Russia announced Wednesday the formation and deployment of three military divisions, one headed for the border on the south and two on the west, aimed at countering a NATO buildup in the vicinity.
RT reported the defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, said the maneuver is one of defense, not aggression.
“The defense ministry is taking a number of measures to respond to the NATO military buildup at the Russian border,” Shoigu said. “Before the year’s end, two new divisions will be formed in the Western Military District and one in the Southern Military District.”
Previous reports in Russian media indicated each new division would include up to 10,000 troops.
RT tweeted a related message: “Spring is coming! Estonia expects 1,500 NATO troops for major Spring Storm drills.”
NATO has been dispatching troops to Poland, the Baltic States and to areas along Russia’s borders since 2014 in order to counter what its leaders describe as “Russian aggression,” including President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea that same year.