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Russia's military reforms respond to NATO's expansion, says general

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Russia's new military measures are a response to NATO expansion and the use by Kyiv of the "collective West", to wage a hybrid warfare against Russia, said the newly appointed general in charge Russia's military operations.

After being criticized by the public, Valery Gerasimov made his first public remarks since 11 January, when he admitted to also having problems with mobilization.

In remarks published Monday night (23 January), Gerasimov stated that the military reforms, announced mid January, had been approved by Putin and could be modified to respond to security threats to Russia.

Gerasimov, also chief of Russia's general staff military, stated that such threats today include the North Atlantic Alliance's aspirations to expand to Finland, Sweden and Ukraine, as well the use of Ukraine to wage a hybrid war against our nation.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Finland and Sweden applied last-year to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Moscow's military plan will add an army corps to Karelia, Russia's northern border with Finland, according to Moscow's new military plan.

Two additional military districts are required as part of the reforms, Moscow and Leningrad. These were previously part of the Western Military District before they were merged in 2010.

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Russia will create three motorized rifle units in Ukraine as part of its combined arms formations in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. These are areas Moscow claims it annexed in September.

Gerasimov stated that the main objective of this work was to guarantee guaranteed protection of our country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

'ACTING AGAINST THE EXTENSIVE COLLECTIVE WEST'

Gerasimov said that Russia had never experienced such an "intensity in military hostilities" and forced it to conduct offensive operations to stabilize the situation.

Gerasimov stated that "our country and its armed force are currently acting against the whole collective West."

Russia has changed its rhetoric about the war over the past 11 months, shifting it from a strategy to "denazify and demilitarise" Ukraine to a defense against an aggressive West.

It is being called an unprovoked aggression by Kyiv and its Western allies. The West has been sending more heavy weaponry and weapons to Ukraine in order to resist Russian forces.

Gerasimov and the defense ministry leadership have been harshly criticized for their multiple setbacks on and off the battlefield, and Moscow's inability to win a campaign that the Kremlin expected would take only a few hours.

The country mobilized some 300,000 additional personnel for the fall. It was chaotic.

Gerasimov stated that the system of mobilization training in his country wasn't fully adapted to modern economic relations. "So I had no choice but to do everything quickly."

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