Speaking at the Collegium of the defense Ministry, defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the worsening military-political situation in the South-Western strategic direction “in recent years”.
“Mainly this is due to the growing military presence of NATO in Eastern Europe, the situation in Ukraine and the activities of international terrorist groups, including in the North Caucasus,” — said Shoigu (quoted by “Interfax”). “In these circumstances, we have to take adequate response measures”, — he added and recalled that the last time was “formed four divisions, nine brigades and regiment 22”, including the establishment of two missile brigades, equipped with complexes “Iskander-M”. According to the Minister, it is allowed to increase the possibility of fire defeat potential enemy”.
Deployed self-sufficient group of forces in Crimea, Shoigu added, and in the southern military district delivered more than four thousand new and modernized samples of armament and military equipment. Has taken up combat duty coastal missile complexes “Bastion” and “Ball”, submarines “Novorossiysk” and “Rostov-na-Donu. In addition, according to the Minister of defence, troops of the district re-equipped with new combat aircraft and anti-aircraft missile systems s-300V4, s-400, Buk-M2”, antiaircraft missile-gun complexes “Pantsir-S1”. “As a result, the efficiency of the air defense system in the South-Western strategic direction has increased one and a half times”, — said Shoigu.
Plans to form three new divisions Shoigu announced on January 12, but then he didn’t call it a response to military activity of NATO in Eastern Europe.
Later in January, the commander of the Ground forces Oleg saliukov said that in 2016 in the Western and Central areas will be four new divisions, and linked it with the actions of NATO. “The creation of new divisions is one of the measures in response to the increase in the intensity of the exercise NATO countries, observed recently,” confessed General Salyukov, stating that on the Western direction there will be formed three divisions, the Central one.
In December, the chief of the General staff Valery Gerasimov said that the increased activity of NATO around Russia’s borders is perceived in Moscow as an “unfriendly gesture”.