Reforms in the Russian army… and Moscow accuses the West of a “proxy war.”
The Chief of the Russian General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, said the new Russian military reforms take into account the possible expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), noting that the West is using Kyiv to run what he calls a “proxy”. designated war against Russia.”
In his first public comment since being appointed commander of Russian forces in Ukraine on January 11, Gerasimov acknowledged problems in mobilizing Russian forces and told news website Argumenti-e-Facti that the reforms have been approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin are and could be changed to respond to threats to the security of the country.
“Today, these threats include NATO’s push to expand into Finland and Sweden, and the use of Ukraine as a tool to wage a proxy war against our country,” he added.
Last year, Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO after Russia’s war against Ukraine, and Moscow’s new military plan will add a military corps to Karelia in northern Russia, bordering Finland.
The reforms also provide for two additional military districts, Moscow and Leningrad, which existed before they were merged into part of the Western Military District in 2010.
In Ukraine, Russia will add three motorized rifle divisions as part of combined arms formations in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. “The main goal of this work is to ensure the protection of the sovereignty of our country and the territorial integrity of Russia,” Gerasimov said.
He continued: “Modern Russia has not seen battles of such ferocity. Our country and its armed forces are now working against the West as a whole.”
On the other hand, Ukraine announced that it would need hundreds of main battle tanks to retake Russian-controlled areas.
Andriy Yermak, Director of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, said: “Every combat-capable tank must be on our front today. Without Ukraine’s victory, a return to the 1991 borders and punishment of Russia, there will be no stable development, no clear world order.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the issue of supplying fighter jets to Ukraine had moved from a stalemate and that Ukraine had told its partners it would have to procure all kinds of weapons needed for victory this year.
For his part, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Taiani pointed out that the sending of tanks to Ukraine is an issue that must be dealt with bilaterally by the countries concerned, stressing that there are no obligations on the part of Rome to Kyiv in this regard.
Poland, in turn, reiterated its intention to submit an application to the German government in the coming days to authorize the delivery of German-made Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said Warsaw is banking on forming an alliance with other countries to supply main battle tanks to Kyiv, adding that sending the order to Berlin is an important gesture.
Poland is pushing its allies in this regard. Two weeks ago, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Warsaw had decided to supply 14 Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.
In Ukraine, several senior officials announced their resignations after the media revealed the purchase of supplies for the army at inflated prices by Presidential Administration Kirillo Tymoshenko and Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Simonenko. The Ukrainian government also announced the dismissal of five regional governors and four deputy ministers due to the army’s equipment crisis.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced yesterday that Russia’s war in Ukraine has impacted the education of more than five million children.
The organization said the 11-month conflict has exacerbated major problems in Ukraine’s education sector.
Fighting in residential areas has damaged thousands of schools and other educational institutions across Ukraine, and many parents are reluctant to send their children to school for safety reasons, the international organization said.
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