Valery Gerasimov

Russian military officer (born 1955)

Valery Gerasimov
Вале́рий Гера́симов
Valery Gerasimov official photo version 2017-07-11.jpg
Chief of the General Staff
Assumed office
9 November 2012
PresidentVladimir Putin
DeputyNikolay Bogdanovsky
Preceded byNikolay Yegorovich Makarov
Deputy chief of the General Staff
In office
23 December 2010 – 9 November 2012
Preceded byAlexander Burutin
Succeeded byNikolay Bogdanovsky
Personal details
Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov

(1955-09-08) 8 September 1955 (age 67)
Kazan, Tatar ASSR, Soviet Union
Alma materGeneral Staff Academy
Military service
  • Soviet Union (1976–1991)
  • Russian Federation (1991–present)
  • Soviet Army
  • Russian Ground Forces
Years of service1976–present
RankGeneral of the Army[1]

Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov (Russian: Валерий Васильевич Герасимов, IPA: [vɐˈlʲerʲɪj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪdʑ ɡʲɪˈrasʲɪməf]; born 8 September 1955) is a Russian army general serving as the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and First Deputy Minister of defense.

He was appointed by president Vladimir Putin on 9 November 2012 replacing Nikolay Makarov.[2][3][4]

Early life and education

Gerasimov was born in Kazan, Tatar ASSR on 8 September 1955. He graduated from the Kazan Suvorov Military School (1971–1973), the Kazan Higher Tank Command School, the Malinovsky Military Armored Forces Academy (1984–1987), and the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia (1995–1997).[4]


After graduating from the Kazan Higher Tank Command School, Gerasimov was the commander of a Mechanized Infantry platoon, company and battalion of the Far Eastern Military District. Later he was chief of staff of a Tank regiment and then of a motorized rifle division in the Baltic Military District.[4] From 1993 to 1995 he was the commander of the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division in the Baltic Military District and then the North Western Group of Forces.[4][5]

After he graduated from the General Staff Academy, he was the First Deputy Army Commander of the Moscow Military District. He was the commander of the 58th Army in the North Caucasus Military District during the Second Chechen War between February 2001 and March 2003.[4] His involvement in the arrest of Yury Budanov led to praise from journalist Anna Politkovskaya.[3][4]

In 2006 he became the commander of Leningrad Military District. In 2009 he moved to be the commander of Moscow Military District. In 2012 he became the commander of the Central Military District. On 23 December 2010 he became the deputy Chief of the General Staff.[4]

General Gerasimov leading a Victory Day parade in Moscow in a ZiL 41044, May 2011

He commanded the annual Victory Day Parade on Red Square four times from 2009 to 2012.[3]

Chief of the General Staff

Gerasimov with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, 9 November 2012

Gerasimov was alleged to have conceived the "Gerasimov doctrine" – combining military, technological, information, diplomatic, economic, cultural and other tactics for the purpose of achieving strategic goals.[6] The author of the original paper, Mark Galeotti, claimed it was a speech which, due to translation errors, was misinterpreted in the American press as a belligerent, rather than defensive strategic proposal.[7][8][9]

Gerasimov was appointed Chief of General Staff following the dismissal of Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov on 6 November 2012.[citation needed] The previous Chief of General Staff, Army General Nikolay Makarov, was seen as close to Serduykov and was seen by commentators as likely to be replaced by new Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu. It has been reported that Makarov resigned, but he was formally dismissed by President Vladimir Putin.[2][10][11][12]

Other changes were the dismissal of Alexander Sukhorukov from the position of First Deputy Defence Minister and his replacement by Colonel General Arkady Bakhin, formerly commander of the Western Military District. Aerospace Defence Forces commander Colonel General Oleg Ostapenko was also promoted to Deputy Defence Minister. He was promoted to the highest rank in the Russian Army, General of the Army, as of 2014.[2][10][11][12]

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, Gerasimov was the general commander of all elements of Russian forces and the pro-Russian insurgents during their decisive strategic victory in the Battle of Ilovaisk in 2014, where over 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.[13]

Gerasimov (right), Joseph Dunford (left) and Hulusi Akar (middle) at a meeting to discuss their nations’ operations in northern Syria, 6 March 2017
Russian, Chinese and Mongolian troops and military equipment parade during the Vostok 2018 military exercises.
Gerasimov and Mongolia's Chief of General Staff Ayushiin Ganbat, 16 August 2019
Gerasimov with Shoigu, Putin and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov at the Center-2019 military exercise

On 15 September 2016, he and Turkish chief of staff General Hulusi Akar conducted a meeting on the future of Syria in the Ankara headquarters of the Turkish Armed Forces. On 9 December 2021, Gerasimov issued a warning to the Ukrainian government against attempting to settle the War in Donbas using force.[14] Gerasimov said that "information about Russia's alleged impending invasion of Ukraine is a lie."[15] According to Gerasimov, "Kyiv is not fulfilling the Minsk Agreements. The Ukrainian armed forces are touting that they have started to employ US-supplied Javelin anti-tank missile systems in Donbass and are also using Turkish reconnaissance/strike drones. As a result, the already tense situation in the east of that country is further deteriorating."[16]

In 2021 Gerasimov explained his doctrine to the Financial Times.[17]

On 23 December 2021, he discussed regional security issues with his British counterpart Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff.[18]

Gerasimov was involved in the planning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[19][20] The sources say the decision to invade Ukraine was made by Vladimir Putin and a small group of war hawks around him, including Gerasimov, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Putin's national security adviser Nikolai Patrushev.[21] During the invasion, The Moscow Times considered Gerasimov to have disappeared from public view since around 12 March 2022, when he talked with the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, and 4 March, when he talked with French Chief of the Defence Staff Thierry Burkhard. Other senior siloviki (key Russian security officials), including Sergey Shoigu, Igor Kostyukov and Alexander Bortnikov, disappeared around the same time.[22]

On 27 April 2022, Ukrainian publication Defense Express claimed that Gerasimov arrived in Izium to personally command the Russian offensive in the region.[23] According to the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency, Gerasimov was wounded on 1 May 2022 near Izium.[24][25] Two US officials confirmed Gerasimov had been in the region but a Ukrainian official denied Ukraine was specifically targeting Gerasimov and said that when the command post was attacked, Gerasimov had already set off to return to Russia.[26] Gerasimov discussed security issues with American counterpart General Mark Milley in a phone call on 19 May.[27]


In April 2014, Gerasimov was added to the list of persons against whom the European Union introduced sanctions "in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine".[28] In May 2014, Canada, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland added Gerasimov to their sanctions listed because of Russian interference in Ukraine and his responsibility for the massive Russian troop deployment next to the Russia–Ukraine border and his inability to reduce the tensions with Ukraine which are associated with these Russian troop deployments.[29] In September 2014, Australia placed Gerasimov on their Ukraine related sanctions list.[29]

On 25 February 2022, the United States added Gerasimov to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.[30]




Personal life

Gerasimov is married and has a son.[33]


  1. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 20 февраля 2013 года № 151 "О присвоении воинских званий высших офицеров военнослужащим Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации" [Presidential Decree of 20 February 2013 No. 151 "On conferring military rank of senior officers of the armed forces] (in Russian). 21 February 2013. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "New appointments at Defence Ministry". 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile: Russia's new military chief Valery Gerasimov". BBC News. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Valeriy Gerasimov". Russian Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Командир смоленской дивизии возглавил генштаб армии России". 9 November 2012.
  6. ^ "The 'Gerasimov Doctrine' and Russian Non-Linear War". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  7. ^ Gerasimov, Valery (2013), The value of science in prediction, vol. 27, Military-Industrial Kurier (English translation)
  8. ^ Galeotti, Mark (2018). "The mythical 'Gerasimov Doctrine' and the language of threat". Critical Studies on Security. 7 (2): 157–161. doi:10.1080/21624887.2018.1441623. S2CID 159811828.
  9. ^ "I'm Sorry for Creating the 'Gerasimov Doctrine'". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b Gorenburg, Dmitry (6 November 2012). "The firing of Anatoly Serdyukov". Russian Military Reform. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Personnel changes at Defence Ministry". Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Putin Appoints New Chief of General Staff". RIA Novosti. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Russian Army General Staff Chief Gerasimov, ten Russian military servicemen suspected of involvement in Ilovaisk tragedy - SBU". Kyiv Post. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Russia warns Kyiv against use of force in rebel regions". The Independent. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Russia denies it plans to attack Ukraine". Anadolu Agency. 9 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Moscow to thwart any provocations by Kiev in Donbass, Russian military chief warns". Tass. 9 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Valery Gerasimov, the general with a doctrine for Russia". THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD.
  18. ^ "Heads of Russian, UK armed forces discuss global security in phone call -TASS". Reuters. 23 December 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  19. ^ Seibt, Sébastian (4 March 2022). "Shoigu and Gerasimov: Masters of Putin's wars". France 24. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  20. ^ Kirby, Paul (3 March 2022). "Ukraine conflict: Who's in Putin's inner circle and running the war?". BBC News. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Kremlin Insiders Alarmed Over Growing Toll of Putin's War in Ukraine". Bloomberg. 20 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Not only Shoigu disappeared from public view, but other key security officials did too – Zolotov, Bortnikov and Kostyukov" [Из публичного пространства пропал не только Шойгу, но и другие ключевые силовики – Золотов, Бортников и Костюков]. The Moscow Times (in Russian). 25 March 2022. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  23. ^ Gerasimova, Tanya (28 April 2022). "Russian Chief of General Staff Gerasimov Arrives in Kharkiv Region to Personally Command Offensive". Ukrainian News. Archived from the original on 29 April 2022. Retrieved 29 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Putin 9. Května nevyhlásí mobilizaci ani válku, tvrdí jeho mluvčí Peskov | Aktuálně.cz". 29 April 2022.
  25. ^ "З'явилися суперечливі дані про поранення начальника Генштабу РФ Герасимова".
  26. ^ Weber, Peter. "Ukraine says it destroyed Russia's Izyum command center, killing 200 but just missing Russia's top general". The Week. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  27. ^ "Начальник Генштаба Герасимов созвонился с главой Комитета объединенных штабов США". (in Russian). Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  28. ^ "L_2014126EN.01004801.xml".
  29. ^ a b "Bryan Cave Side by Side List of Ukraine Related Sanctions" (PDF). Bryan Cave. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Russia-related Designations".
  31. ^ "Глава Генштаба ВС
    России награжден медалью минобороны Азербайджана - ФОТО". 7 April 2014.
  32. ^ "Героев Сирии стало меньше". (in Russian). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  33. ^ Валерий Васильевич Герасимов [Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.

External links

Valery Gerasimov at Wikipedia's sister projects
  • Media from Commons
  • Quotations from Wikiquote
  • Data from Wikidata
Military portal
flagRussia portal
flagSoviet Union portal
Military offices
Preceded by Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces
  • v
  • t
  • e
Generals of the Army of the Russian Federation
Shoulder strap of an Army General
Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
  • VIAF
    • 1
  • WorldCat
National libraries
  • Germany
  • United States
  • Poland