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Russia says it will boost military near Sweden, Finland

Russia says it will boost military near Sweden, Finland

In meeting with Vladimir Putin, defense minister says ‘it is necessary to take retaliatory measures.’
Russia said Wednesday it will beef up its military presence in the northwestern parts of the country in response to Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that “given NATO’s desire to increase its military potential near the Russian borders, as well as to expand the alliance by adding Finland and Sweden, it is necessary to take retaliatory measures and to create an appropriate grouping of troops in the northwest of Russia.”

Speaking during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country’s military top brass, which was broadcast online, Shoigu did not provide any numbers as to the possible size of the grouping.

In the meeting, Putin also vowed to fulfill the goals of the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine, despite a series of setbacks for Russian troops which have forced Moscow to withdraw troops from multiple Ukrainian regions.

Putin also promised to give his forces all necessary financial support for the fulfillment of the mission.

The remarks come amid reports of thousands of Russia’s newly mobilized troops having to rely on outdated weaponry, in the face of Ukraine’s high-tech equipment provided by Western allies.

“We know that there can be no small things on the battlefield. Medical kits, food, packed meals, uniform, shoes, protective helmets, body armor, everything should be at the state-of-the-art, high level,” Putin said.

Sweden and Finland decided to abandon their long-standing neutrality policies and filed accession bids to NATO soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
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