Tue 24 January 2023:
Russia’s new military reforms respond to the possible expansion of the NATO transatlantic military alliance and the use of Kyiv by the “collective West” to wage a hybrid war against Russia, the newly-appointed general in charge of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine has said.
“Today, such threats include the aspirations of the North Atlantic Alliance to expand to Finland and Sweden, as well as the use of Ukraine as a tool for waging a hybrid war against our country,” Valery Gerasimov told the news website Argumenty i Fakty in remarks published late on Monday.
“Modern Russia has not yet known such a level and intensity of military operations,” Gerasimov said .
Claiming that the Russian Armed Forces “are now countered by virtually the entire collective West,” Gerasimov listed the reforms that his superior, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, outlined last Tuesday.
These include adding an army corps to northern Russia’s republic of Karelia; reverting to the Soviet-era practice of having two military districts — Moscow and Leningrad — in northwestern Russia; and placing three motorized rifle divisions in southern Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which Moscow illegally claimed to have annexed last fall.
“The main goal of this work is to ensure the guaranteed protection of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gerasimov said.
Army Chief of Staff Gerasimov was placed in charge of Russia’s forces in Ukraine on Jan. 11, replacing his predecessor who had overseen a campaign of drone and missile attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and the withdrawal from the southern city of Kherson.
Meanwhile, under Moscow’s new military plan, an army corps will be added to Karelia in Russia’s north, which borders with Finland.
In Ukraine, Russia will add three motorised rifle divisions as part of combined arms formations in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – two of four partly-occupied Ukrainian territories which Moscow moved to unilaterally annex last September.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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