MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Troops in Russia’s Western Military District will receive over 1,300 weapon systems by the end of this year, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry’s board meeting on Wednesday.
"More than 20 organizational measures will be held in the Western Military District this year to improve its combat structure, including coastal defense, air defense and logistics troops," the defense chief stressed.
Over 1,300 items of new and modernized military hardware will arrive for the Western Military District by the end of this year. The Western Military District will continue manning its troops with contract-enlisted personnel. This year, more than 9,000 people have enlisted, the defense minister reported.
The Western Military District’s command will focus its efforts this year on holding the Union Shield 2019 Russian-Belarusian operational drills that will conclude the two-year cycle of joint training, Shoigu said.
"The drills are solely of defensive nature," the defense chief stressed.
Overall, the Union Shield 2019 military exercise will involve up to 12,000 troops and 950 weapon systems, he stated.
Russia’s top brass have also launched preparations for three military exercises of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) scheduled for this year. The drills dubbed Cooperation, Echelon and Poisk (Search) will involve military contingents from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the defense minister noted.