MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The Russian Defence Ministry has created a special force on duty to deal with the effects of man-made and natural calamities.
"From Kaliningrad to Vladivostok about 12,000 troops and 1,700 pieces of special equipment and 100 planes and helicopters will be permanently on duty," the Defence Ministry’s press and information department has told TASS.
The force will incorporate engineering and logistics units, teams of railway specialists and military and military transport aircraft, the source said.
The official recalled that combined forces of the Eastern Military District at the moment were providing assistance in eliminating forest fires and their effects and taking preventive fire-fighting measures in the Trans-Baikal Territory and in Buryatia.
Over the past few days 500 men and 70 special engineering vehicles were involved in creating firebreaks around endangered villages and military units.
"For localizing and eliminating natural fires and eliminating their effects the Eastern District has formed combined airborne, engineering and fire-fighting units having a total strength of 3,500.