Russia announces plans to deploy military divisions on Western border and form new nuclear regiments

Russia is in the middle of a multi-billion pound overhaul of its military

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The Independent Online

Russia will create three new military divisions on its Western border in 2016 and bring five new strategic nuclear missile regiments into service, Sergei Shoigu, the country's defense minister, has been quoted as saying.

Shoigu's announcement, reported by Russian media, is consistent with a multi-billion pound overhaul of Russia's military, which is currently carrying out air strikes in Syria after helping annexe Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.

Shoigu did not explain the motivation for forming the new divisions, but said it would be one of the most important tasks for the defense ministry this year. He said every military district should also expect to undergo spot checks in 2016.

“Our main effort should go into strengthening the potential of our strategic nuclear forces and of fulfilling the space defense program,” the RIA Novosti agency quoted Shoigu as telling a meeting.

“Five rocket regiments, equipped with modern rocket complexes, will enter active service in 2016.”

It was also necessary to steadily improve the infrastructure supporting the nuclear forces, he said, singling out the facilities where the country's nuclear-armed submarines and long-range nuclear bombers were based.