Russia reestablishes two military districts due to NATO expansion

Two new military districts appear in Russia as Finland and Sweden ready to join NATO

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the creation of Leningrad (Leningradsky) and Moscow (Moskovsky) military districts. According to the minister, the new military districts appeared in Russia due to the increasing threat from the North Atlantic Alliance. It goes about Finland's NATO membership — the country is going to become the 31st member of the alliance in April 2023.

Speaking at a conference call, Shoigu said that with Finland and then Sweden joining NATO in the near future, the Russian administration decided to strengthen its military groups in northwestern and western strategic directions.

"Two interspecific strategic territorial associations of the armed forces have been created — the Leningrad and Moscow military districts,” Sergei Shoigu said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin established a new military-administrative division of the country. Putin in particular expanded the Southern Military District which now includes Russia's new regions.

"We will continue to improve the composition and structure of the armed forces in proportion to emerging threats to the military security of the Russian Federation,” Shoigu said.

In late February, Putin announced plans to strengthen the groupings of the Russian Armed Forces in the western direction due to Sweden's and Finland's accession to NATO.

Finland and Sweden joined NATO military exercises near Russia's borders in early March. The exercises take place in northern regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden from March 4 to 15. More than 20,000 troops take part in Nordic Response 2024 war games, which is part of NATO's large-scale Steadfast Defender exercises.

Moscow is monitoring NATO's Nordic Response 2024 drills to take all necessary measures to ensure Russia's defence capability, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Grushko said.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov