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Ukraine war: Putin restructures Russian armed forces | World News

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NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing war with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has enacted a decree altering the organization of the nation’s military to adapt to new challenges. This change reinstates the previously defunct Moscow and Leningrad military districts and integrates four regions that were formerly part of Ukraine into the Southern Military District.
As per a Russia Today report, the decree discontinues the Western Military District and the Joint Strategic Command ‘Northern Fleet’, historically known as the Northern military district or Arctic troops.This reverts the military structure in Russia’s west and northwest to its former state, including the absorption of Zaporozhye, Kherson, and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics into the Southern Military District, following referendums where the majority supported this action.
The re-establishment of the Moscow and Leningrad districts was initially suggested by Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu in December 2022 to address the new challenges posed by the expansion of Nato, including the inclusion of Finland and Sweden. The formation of a new troop grouping in northwest Russia is seen as a response to the growing influence of the US-led alliance.
Meanwhile, Putin vowed late on Monday to enhance the mobility and combat capabilities of Russia’s special operations forces, highlighting it as a crucial step in fortifying the nation’s military strength.
“In our continued efforts, we will focus on bolstering the Special Operations Forces by boosting their agility and offensive capabilities, and equipping them with cutting-edge weapons and gear,” Putin said in a video message.
He underscored, “I must stress that this stands as a principal focus for the prolonged advancement of our armed forces and naval units.”
The Russian Special Operations Forces, integral to strategic-level, perpetual combat readiness, are tailored to execute distinct missions within the Russian Military framework.
These elite units have actively participated in clandestine operations in Syria over the last ten years and, since 2022, in what Moscow terms a “special military operation” in Ukraine—a campaign regarded by Kyiv and its Western supporters as an unjustified imperialistic aggression.
Putin extended “Special words of gratitude to the soldiers engaged in the special military operation,” in his statement released via the Kremlin’s Telegram channel.
(With inputs from agencies)

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