Russia to move another 10,000 military personnel to western border (11)
Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu announced that the Russian military would move around 10,000 personnel to the West of the country, as the situation there was still “unstable”.
Shoygu said in a meeting of defense officials in Moscow on Wednesday that the “military and political situation on the Western border is still unstable,” Radio Free Europe reported. The minister pointed out that the U.S. and other NATO members were continuing to build up their military potential in the area, and that they were doing this mainly in countries directly neighboring Russia.
In particular, Shoygu pointed to the plans currently in the making to place allied battalions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to strengthen these countries’ defenses in the light of the developments in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has repeatedly protested against the strengthening of NATO’s defensive capacity along its eastern borders, as it sees the alliance’s increased presence as a threat to its national security. Russia has increased its own military resources in the westernmost parts of the country on a massive scale, although its argument that NATO was provoking such steps remains hard to defend considering Russia’s continued military presence in Ukraine.
Shoygu also annunced on Wednesday that the commander of its Baltic fleet, Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk, and the fleet’s chief of staff, Sergey Popov, would be replaced. The Kremlin accuses the officers of having neglected their tasks, and of having hidden the true state of the fleet from the government.