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New division to be deployed near Russia's Smolensk by mid-2017 — source

July 05, 10:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The new motorized rifle division that is being created in the Smolensk region will be part of the 1st Guards Tank Army
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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Russia’s motorized rifle division that is being created in the Smolensk region and that will be part of the 1st Guards Tank Army will be finally deployed by the middle of 2017, a source in the Russian General Staff told TASS on Tuesday.

"The General Staff with the approval of the defense minister has made the final decision that the new Yelnya Motorized Rifle Division along with the Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle and Kantemirovskaya Tank Division will be part of the 1st Guards Tank Army," the source said.

"The formation of the division in the Smolensk region began much later than the formation of similar forces in the Voronezh and Rostov regions, so the completion of its recruitment and construction of infrastructure facilities is planned not for December this year, but for the end of the first half of next year", he said.

The source said that the number of personnel of the division with the headquarters in Yelnya will be around 10,000 men. According to him, the new formation will comprise three motorized rifle regimens and one armored regiment, a self-propelled artillery regiment and an anti-aircraft missile regiment, as well as support units.

The division in the Smolensk region is one of three new bodies of troops the formation of which was previously announced by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. This spring, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff Sergei Rudskoy said that that the military had not yet decided to which force the Yelnya division will be assigned.

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