Russia warns of growing threats to its security

will form 12 new military units in its west to meet the growing threat from NATO, Sergey Shoigu has said

The United States and NATO have gradually increased their activities along Russia’s western borders in recent years and tensions continue to grow, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. The minister made the remarks during a meeting with the National Defense Center in Moscow on Friday.

In addition to intensifying strategic activities, the US-led NATO bloc has also gradually increased training exercises near Russia’s borders, Shoigu pointed out. He noted that a series of exercises called “Defender of ” is currently being carried out involving up to 40,000 soldiers from 30 in the bloc. The relocation of a full-fledged divisional force from the United States to Europe has become the main feature of the exercises, he added.

“Over the past eight years, the intensity of US strategic bombing in Europe has increased about 15 times.” Shoigu resigned. “Visits by US ships armed with guided missiles to the Baltic Sea have become a systematic event. This year alone, they have visited suspected cruise missile firing zones off the coast of the region six times already. Since 2016, 24 such incidents have been detected.”

By the end of this year, Russia will form 12 new military units in the western military district to meet the growing threat from the US-led bloc, Shoigu said. The official did not provide details about the size or exact nature of the new units.

The Minister also noted that “immediate neighbors” Russia, Finland and Sweden have formally applied for membership in NATO, which has further contributed to the growing tensions. The two Nordic nations submitted their bids this week, but were still met by opposition from , a large NATO nation, which claims that Sweden and Finland both house people they consider terrorists, namely members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) .

NATO’s expansion and the Alliance’s military build-up in Eastern Europe have been revived in the midst of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, which began in late February. Apart from the fact that Sweden and Finland want to join the bloc, has expressed a readiness to build “permanent” military facilities to house “light infantry units” of the alliance. In addition, the three Baltic countries, , and , will reportedly push for the creation of a division-size force with a rapid deployment of about 20,000 soldiers. The unit would be put on standby and be ready for deployment in one of the countries if they were to face a threat of any kind.


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