Putin orders snap combat readiness check of Russian troops along Ukrainian border

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a snap inspection of the troops of the Southern and Western military districts on the border with Ukraine, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, as quoted by TASS.

Shoygu said that, according to Putin's order, a snap inspection will include the troops of the Southern and Western military districts, separate units of the central subordination, airborne troops and marines of the North, Pacific fleets.

Shoygu also noted that the inspection will assess the ability of the Russian military to ensure security in southwest Russia, where "serious terrorist threats remain." A total of 56 tactical exercises are planned.

On July 2, Acting Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for European Integration Lieutenant General Leonid Golopatyuk said that near the border with Ukraine, Russia has created three groups of troops that are able to carry out sudden offensives.

The Ukrainian general said that along the border of Ukraine, Russia is actively forming new military units and reorganizing existing military formations in order to increase their combat capabilities.

Currently, 28 battalion-tactical groups are deployed along the border. Three new military formations - two armies and an army corps, "which are expected to achieve full operational readiness" within 2020-2021, are also being established.

The 20th All-Arms Army consisting of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division and the 144th Motorized Rifle Division has been created in the Western Strategic Direction. At the same time, the 448th Missile Brigade of the 20th Army has been armed with Iskander missile systems.

The 8th Combined Arms (Strike) Army consisting of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division, the 20th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and operational subordinates of the 1st (Donetsk) and 2nd (Luhansk) army corps have been established in the South-West strategic direction. The Army is expected to include Iskander missile brigades.

According to the general, the total number of the Russian troops along the border of Ukraine is about 87,000 military, up to 1,100 tanks, up to 2,600 armored fighting vehicles, up to 1,100 artillery systems, up to 360 MLRS, 18 operational and tactical missile systems.

  Putin, Russia, Ukraine