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Naval doctrine of Russia as the basis of the naval policy of the country
Material posted: Publication date: 28-09-2017
The article considers problems of development of normative legal base of the naval activities of the Russian Federation. The argument in favor of development in the country's naval doctrine as a normative base for Russia's long-term continuity of naval policy and are given their author's interpretation.

4 March 2017 at the Military Academy of the General staff of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation was held a regular meeting of the Academy of military Sciences under the chairmanship of its President, army General Mahmut Akhmetovich Gareev of. Military Academy of the General staff is not the first time provides its audience for the annual meetings of the AMS, involving not only the members of the Academy of military Sciences, but also traditionally invited the senior members of the Armed forces, military districts and fleets. It is mandatory to participate in the meeting of students and faculty VAGSH to bring to the attention of the future leaders of the Supreme military staff and their teachers the wide range of military-scientific problems, which is in the field of view of Russian military science.

The conference theme is "War: a modern interpretation of theory and the realities of practice. The problem of organizing the defence of the country to counter military and non-military threats." The focus of the conference was to be given to the analysis and forecasting of prospects of development of the geopolitical situation in the world, a new multidimensional nature of security threats to Russia, carried out with the use of non-military and military means, resulting from their defense of the objectives and scientific bases for the defense of the country with the most comprehensive and consistent use of all components of military organization of the Russian Federation, the material and the spiritual potential of the state, all efforts of the people.

"Ministerial" system of orders

The report "the Combat use of the Navy in contemporary armed conflicts" at the conference was made by the head of the Marine branch of the AVN Admiral I. N. Khmelnov. His statement wore problematic nature, particularly concerning the place and role of the Navy in the state and its Armed forces.

The features of the modern military-political situation and projected trends of its development determined the return of our military practice its important element is the ongoing activity groups of the Navy in the sea areas and ocean areas that are important to ensuring our national interests. Considering the issues of combat use of the Navy of the factions, the speaker reminded that its course and outcome are provided by the results of the implementation of all aspects of our naval activities. We can confidently assert that the success of modern naval activities on the one hand solves, but on the other hand defines very wide range of problems. Their analysis allows, in turn, determine the set of regulations that are important for the development of military science and the practical implementation of its results.

Reality finally forced to overcome the destructive attitudes (widespread in 90-e years, and continuously up to the present supported from the outside) that Russia is a landlocked country, and our Navy is too expensive a burden.

The changes in the political balance of power in the world, the further development of the concepts of application of naval forces of foreign States, a modification of the means of armed struggle require us to a certain revision of views on the place and role of the Russian Navy in the state. You need to look for fundamentally new approaches to the effective solution of problems of military security and naval activities of the state in ocean areas and marine areas facing the Navy of Russia in the modern and future conditions.

This complex of state and social historical process requires thorough scientific study, professional expertise, improve the control of decisions and analysis of their effectiveness.

The theoretical basis on which to base the research on the necessity of the possession of Russia a full-fledged naval power, was and remains the work of the former commander of the Navy of the USSR Admiral of the fleet of Soviet Union S. G. Gorshkov's "the Sea power of the state", published in 1976, in a time of rapid and, as it seemed then, irreversible development of all components of the Maritime capability of the Soviet Union. Published thousands of copies and which went through two editions work over the next ten years was required reading for all commanders and political staff of the Navy of the Soviet Union. Even with the position today, despite the confidence S. G. Gorshkov in relation to the future development of the Maritime power of the Soviet state, the reader can clearly see the main idea about the need for the state continuity of naval policy, the role and importance of the Navy in time of peace as one of the main factors to demonstrate the economic and military power of the state beyond the maintenance of national interests of the country abroad, that is the tool of diplomacy to prevent wars and military conflicts.

The proof of this and the confidence of the Admiral of fleet of Soviet Union S. G. Gorshkov, public policies, taking into account the need for the country its Maritime power, is an important factor in determining the nature of the construction fleet that can mobilize its capabilities for this purpose, and a prerequisite for the development of sea power.

