In December 2016, the Russian Military Police was deployed in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The article below provides a detailed look at this branch of the Russian Armed Forces.
Written by Vladimir Ivanovsky and Oleg Falichev; Originally appeared at VPK, translated by Alice Decker exclusively for SouthFront
The Armed Forces Military Police were established on 25 March, 2015. What do they do and what are they responsible for? The Chief of the Military Police of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Ivanovsky, explains to the “Military-Industrial Courier.” (VPK)
– Vladimir Sergeyevich, what functions are performed by the military police? How are their interactions organized with military prosecutors and military investigative agencies, other law enforcement agencies, and the federal troops of the National Guard and the Interior Ministry?
– Currently, the Armed Forces Military Police exercise certain powers as an investigative agency with respect to taking reports of crimes, conducting urgent investigations in cases stipulated by the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, and it performs specific assignments from the investigators.
Interaction with other State law enforcement agencies has taken on special relevance with the entry into force of the Charter of the Armed Forces Military Police of the Russian Federation, approved by presidential decree No. 161 dated 25 March 2015.
The basic issues regarding cooperation and the exchange of information will be:
- participation in fulfilling Federal, regional and departmental programs and plans to combat crime in the country;
- development of joint proposals on improving the legal regulation of the preservation of order and public security;
- analysis of the state of law and order among the troops (forces) stationed in the areas of responsibility of the military police, and forecasting trends;
- development of joint regulations and guidance documents, including orders, instructions, bulletins;
- joint actions on revealing and suppression of offences;
- study practices and concrete experience in identifying crimes early on in an investigation, disclosure, prevention and stopping of crimes, administrative violations and serious violations of military discipline;
- legal training of servicemen.
The Charter of the military police includes finding and detaining draft dodgers, assisting agencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in locating and arresting any deserters, those suspected or accused of committing a crime, convicts, and anyone evading an inquest or trial.
In addition, together with the Internal Affairs agencies, to cooperate in interdicting illicit drug trafficking, and to provide comprehensive security arrangements for large events such as international military-technical forums, war games, obstacle-course races [trans. like Tough Mudder and Spartan Race] and others.
In terms of the future, the use of our agency’s capabilities to improve training for the military is promising, and conducting joint seminars, conferences and assemblies, etc., mutual assistance when violations are detected in our own sphere, the creation of joint coordination and advisory bodies.
– What is known about legislative initiatives, orders from the Minister of Defense, intended to change the powers of the military police?
– On the basis of the presidential commission of June 12, 2016, an order was drawn up and is being discussed with the Federal organs of state power, proposing to amend the Charter of the military police and the military regulations. They provide for returning to our local agencies the historic name of “military commandant,” and tasking us with garrison duty that was formerly performed by the military commandant’s office and with the creation of military divisions made up of military police, in units and formations.
– How are the military prisons currently operating?
– The military prisons hold soldiers of the Armed Forces, other servicemen and military personnel who were subject to disciplinary arrest, detained on suspicion of committing a crime, or suspected or accused of committing a crime (if, in accordance with the criminal code of the Russian Federation, this was the means of restraint in the form of legislation detention that was elected for them). It also holds those who are sentenced to detention in a disciplinary barracks until the sentence goes into effect, the court called for preventive detention, sentenced to confinement to be served in the military prison.
A stay in the military prison is regulated by the Federal law “On detention of suspects and those accused of crimes” (No. 103-FZ of 15 July 1995) and the above-mentioned presidential decree No. 161. Servicemen are held in the brig on the basis of: the duly issued decision of a judge of a garrison military court on disciplinary arrest (the court’s decision as to how the sentence is to be served), the sentence, the court’s decision on detention, the Protocol of detention or the Protocol on the application of measures taken to ensure the materials are produced about the disciplinary offense.
Soldiers in the military prison enjoy the rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation with restrictions defined by the legislation of the Russian Federation. There is no discrimination or granting of privileges on grounds of racial, social, national or religious background, past achievements and other circumstances.
The Military Prosecutor regularly conducts inspections at the military prison. There are organized interactions with members of public monitoring commissions. All existing brigs — and they are currently 11 of them — operate in accordance with the norms prescribed in the agreements and declarations on human rights, ratified by Russia.
The officers of the brigs of military garrisons strictly monitor the way military personnel are handled when the courts subject them to disciplinary arrest. Violations of the mode of executing sentences are not permitted. Material and medical care meet all requirements.
– What kinds of arms and military equipment, and special gear, have already been procured by the military police, and what will be purchased?
– Our agencies and departments have received equipment, special wearable weapons and other gear: PB-4SP “Wasp” self-defense pistols, electroshock devices, noise grenades (RKG-60RD) and flash-bang stun grenades (RKG-60SZ and “Zarya-3”), STS-2M universal clubs, leather covered BR-S handcuffs, impact resistant toolkits and military hardware. As far as special communications equipment I could mention radios (digital and analog), wearable, portable and stationary, as well as concealed carry, relays with scheduling function and display of mobile subscribers. The military police have special vehicles: GAZ-3221, UAZ 3151, UAZ-3163 “Patriot” KamAZ-4350, “Ural-4320” and variants, as well as foreign-made vehicles.
State defense orders for 2017 and the 2018-2019 planning period envisions providing the military police special weapons and wearable equipment and gear. These include the “Module” vest, designed for personal protection from firearms and small arms, the “vanguard” shield for personal protection from impact loads that occur when struck with sticks, rods, etc., helmets (“Cap-1”) for individual head protection against impacts from various shrapnel and melee weapons (daggers, knives), stun devices (“AIR-107U”, “ESHU-200″, ” ESHU-300″) to produce non-lethal effects on the offender by means of a series of high voltage discharges, means for restricting mobility (handcuffs), biofeedback for the patrol service, BKS – for escorts, special “Stream” laser flashlights to temporarily blind the perpetrator without harmful consequences.
There are plans to purchase special vehicles, primarily the UAZ-3163-015 AP “Patriot” with a compartment for two detainees. This is designed for patrolling and delivery of backup teams to duty stations. A special UAZ-396221 vehicle for the military police, with four individual cells, is used for escorting detainees to court, to investigations and other procedural actions. The specialty vehicle ACNP-5350 KAMAZ will be equipped with a military police unit for transporting first responders to mass events, special events.
All of this suggests that the leadership of the Ministry of Defense is paying great attention to the need to equip our units with the necessary AMSE that will clearly increase the effectiveness of the military police in performing the tasks that come before them.