NATO making its presence known in Eastern Europe has caused a great deal of concern for Russia, so much so that Russia will deploy more of its troops into the area to counter the alliance’s expansion.
“In these conditions we have to take adequate measures,” explained head of the Russian defense department General of the Army Sergei Shoigu. According to the defense minister, the military-political situation in the area has “escalated.”
Shoigu also expressed concern about the current situation in Ukraine. At present, the U.S. is hosting a series of military exercises with Ukraine along with the participation of 13 nations and as much as 2,300 personnel. The annual exercise is known as Sea Breeze.
According to the Russia Ministry of Defense, there were four divisions, nine brigades, and 22 regiments formed for this purpose. At the same time, there were two missile brigades armed with Iskander-M missile complexes. Aside from this, the ministry said there is now a “self-sufficient” force deployed to Crimea.
Shoigu said that the Russian southern military district has held as much as 200 military drills since 2013. It has received more than 4,000 pieces of new and modernized military hardware. Aside from this, Russia has decided to put its Bastion and Bal coastal missile systems on combat duty along with its Novorossiysk and Rostov-on-Don submarines.
Russia has equipped its Black Sea fleet and Caspian Flotilla with a number of small missile ships armed with sea-based Kalibr cruise missiles. Aside from this, troops have been equipped with new aircraft as well as anti-aircraft artillery and missile systems.
Previously, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed the alliance will be deploying a four multinational battalions in the Baltic states to counter Russian aggression. About 1,000 troops each will be deployed from the U.S., UK, Germany, and Canada.