Russia to Move 10,000 Troops to West; Baltic Fleet Chief Sacked
(Source: Radio Free Europe; issued June 30, 2016)
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Russia will deploy some 10,000 soldiers to the western part of the country because the situation there is "unstable."

Shoigu told defense officials in Moscow on June 29 that "the military and political situation on [Russia's] western borders remains unstable."

He pointed to the United States and other NATO members continuing "to increase their military potential, primarily in countries neighboring Russia."

Shoigu was referring to plans by NATO to deploy new battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to ease fears in those countries following Russia’s forcible annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 as well as Moscow's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin has condemned those plans along with the deployment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe as direct threats to Russia's national security.

Meanwhile, Shoigu announced the same day that he had sacked the commander of Russia's Baltic Fleet, Viktor Kravchuk, and the fleet's chief of staff, Sergei Popov, for "dereliction of duty" and "distortion of the real state of things."

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