Shoigu announced the creation of 12 new military units in the west of the Russian Federation

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said today that the liberation of the Lugansk region is almost complete, and that 1,908 Ukrainian fighters who have fortified themselves at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have surrendered.

“Units of the Russian armed forces, together with units of the people’s militia of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, continue to strengthen control over the Donbass. The liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic is almost complete,” Russian news agencies quoted him as saying. Russia will create 12 new military units and units to respond to threats near the Russian borders, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense.

“By the end of the year, 12 new military bases and units will be deployed in the western military district,” Shoigu told the ministry and military officials, noting “growing military threats on the border with Russia” and blaming NATO and the United States. According to him, a military threat is growing in the western strategic direction. In particular, the intensity of US strategic aviation flights in Europe has increased 15 times. American ships are already systematically entering the Baltic Sea.

“We are taking adequate countermeasures. Under these conditions, we are actively improving the combat composition of the troops. By the end of the year, 12 military units and subunits will be formed in the Western Military District,” Shoigu said.

The ongoing activities are synchronized with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment to the troops. So, this year it is planned to receive more than two thousand units of such samples.

The head of the Ministry of Defense also said that control checks following the results of the winter training period showed a qualitative increase in the level of training of the district’s formations by 25% compared to the previous year.

The intensity of the combat training tasks performed by the ships of the Baltic Fleet increased by 42%. More than 300 combat exercises were performed using various types of weapons. The air raid of the district has increased by 4% since the beginning of the year.

“Window” for Russians over 40 to serve in the army

The Russian Duma, according to the APE, announced today that it will consider a bill allowing Russians over 40 and foreigners over 30 to enter the military under contract. The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, says on its website that the move will allow the military to take advantage of the skills of older professionals. “The use of high-precision weapons, the handling of weapons and military equipment require highly professional specialists. Experience shows that they reach this level at the age of 40–45,” the State Duma website notes.

So far, only Russians aged 18 to 40 and foreigners aged 18 to 30 can serve in the army. Russia has faced hardships and losses in manpower and equipment during the 86-day war in Ukraine, and Western military analysts say it urgently needs to mobilize more troops. Russia denies heavy losses, but this recruitment says there is indeed a shortage of specialists.

The Duma also notes on its website that the planned initiative will also facilitate the recruitment of civilian doctors, engineers, and special operations and communications specialists.

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