By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 17 January 2023 • 15:39
General Sergei Shoigu - Image NickolayV/Shutterstock.com
German news agency RND said on Tuesday, January 17 that Shoigu wants to send a message to NATO by increasing the number of its troops by 350,000.
Speaking at a Ministry of Defence meeting, Shoigu said that only through structural changes was it possible to ensure Russia’s security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had said in his New Year address that the army would be increased from its current 1.15 million troops to around 1.5 million.
Outlining the changes he said two large territorial units will be created. These will bring together several branches of the army including the Moscow and Leningrad military districts.
He added that in the Ukrainian territories annexed by Russia, independent military units would be established to enable the defence of these areas. He continued by saying that another unit would be established in the Russian republic of Karelia in the north.
The latter is believed to be in response to the planned accession of the Scandinavian countries Sweden and Finland into NATO, countries that are joining NATO as a result of Russian aggression rather than the other way around.
Shoigu said that the combat power of the fleet, the air force and the missile arsenal would also be increased, with the changes to be put in place by 2026.
The announcements by Russia´s Defence Minister regarding restructuring and strengthening of the army come on the back of concerns over losses in Ukraine and the lack of effective leadership.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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