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Russian Defense Ministry postpones expansion of Airborne Force divisions — source

February 18, 16:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Previously, a source in the Russian General Staff told TASS about plans to increase the number of airborne personnel by one-third - from 45,000 to nearly 60,000 troops
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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia's Defense Ministry has postponed the plans for massive expansion of divisions of the Airborne Forces (VDV) for at least 4 years, a General Staff source told TASS on Thursday. According to him, "the January 29 expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry’s collegium made a decision to postpone the creation of third regiments in the VDV assault and Airborne Divisions until after 2020".

Airborne Forces’ Commander Vladimir Shamanov announced plans in summer 2015 to deploy the third regiments within the air assault divisions.

Previously, a source in the Russian General Staff told TASS about plans to increase the number of airborne personnel by one-third - from 45,000 to nearly 60,000 troops. According to him, this is linked with the prospective establishment of the quick-reaction troops on the basis of the Airborne Forces that was announced by Shamanov.

Among the measures to build up the Airborne Forces the General Staff source named the plans to restore the 104th Airborne Assault Division, which will consist of three regiments (based in Ulyanovsk, in Orenburg and in Engels) and the intention to create a new assault airborne brigade (in Voronezh). The Russian Airborne Forces now comprise four divisions, four air assault brigades and a special operations brigade.

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