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Eastern Military District

The Eastern Military District was established on 1 Dec. 2010, in accordance with the RF Presidential Decree of 20 September 2010 “On the military-administrative division of the Russian Federation” on the basis of the Far Eastern Military District (FEMD) and a part of the troops of the Siberian Military District (SibMD). It also includes the Pacific Fleet and the 4th Command of Air Force and Air Defence.

Until the mid-XIX century, the Far East and Transbaikalia were included into the Eastern Siberian Governor-Generalship. In 1884 the Amur Governor-Generalship (centre in the city of Khabarovsk) was created, within it the Amur Military District was located until 1918.

On 16 February 1918 the Regional Commissariat of the Red Army – the first central control body of the Armed Forces of the Far East – was established in Khabarovsk. After the start of an open military intervention against Russia in the Far East and the Far North in accordance with the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars (CPC) on 4 May 1918 within the boundaries of the Amur, Primorye, Kamchatka Regions and the island of Sakhalin the Eastern Siberian Military District (with its Administration in the city of Khabarovsk) was established.

From September 1918 to March 1920 the armed struggle against the US-Japanese invaders was waged mostly in the form of guerrilla war. In February 1920 according to the decision of the Central Committee of RCP(b) and the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR the buffer state – the Far Eastern Republic (FER) – was created and its People's Revolutionary Army (PRA) was organized by sample of the Red Army.

On 14 November 1922, after liberation of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok, the FER was dissolved and the Far Eastern Region was formed. In this regard, the PRA was renamed in the 5th Red Banner Army (with its staff in the city of Chita), and then (in June 1924) was abolished. All the troops and military institutions in the Far East on the order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic became a part of the Siberian Military District. In January 1926, instead of the Far Eastern Region the Far Eastern Territory was formed. In July-August 1929, the Chinese troops attacked the Chinese Eastern Railway, armed provocations at the borders, attacks against the Soviet border posts began. On 6 August 1929 the USSR Revolutionary Military Council created through its order the Special Far Eastern Army (SFEA) for defence of Primorye, Khabarovsk Territories and Transbaikalia. For the successful execution of combat tasks, valour and courage displayed by soldiers and commanders in the defence of the Soviet Far Eastern borders, the SFEA was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in January 1930 and was named as the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army (SRBFEA).

In 1931, the troops in the Primorye Territory became the basis for the Primorye Group of Troops. In the spring of 1932 the Transbaikalian Group of troops was organised. In mid-May 1935 the Transbaikalian Military District (TBMD) was formed on the basis of the Administration of the Transbaikalian Group of troops of the SRBFEA. On 22 February 1937 the Air Force of the Far East was institutionalised.

On 1 July 1938 due to the heightened threat of attack by Japan the SRBFEA was transformed into the Far Eastern Front (FEF). In July-August 1938 there was the military conflict at the lake of Khasan. In the fighting the 39th Rifle Corps was involved.

After the events at the lake of Khasan the Administration of the FEF was disbanded in August 1938 and the 1st Separate Red Banner Army (staff in the city of Ussuriysk) and the 2nd Separate Red Banner Army (staff in the city of Khabarovsk), as well as the Northern Army Group directly subordinated to the USSR’s People’s Commissariat of Defence were created. On the territory of the Mongolian People's Republic (MPR) the 57th Special Rifle Corps was stationed.

In May-August 1939 the troops of the Far East participated in the battles at Khalkhyn-Gol. In June 1940 the Field Administration of the FEF was created. In the end of June 1941 the Front's troops were brought into high alert and started creating a border area of deeply echeloned defence. By 1 October 1941 construction of field defence along the main lines accessible for the enemy was completed onto the whole operational depth.

In 1941–1942, in the period of the greatest risk of attack by Japan, formations and units of the first echelon of the Front took their areas of defence. At night, 50 % of personnel were on duty.

On 5 April 1945 the Soviet government denounced the neutrality pact with Japan. On 28 July 1945 the ultimatum of the United States, Britain and China on surrender was rejected by the Government of Japan. By that time deployment of three Fronts was completed in the Far East: of the 1st and the 2nd Far Eastern ones and the Transbaikalian one. The Pacific Fleet’s forces, the Red Banner Amur Flotilla, border troops and air defence troops were involved to participate in the operation.

On 8 August 1945 the statement of the Soviet Government to declare a state of war with Japan was issued from 9 August. On the night of 9 August the Soviet troops moved into attack. At 17.00 of 17 August the command of the Kwantung Army of Japan gave its troops the order to surrender. On the morning of 19 August the mass surrender of Japanese soldiers into captivity began.

In September-October 1945 in the Far Eastern territory three Military Districts were established: the Transbaikalian-Amur Military District on the basis of the Transbaikalian Front, the Primorye Military District (PrimMD) on the basis of the 1st FEF, the Far Eastern Military District (FEMD) on the basis of the 2nd FEF.

In May 1947 the Administration of the Main Command of Troops of the Far East was formed on the basis of the Administration of the Transbaikalian-Amur MD with subordination to it of the FEMD, PrimMD, TBMD (converted from the Transbaikalian-Amur MD), the Pacific Fleet and the Amur Flotilla.

On 23 April 1953, the FEMD was reorganised, the new Administration of the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East (headquarters in the city of Khabarovsk) was formed.

On 17 June 1967 the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet adopted the Decree on transferring the former SRBFEA’s Red Banner Order to the FEF for the continuity. On 10 August 1967 in Khabarovsk the Order was attached to the Combat Banner of the District.

Currently, the troops and forces of the Eastern Military District (EMD) are stationed within the administrative boundaries of the two Federal Regions (the Far Eastern one and a part of the Siberian one) and in the territories of 12 Subjects of the Russian Federation. The Staff of the District is located in the city of Khabarovsk.

The Commander of the EMD controls all the military formations of the Services and Arms of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in the territory of the District, with the exception of the formations of the Strategic Missile Forces and the Aerospace Defence Forces. In his operational control there are also military formations of the Interior Ministry’s Troops, Border Troops of the FSS, the troops of the Emergencies Ministry and other Russian ministries and departments, performing tasks within the District. The main task of the troops and forces of the EMD is to ensure the military security of the Far Eastern borderlines of Russia.

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