MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russia’s military presence in strategically important regions around the globe has increased considerably in the past five years, Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.
"The growth of the Armed Forces’ combat capabilities in the past five years has made it possible to considerably expand the scope of Russia’s military presence in strategically important regions of the world," the General Staff chief said at a Defense Ministry board meeting.
Russia’s long-range aircraft have performed 178 air patrols over the Norwegian, North and Black Seas, the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, in the western part of the Pacific and the north-eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean, and also in the Arctic zone, he noted.
"If we compare the indicators achieved with the data of the Soviet Union, then the intensity of long-range flights is maintained at the same level. At the same time, the flight hours logged per crew of strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers a year has grown by 10%," Gerasimov said.
The intensity of Russian warships’ voyages to important areas of the World Ocean has increased, the General Staff chief said.
Over the past five years, Russian warships have performed 672 voyages, including 36 to the Arctic and 22 in distant waters to carry out anti-piracy missions. In 2017, the number of such voyages reached a record 139 missions, he stressed.
"The number of sea voyages by submarines performing combat training and combat service missions has increased considerably. This indicator has risen by four-five times through the recovery of technical readiness and the construction of new submarines," the chief of Russia’s General Staff noted.
The measures that have been implemented "have considerably increased the level of warship and combat aircraft crews’ preparedness and contributed to the growth of the international prestige of the Russian Armed Forces and demonstrated the high efficiency and reliability of domestic armaments and military hardware," Gerasimov said.