The recently announced Russian military reforms are a response to the likely expansion of NATO and the use of Ukraine by the “collective West” in a hybrid war against Moscow, the new head of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine said. said.
Since announcing After a major reconstruction last month, the Russian military announced that in the period 2023-26.
In his first public speech since being appointed commander-in-chief of Russian forces in Ukraine earlier in January, General Valery Gerasimov said the reforms were prompted by events that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
“Today, the new threats are NATO’s desire to expand at the expense of Finland and Sweden, as well as the use of Ukraine as a tool for waging a hybrid war against our country,” he said.
“Modern Russia has never known such a level and intensity of hostilities,” Gerasimov said in an interview with the newspaper “Arguments and Facts” on Monday evening.
Claiming that Russia’s armed forces are “now opposed by virtually the entire collective West,” Gerasimov listed reforms that his boss, Defense Minister Sergei Shaigu, outlined last Tuesday.
These include adding an army corps to the Republic of Karelia in northern Russia; return to the Soviet-era practice of two military districts – Moscow and Leningrad – in the north-west of Russia; and the deployment of three motorized rifle divisions in southern Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, which Moscow claimed it illegally annexed last fall.
“The main goal of this work is to ensure guaranteed protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country,” Gerasimov said.
Army Chief of Staff Gerasimov was appointed head of Russian forces in Ukraine on January 11, replacing his predecessor, who oversaw a campaign of drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and withdrawal from the southern city of Kherson.
Russia has repeatedly justified its war against Ukraine by claiming that it seeks to counter existence by the US-led NATO military bloc.