Marines: July 24, 2002


Commander of the Russian Navy's coastal troops Lieutenant General Pavel Shilov told the press on 22 July that the Russian marines' training level is "not inferior" to that of the US marines and in some ways, should be an example for marines of other countries. Shilov had just returned from a 13 to 18 July global conference of marine corps commanders in the United States. He described a Russian naval infantryman (or marine) as a "multidimensional specialist", while Americans had narrower specializations and thought that USMC landing marine parties and advanced protective detachments were developed by the Russian Navy in the 1970s. Shilov also admitted that the USMC had a broader range of missions than Russian marines. The first Chechen War (1994-1996) involved 5,000 marines, 176 of whom were killed. The second Chechen War involved airborne assault battalions of the Northern Fleet, Caspian flotilla and an airborne reconnaissance company of the Black Sea Fleet. They were heavily involved in urban combat, particularly during the Third Battle of Grozny (1999 - 2000). - Adam Geibel


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