Never it is impossible not to take into account the personal relations of S. G. Gorshkov with the leaders of the Communist party, the Soviet state and industry that great time: L. I. Brezhnev, A. N. Kosygin, Grechko, Ustinov, B. E. Butamol, M. V. Egorov, S. I. Belousov and others, in whose hands were the levers the construction of ocean-going nuclear-missile fleet of the Soviet Union and whom we must name the true creators of the Navy of the Soviet Union. Apparently, no wonder SG Gorshkov gave the names of the aircraft carriers and cruisers in honor of these statesmen, and the naval Academy is the name of A. A. Grechko.

Development of the naval policy should pay special attention to transformations in the control system of the Armed forces of the USSR. The military and Naval Ministry in 1953, were merged into a single Ministry of defence. The Secretary of the Navy he became Deputy Minister of defense – commander-in-chief of the Navy. While the Navy retained all "Ministerial" system of construction and development of the Navy. Can you relate to this transformation, but the fact that ocean-going nuclear missile fleet of the Soviet Union was built and came into the oceans from the organization, is an indisputable fact1.

Thanks for such a naval policy of the Soviet Union in a short time created a vast military-economic potential. Its scale allowed the use in the post-war development of the Navy all the achievements of science and technology and to carry out the construction of any ships, the need for which was determined by the requirements of security in the World ocean. Military-Maritime fleet of the USSR has become a decisive factor in the implementation of foreign and military policy.

A bit of history. After the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 on the pages of the magazine "Marine collection" the officers of the Russian Navy launched a broad discussion on the importance of the Navy for Russia. The result was the "Law on the Imperial Russian Navy". In the 20 years of XX century the commanders of the red Navy in the best traditions of Russian naval officers, not thinking about his personal career, through the "Marine collection" was able to convey to the military-political leadership of the Soviet state pain for the fate of the domestic naval fleet and the necessity for Russia. As a result, in late 1937 the people's Commissariat of the Navy and made the decision to build ocean-going fleet of the Country of Soviets, which was created, but already in the postwar years. Military-Maritime fleet of the USSR was the determining factor in the implementation of foreign and military policy.

After the collapse of the USSR in the pages of "Marine collection" again opened up a discussion about the future of the Navy of Russia. Were shipbuilders, admirals, officers and scientists of the Navy2. However, the problem of the fleet was not only in reducing the funding that drew the attention of many participants. It was rather a consequence. By that time, it has emerged a more serious reason for the collapse of the Navy is the loss of its independence. Navy commander was deprived of his official status of Deputy defense Minister. More clarity was gained, the words of Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union S. G. Gorshkov, "public policy, taking into account the need for the country its Maritime power, is an important factor in determining the nature of the construction fleet that can mobilize its capabilities for this purpose, and a prerequisite for the development of sea power"3.

There was an urgent need to establish a system of views on the development of the Navy as part of the national policy of naval policy. According to many experts, such a system should be presented as the leading Maritime powers in the form of naval strategy of Russia4.

Thanks to the active selfless activities of the admirals and officers of the Russian military fleet and bringing its results to the highest leadership of the country in the face of the new Russian President Vladimir Putin laid the Foundation for the gradual implementation in the country long-term state policy concerning the development of its naval component, naval policy of Russia. For the approval of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin was in 2000 presented the project "the naval strategy of Russia". In the case of its approval today Russia would be the successive "naval doctrine", approved by the President of Russia in 2000, However, the change at the suggestion of the security Council the status of "naval strategy (doctrine) of Russia" in "the Fundamentals of Russian policy in the field of naval activities for the period until 2010", which was approved by presidential decree in 2000, was "the naval strategy of Russia" unfair5.

The appearance of the first in the history of Russia such doctrinal document was a victory. Especially because for next year was approved the "Maritime doctrine of the Russian Federation for the period till 2020" and established Maritime Collegium under the Government of the Russian Federation. Therefore, in the initial period, the conduct of naval policy was mainly due to the Marine Board6 and the personal participation of the Minister of defence Sergei Ivanov and commander in chief of the Navy Admiral of the fleet VI.

Since 2004, the Marine Board was headed by the Chairman of the government M. E. Fradkov, and since 2006 – Deputy Prime Minister and defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. February 5, 2007 he was released from the post of defense Minister and appointed first Deputy Prime Minister. The Minister of defence was appointed A. G. Serdyukov, who in the composition of the Marine Board not included.

