Russia intends to create 20 new regiments in the Western Military District, which borders Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.
According to Shoygu, Russia is improving the combat composition of its troops because NATO countries led by the United States "destroy the security system in the world." Shoygu said tat by the end of 2021 about 20 regiments and military units will be created in the Western Military District.
The minister added that these actions are being carried out in parallel with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment to the Russian army. Shoygu also drew attention to the fact that the Russian army is constantly improving the preparedness of personnel and military administration.
On April 22, Russia held military exercises in annexed Crimea. More than 10,000 military personnel took part in the drills.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance was ready to defend its allies in response to Russia's plans to create about 20 new military units on its western borders.
"What we are seeing is a typical Russian behavior. Russia has invested significantly in new military capabilities in recent years. But not only that. Russia is ready to use military force against its neighbors," Stoltenberg said during an online briefing on Monday, May 31, in Brussels.
Stoltenberg also stressed that Russia continues to destabilize the situation in the Donbas and eastern Ukraine.
"This is one of the reasons why NATO has increased the readiness of its forces in recent years... We demonstrate our readiness to defend our allies by also conducting joint exercises," the NATO Secretary General said.
At the same time, the Secretary General stressed that everything the Alliance does is done for defense purposes.