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Volga Military District
Country Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
Service history
Active 1918-1989; 1992-2001
Part of Soviet Armed Forces
Decorations Order of the red Banner OBVERSEOrder of the Red Banner
Commanders Pavel Dybenko

Mikhail Khozin
Vasily Kuznetsov
Nikolai Ogarkov

The Volga Military District (PriVO) was an operational and strategic territorial association of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Russian Federation that existed from 1918 - 1989 and 1992 - 2001.

The district headquarters was located at Kazan, Saratov and Kuibyshev (Samara) at different points in time.


During the Russian Empire from 1864-1917 the Kazan Military District covered the Volga area. The Volga Military District was established on May 4, 1918 on the territory of the Kazan Military District, and included Astrakhan, Saratov, Samara, Simbirsk and Penza Governorates, and the Ural Oblast. Subsequently, the district boundaries were repeatedly changed.[1] In 1941 the district included the Saratov, Kuibyshev, Penza, Tambov, Voronezh areas and the Orel Oblast, Kursk and Stalingrad regions of the RSFSR. The headquarters was located at Saratov.

With the start of and during World War II five armies, 132 divisions and 65 separate regiments, 253 separate battalions were formed in the area. Polish and Czechoslovakian military units were formed on the territory of the Volga Military District.

In October 1945 the 123rd Rifle Corps was at Kuibyshev. It became the 40th Rifle Corps in 1955 and then the 40th Army Corps in 1957, before disbanding in 1960.[2]

On September 14, 1954 in the Totskoye range north of the village Totskoye in the Orenburg Oblast (within the specified period the territory of the Orenburg region belonged to the South Urals Military District)[3] under the leadership of Marshal of the USSR Georgy Zhukov was conducted the Totskoye nuclear exercise with real nuclear weapons.[4] In this doctrine, which were worked out operational issues combined arms attack, was attended by about 45,000 soldiers.

By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on 15 January 1974 for their contributions to strengthening the defence capability of the USSR and its armed defence, the Volga and Ural Military Districts were awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

By 1983, the Volga Military District included the territory of the Kuibyshev, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Penza and Orenburg Oblasts, Tatar, Bashkir, Chuvash, Mari, and Mordovian ASSR. The district headquarters was located in Kuibyshev.

The following military units and formations were part of the district during the late 1980s.[5][6]

In 1989 the district was merged with the Ural Military District to become the Volga-Ural Military District (PURVO). It was split and then the two districts were merged again in 2001.



  1. Soviet Military Encyclopedia. 6. pp. 524–525. 
  2., and V.I. Feskov, Golikov V.I., K.A. Kalashnikov, and S.A. Slugin, The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II, from the Red Army to the Soviet (Part 1: Land Forces), Томск, 2013, 508.
  3. The South Urals Military District existed from 1 December 1941 to 15 January 1958. Order of the territorial structure of the military districts of the European part of the USSR number 0444, November 26, 1941.
  4. "Fifty five years ago Zhokov tested nuclear weapons on people (Russian) This link provides old video records of the actual nuclear exercise." (in Russian). 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  6. Feskov et al 2013, p. 509
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013) (in Russian). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. 

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