As shows the analysis of plans of the Marine Board, it should be recognized that with the resignation of defense Minister Sergei Ivanov integrated and systematic approach to national security with marine and ocean areas, the state and prospects of development of the Navy as the power basis for the decision of tasks of naval policy in the relevant regional directions, in the opinion of the author, ceased to receive due attention.

Only at the Marine Board meeting December 21, 2009 a question was raised about the implementation of the provisions of the "Maritime doctrine" in the spheres of naval activity and the state security with marine and ocean areas. By results of discussion of this issue was requested of the defense Ministry of Russia jointly with interested Federal Executive authorities to consider the proposals on expediency of the further development of the draft Federal law "On state management of Maritime activities of the Russian Federation" and also in connection with the expiration of "Fundamentals-2010" to develop a draft "policy framework of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2020" and its approval in the prescribed manner.

Currently, in the field of naval policy of the state are another "principles of state policy in the field of naval activities", approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2012. Moreover, is negotiating a new "Foundations...", but for the period up to 2030.

In the new edition of the "Naval doctrine", also approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2015, introduced a new self-direction "state administration of Maritime activities," which has yet to form. Thus, the range of problems of scientific researches are expanded through independent research on the creation, along with public administration systems in the field of defense and security, the system of state management of marine activities and its most important subsystems of the office of naval activity, that is, the conduct of naval policy.

The highest state priority

What can make the main conclusion that naval activity has a certain independent significance and is classified as the highest state priorities.

The implementation of "policy framework in the field of naval activities" is directly related to the number of approved recent documents in respect of the construction of a naval fleet on the long-term Outlook up to 2050. It should be noted that the conceptual documents of such a level was first formulated under the guidance of the chief of the Navy of the USSR – Deputy Minister of defence Admiral of the fleet of Soviet Union S. G. Gorshkov in 1969. Thus, "the Main directions of development of IWT of the Navy" was developed for 15 years. In their development he developed the Program of armaments for 10 years, plans for medium-term (plans for R & d and production supply of IWT for 5 years) and current planning (annual plans of R & d and production supply VVT) VVT creation.

Note, however, that performance of such long-term programs in the Soviet Navy was based primarily on a fully functioning "Ministerial organization" of the Navy, headed by the Deputy Minister of defense – commander-in-chief of the Soviet Navy, which is currently in connection with the relocation to St. Petersburg, the high command of the Navy was denied. The whole "Ministry organization" the construction of the fleet remained in Moscow, the Russian defense Ministry.

At the same time, adoption of such a set of long-term documents for the construction and development of the Navy shows not only the transition to the matter of naval policy, but also objectively requires the creation of the state, and the Ministry of defence and the high Command of the Navy a full-fledged mechanism of its implementation through appropriate legal and regulatory framework.

In connection with the fast-changing international situation and the need to safeguard national security, qualitative changes in the potential of the Russian Navy and its connection with the ocean system of doctrinal documents in the area of national Maritime policy can be developed to transition from the "Foundations of Russian Federation policy in the field of naval activities" to "the naval doctrine of the Russian Federation", in accordance with which to carry out the naval policy of the state and the office of naval activities.

We would add that the naval case is too complex and important to be mixed with other, though not less important for the state problems.

Then, apparently, "naval doctrine" developing content "Maritime doctrine", "policy frameworks in the field of naval activities" and "Military doctrine", is seen as a system of officially accepted views on the main objectives, strategic priorities, main tasks and mechanisms of realization of naval policy, that is, as a fundamental document defining the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities – naval policy of Russia.

The influence of the "naval doctrine" will be that it will be both an integral part as a "Military doctrine" and "Maritime doctrine", as well as the power basis for the individual areas of foreign policy on sea and ocean directions.

Then the "Maritime doctrine of the Russian Federation" and the law "On state management of Maritime activities of the Russian Federation", the draft of which is on the development of the defense Ministry, will be effective instruments of the national system of coordination of Maritime activities of the state, will largely contribute to strengthening the international authority of Russia as a major Maritime power.

