Russia Points to Military and Political Tensions on Eastern Borders

MOSCOW, (BM) – The military and political situation in Russia’s eastern strategic area continues to escalate, learned, according Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu statement on Wednesday.

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“The actions by the United States and its allies are aimed at expanding their influence in the Asia-Pacific Region and weakening the positions of Russia and China in Southeast Asia,” the defense minister said.

In order to respond to existing and potential challenges, 62 organizational measures will be conducted in the Eastern Military District this year, Shoigu said. “The most important of them will stipulate setting up the command of the composite aviation division and the anti-aircraft missile brigade,” the defense chief said.

As part of other measures to strengthen the grouping of forces in east Russia, the large submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was floated out in March. The sub is set to enter service with Russia’s Pacific Fleet after the end of shipbuilders’ trials in November this year. Overall, Russia’s Eastern Military District will receive 1,743 items of armament and military hardware this year, which will raise the share of its operational advanced weaponry to 53%, Shoigu said.

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The Russian defense minister also noted “positive trends in manning the District’s units and formations with contract-enlisted personnel, with more than 4,500 people enlisted in the first half of the year.”

Military exercises and measures to fight natural disasters

Over 120 bilateral command and staff and joint force drills are scheduled for this year involving troops of the Eastern Military District, the defense chief said.

In April-May this year, the Joint Sea-2019 Russian-Chinese naval drills took place in the South China Sea, involving 10 warships and over 3,000 troops, the defense minister said.

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“Now active measures are underway to prepare for bilateral command and staff drills in the Sakhalin and Primorye operational areas,” Shoigu said.

Along with combat training, the Eastern Military District’s troops are taking part in measures to eliminate the consequences of natural disasters, the defense minister said.

Specifically, the troops successfully removed the congestion on the Bureya River in the Russian Far East and in February they eliminated the sites of biological contamination in the Primorye and Khabarovsk Regions, the defense minister recalled.

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In July-August, the District’s troops took part in measures to eliminate the consequences of the floods in the Amur and Irkutsk Regions. Also, drones of the Eastern Military District are conducting round-the-clock monitoring of wildfire areas, Shoigu said.

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Source: TASS