Putin starts preparations for possible large-scale war against NATO - ISW

Putin starts preparations for possible large-scale war against NATO - ISW

The restoration of the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts in the Russian Federation supports the parallel goals of consolidating control over Russian military operations in Ukraine in the short and medium term, as well as preparing for a possible future large-scale war against NATO countries in the long term.

According to Ukrinform, this was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

As ISW reminds, on February 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed two decrees that officially restore the Moscow and Leningrad military districts, consolidating the main efforts to restructure and reform the Russian army.

ISW analysts believe that Putin's February 26 decree officially disbanding the Western Military District (WMD), which the Russian Defense Ministry created in 2010 by merging the Moscow Military District (MMD) and Leningrad Military District (LMD), is a sign of preparation for a possible future large-scale war against NATO in the long term.

Previously, the WMD covered the Russian border areas with northeastern Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states, which stretched the strategic focus of the WMD between overseeing Russian operations in Ukraine after the start of a full-scale invasion in 2022 and countering NATO countries. Thus, the re-division of the WMD into the MDD and the LMD is a direct solution to this problem. The LMD will now run along NATO's northeastern border, while the MMD will border the northeastern part of Ukraine and Poland, allowing Russia to simultaneously deploy troops against NATO countries and optimize command and control of troops for the war in Ukraine.

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Earlier, Putin claimed that it was necessary to form the LMD after Finland joined NATO in 2023, signaling the Kremlin's obvious intention to use the LMD to position its troops against NATO countries.

As reported, the day before, Putin signed a decree "On Military-Administrative Division," according to which the Leningrad and Moscow Military Districts reappear in Russia, and the TOT of Ukraine are "included" in the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation.

Military districts with centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg existed in the Russian Federation until 2010. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans to re-form them at the end of 2022, when presenting the army reform.

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