The main objectives of the naval policy of Russia, which should set out in the naval doctrine, are realization and protection of state interests of Russia in the World ocean, maintaining its status as a global Maritime power, the development and effective use of Maritime capabilities of a state and its power bases of naval fleet, which is the main component and basis of the sea potential of Russia, one of the tools of foreign policy.

None of the members of the Marine Board fully representative of the Ministry of defense and General staff, with the result that many of the problems of the Navy on Board almost ceased to be regarded, probably, should be corrected. The provision of such representation will become a real step in enhancing the role and place of the Marine Board and the Department of defense and Navy, in the implementation of existing instruments in the field of naval activities and thereby contribute to the consolidation of positions of Russia in the World ocean.

In the field of view of the Marine Board should always be a military presence of Russia in the World ocean, the state's security with marine and ocean areas, including the national interests of the safe modes of shipping, responsible fishing and research activities in combination with measures for the protection of the marine environment, fighting piracy, terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as mandatory shipbuilding and ship repair.

This opinion is based on personal participation of the author in the work of the Marine Board as its Executive Secretary in 2001-2004 and efficiency of the "tandem" defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and Navy commander V. I. Kuroedov as Vice Chairman of the Board.

Historically, from the time of Peter I the implementation of public policy to ensure a military-political interests in the World ocean – naval policy and the power bases of the Navy in Russia was in charge of the Supreme power is always associated with a particular person, who is the head of state. At the same time that the control action of the Supreme power in the Navy have not always facilitated the progressive development of the Navy of the country as a whole.

In XX century the Russian Navy "shaken" as never before in its three hundred years of history. As noted by Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, "for only XX century Russia went through two world wars and a civil war, through the revolution, and twice it experienced the collapse of a unified state. In our country several times radically changed the whole system of life"7 and, we would add, the state ideology.

During this short historical period, the Navy of Russia has experienced its UPS and downs, sometimes logically inexplicable, the result of which, in the opinion of the author, and there is a contradiction between the objective tendency of increasing historical value for Russia of a long-term naval policy and lack of state up to the present time fully legally approved by successive normative framework for its implementation. The giant national funds spent on the construction and maintenance of ocean-going nuclear-missile fleet of the Soviet Union, in fact, "down the tube".

The logic of the formation of the naval policy of the Russian Federation in the XX – beginning of XXI century shows that the implementation of the government's naval policy in the future is ineffective without:

  • understanding in the higher echelons of power values for the Russian Navy;
  • the creation of the state of the relevant management body of the implementation of naval policies based on sound legal doctrinal base in the form of "naval doctrine of Russia";
  • long-term construction program of the Navy, approved at the level of law, binding on the domestic industry;
  • support of the country's population authority service in the Navy.

If this combination of factors that make up a whole in the achievement of a specific goal, missing at least one of the listed items, then talk about Russia as a great naval power is premature.

Express for our "continental" powers seditious idea that the naval policy, although inextricably linked with military policy, by its nature broader and goals, and in volume than a purely military policy of the state.

The President declared a course on the construction of a full naval fleet. Modern Russia is once again in the 320 years of the history of Russian Navy began to take practical restoration of its naval potential, the basis for which serve not only the naval forces of the former USSR, but the ships and submarines built in the new Russia, as well as under construction and planned construction at the shipbuilding programme for the period up to 2050, approved by the President on may 1, 2014 With the joining of Crimea to Russia in 2014, the recovery of Maritime boundaries and structure-based shipbuilding and ship repair in the Black sea.

A separate line of the Federal budget

Guarantee the long-term course and should be a "naval doctrine", which by the middle of XXI century can claim to act as the foundations of the Military doctrine of the state.

We have repeatedly talked about the possibility of raising the status of chief of the Navy to the rank of Deputy Minister of defense, who should be the toughest public job is to carry out a long-term programme of military shipbuilding with a comprehensive modernization of the shipbuilding industry, providing them with funding as a separate line of the Federal budget.

The findings indicate the need for raising the status of naval activities and those that determine the effectiveness of its implementation.

