladimir Oblast, Vologda Oblast, Voronezh Oblast, Yaroslavl Oblast. On 1 December 2014, the Arctic Joint Strategic Command was split off from the Western Military District, removing Arkhangelsk Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Komi Republic, and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, as well as the Russian Navy's Baltic Fleet and Northern Fleet, from the district's command.[2][3]

The Western Military District is headquartered in the General Staff Building in Saint Petersburg, and its current district commander is Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlyov, who has held the position since November 2018.[4]


On 26 February 2014, during the Crimean crisis, President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian Armed Forces to be "put on alert in the Western Military District as well as units stationed with the 2nd Army Central Military District Command involved in aerospace defense, airborne troops and long-range military transport." Despite media speculation it was for in reaction to the events in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said it was unrelated to the unrest in Ukraine.[5]

A December 2018 Russian Ministry of Defense press release reported that an independent Spetsnaz company had been formed in a combined arms army of the district.[6]


Western Military District HQ at the Saint Petersburg General Staff Building

Direct reporting units and formations[edit]

1st Guards Tank Army[edit]

HQ: Odintsovo, Moscow Region (reinstated 2014)[10]

6th Army[edit]

HQ: Saint Petersburg

20th Guards Army[edit]

The military bands of the 20th Guards Army during a victory day parade in 2017.

HQ: Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast

Russian Airborne Troops[edit]

Intelligence/Spetsnaz units and formations[edit]

  • 2nd Spetsnaz Brigade
  • 16th Spetsnaz Brigade (Tambov)[14]
  • 322nd Special Forces Training Center

Naval Forces[edit]

Naval Infantry and Coast Defense[edit]

In April 2017 it was reported by mil.ru that the 14th Army Corps had been formed in the Northern Fleet/Arctic Joint Strategic Command.[15] It appears that this army corps, formed with its number in view of the World War II actions of the Soviet 14th Army, includes the 80th Motor Rifle Brigade (Arctic) and the 200th Motor Rifle Brigade.


An officer of the ZVO with Belarusian Defence Minister Andrei Ravkov in Minsk.
  • Colonel-General Valery Gerasimov (20 October 2010 - 28 October 2010 (acting))
  • Colonel-General Arkady Bakhin (28 October 2010 - 9 November 2012)
  • Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov (24 December 2012 - 10 November 2015)
  • Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov (10 November 2015 - 19 December 2016)
  • Lieutenant-General Viktor Astapov (19 December 2016 - April 2017 (acting))
  • Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov (April 2017 - 30 July 2018)[16]
  • Lieutenant-General Viktor Astapov (30 July 2018 - November 2018 (acting))
  • Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlyov (November 2018 - present)

Chief of staff

  • Admiral Nikolai Maksimov (28 October 2010 - October 2012)
  • Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartapolov (December 2012 - 21 June 2014)
  • Lieutenant-General Viktor Astapov (21 June 2014 - present)


  1. ^ "Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 20 сентября 2010 года № 1144 «О военно-административном делении Российской Федерации»". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
  2. ^ Создано новое стратегическое командование Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 1 December 2014.
  3. ^ Северный флот возьмет Арктику под постоянный контроль Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 31 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Бывший командующий российскими войсками в Сирии возглавил Западный военный округ" (in Russian). Kommersant. 10 November 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  5. ^ Alpert, Lukas I. "Russia Orders Military Exercises Amid Ukraine Tension". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ "В состав общевойсковой армии ЗВО вошло подразделение специального назначения" [Spetsnaz unit included in Western Military District combined arms army] (in Russian). Press Service of the Western Military District. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  7. ^ Galeotti, Mark (2017). The Modern Russian Army 1992–2016. Elite 217. Oxford: Osprey. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-47281-908-6.
  8. ^ Ramm, Alexey; Andreev, Evgeny. "Минобороны вернуло "надувной" полк". Izvestia. Inews. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  9. ^ "The Russian Camouflage Regiment". OE Watch. 07 (10): 20. November 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  10. ^ http://www.vz.ru/society/2015/6/1/748541.print.html
  11. ^ "Две новые дивизии ЗВО и ЮВО полностью обустроят в мае 2017 года". РИА Новости (in Russian). 11 November 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  12. ^ "В Воронежской области сформирована новая танковая бригада" [New armored brigade formed in Voronezh region]. lenta.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  13. ^ "Новая танковая бригада пополнила состав войск Западного военного округа" [New Tank Brigade has expanded the composition of the Western Military District]. Interfax.ru (in Russian). 14 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  14. ^ https://voinskayachast.net/suhoputnie-voyska/specialnie/vch54607
  15. ^ bmpd (2017-04-22). "В составе объединенного стратегического командования "Север" сформирован 14-й армейский корпус". bmpd. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  16. ^ Milenin, Andrei (20 September 2016). "Александр Дворников назначен командующим войсками ЮВО" [Aleksandr Dvornikov appointed commander of the Southern Military District]. Isvestia (in Russian). Retrieved 2 October 2016.

Coordinates: 59°56′17″N 30°19′02″E / 59.9381°N 30.3172°E / 59.9381; 30.3172