On February 1, 2009, the 693rd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 19th Voronezh-Shumlen Order of Suvorov and Order of the Red Banner of Labour Motorized Rifle Division was re-formed in the 4th Order of the Red Banner and Order of Kutuzov Guards Vapnyar-Berlin military base.
The main task of the Russian military base is to maintain peace and prevent Georgia’s reaggression.
The base is located in three garrisons - in Tskhinvali, Java and Vladikavkaz: 50 percent of servicemen are on the Russian territory; the second half performs its combat mission in South Ossetia, serving at posts, sentry outposts, and is also engaged in combat training in a military town.
Along the perimeter of the base there are storage facilities and sports grounds, in the center there is a ground, behind it there is a dining room, and farther, there are barracks for crew.
The most remote post in the Konchaviti settlement in the Leninogorsk district of the Republic. The militaries of the base also guard the Roki pass and particularly the Roki tunnel; they perform several tasks at the observer posts along the perimeter of the border jointly with border guards of the Russian Federation. Major combat units are engaged in routine combat training.
The Russian militaries control across the area of South Ossetia and monitor the situation on the territory adjacent to Georgia. Russian service personnel have the right to open fire at air-space violators, if they come into the territory of the military base or its controlled area.
The base crew is staffed almost entirely on a mixed principle. About one third of militaries are contractors. They hold key military positions, which determine the military readiness - the commanders of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and driver mechanics. Another part of the personnel are conscript soldiers.
In the technical zone eight helipads and a machines hangar - self-propelled artillery weapons, infantry combat vehicles (BMP-2) and T-72 tanks are lined up in several rows. To ensure a peaceful life, soldiers are trained every day. All firing grounds are located 15-20 kilometers from settlements. Joint exercises with the participation of militaries of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of South Ossetia are conducted on a regular basis.
The Russian Federation’s base is strengthened with a battery of Smerch (Tornado) Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and a battery of Tochka-U Tactical Ballistic Missile System in order to prevent possible aggression from Georgia.
Currently, the staff is fully staffed, with the overwhelming majority of officers having fighting experience gained in conflict zones. To date, the base is able to fulfill all its assigned task.
In the short run an Ossetian battalion will be formed as part of the Russian military base. The battalion will be staffed on a contract basis. Citizens of South Ossetia will serve there, men under the age of 35 years, with experience of military service. Contractors’ salaries will comply with Russian standards. The Ossetian battalion at the Russian base “will become a “foundry” of professional military cadres for the Republic of South Ossetia.”
The Russian military base is a guarantor of peace and stability on the territory of the Republic. One of the fundamental elements of security is the defence of citizens. Now militaries of the Russian military base are standing on guard of peace in South Ossetia – and thanks to their presence, peace and stability are maintained in the Caucasus.