For this reason it is to be submitted to the Marine Board the following questions:

  • restore the status of the commander of the naval fleet of Russia to the level of Deputy Minister of defence of the Russian Federation;
  • ensure the full representation of the Marine Board of the Ministry of defense as a Federal Executive authority;
  • implementation of the adopted programs of military shipbuilding and shipbuilding, providing them with funding as a separate line of the Federal budget and approved at the level of the law;
  • recovery in the high Command of the Navy destroyed the "Ministerial" system of orders of arms, military and special equipment and military shipbuilding;
  • the development and adoption of "the naval doctrine of Russia" as the normative framework for the conduct of naval policy.

Without carrying out these organizational activities the measures taken in the development of naval activities can once again remain at the level of declarations. Of course, the case is very complex, requiring careful preparation and study. Like any innovation, it has advocates and opponents. But, according to the author, to lay the Foundation for future ocean fleet need to correct.

The rationale for this assertion is the fact that once again, the fate of the Navy of Russia is connected with the understanding of specific public identity – President Vladimir Putin – historical values for the Russian Navy. Apparently, his century will return Russia the status of a great Maritime powers, to approve the "naval doctrine" and the law of the fleet.


Here is an excerpt from the memoirs of the last naval Minister of the Imperial Russian Navy, Admiral I. K. Grigorovich, whose name is the vehicle of a new ocean fleet, is dedicated to the creation of the Naval General staff and the development of "Law on the Imperial Russian Navy": "...all this thanks to the cares and labors of a young, energetic composition of the Naval General staff. You can now only regret that this institution was not founded earlier, as his time offered the most intelligent and talented Admiral, retired P. A. Likhachev. I think that the young Lieutenant N. L. Klado also talked with him about the necessity of such an institution. Indeed, if such staff were to 1903, then everything would have gone differently. ...And how pathetic they seem to me those admirals and Ministers, who pursued the Naval General staff, calling him the ranks of the "young Turks"8.


  1. Subsequently, during the "reform" of the Navy at the beginning of the XXI century it is for this stored S. G. Gorshkov "Ministerial" system of construction of the fleet and was dealt a main blow.
  2. Belyshev L. shipbuilding and repair: challenges to the balance of the budget // Sea collection. 1992. No. 8-9. S. 6-12; I. M. Kapitanets How to be Russian Navy // Sea collection. 1993. No. 3. S. 48-54; Michael A. Lebedko, V. national security and the Navy // Sea collection. 1993. No. 6. S. 3-12; Gawra Y., Rudometkin A., Zinchenko Y., Hanninen V. the Navy and the national security of Russia // Sea collection. 1993. No. 10. S. 3-6. 65; I. Kasatonov Life puts problems // Sea collection. 1993. No. 12. P. 3-6; V. Kryazhev About the naval strategy of Russia // Sea collection. 1993. No. 12. Pp. 7-12; Tomaszewski, L. the reform of the Navy or marine science // Sea collection. 1995. No. 7. C. 19-20; Powerof G. We are witnessing not a reform, but the collapse of the Navy // Sea collection. 1995. No. 7. Pp. 21-24; Votes R. On ways to reform our Navy // Sea collection. 1995. No. 9. Pp. 14-16; Aleksin, A., Shevelev E. the Fate of Russia and the Navy are inseparable // Sea collection. 1996. No. 6. Pp. 5-11; Khmelnov I. Russian Navy on the threshold of the fourth century // Sea collection. 1996. No. 8. Pp. 13-17; G. Kostev, Batyrev S. Naval strategy of Russia in conditions of the military reform // Sea collection. 1998. No. 8. S. 33-38.
  3. Gorshkov, S. G. the problems of the modern fleet (art 1973) // Sea collection. 1993. No. 3. P. 44-48.
  4. The term "strategy of Russia" was presented in the document is equivalent to the term "doctrine".
  5. Replacement names and, to a certain extent the content of the original document occurred in the office of the security Council, when recommending for approval to the President, "the naval strategy of Russia" as a doctrinal document in the conduct of naval policy and determining the place and role of the Navy in the state and its Armed forces.
  6. The first members of the Marine Board was represented by the Minister of defense and commander in chief of the Navy on the rights of the Deputy Chairman of the Board.
  7. The message of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly on December 12, 2012
  8. Grigorovich K. I. memories of the former Maritime Minister. Kronshtadt – Moscow: the paper; Kuchkovo pole, 2005. S. 71.

Michael Moskovenko


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