Upcoming liberation of LPR and response to possible NATO threats: Shoigu delivers speech at Defence Ministry’s session

Russia’s Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu has delivered a speech at a meeting of the ministry. He has said that Russian militaries are already about to liberate the Luhansk People’s Republic and are also taking all “adequate response measures” regarding the possible threat from NATO, including because of the possible accession of Finland and Sweden to the alliance. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Greater control over Donbas

At the beginning of his speech, the defence minister has explained that Russian militaries together with subdivisions of the national police of the LPR and DPR continue expanding control over Donbas territories. According to him, the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic is coming to an end. He has noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine aren’t letting the locals from cities and settlements leave and using them as human shield when trying to hold the advance of Russian troops.

“Suffering a defeat on the ground, the Kyiv regime is trying to achieve at least short-term successes in some districts passing this off as big ones,” Shoigu has stressed.

Also, the defence minister has said that before Victory Day, Ukrainian authorities took a “risky attempt” at seizing Zmiiny Island. This attempted turned out to fail, he has noted.

The opponent’s four planes, 10 helicopters, 30 unmanned aerial vehicles and three motorboats have been destroyed in the last three days. Also, the Armed Forces have mopped up over 50 militaries of elite units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Evacuation from Azovstal

Also, Sergey Shoigu has talked about the ongoing block of Azovstal factory. 177 civilians, including 85 women and 47 children have been evacuated. At the same time, besieged nationalists have started surrendering.

1,908 people have laid down their arms at the moment. Earlier, 1,387 militaries laid down their arms.

Since the beginning of the special military operation, over 1,377 million people have been evacuated from different districts of the DPR, LPR and Ukraine to Russia, Shoigu has stressed.

Threats on Western borders

Hitting targets in the Western military district because of augmenting military threats from NATO has become the main topic on the agenda of Shoigu’s meeting today. The defence minister has singled out the possible danger of Finland and Sweden’s accession to the alliance. According to him, Russian militaries are taking all “adequate response measures.”

“In these conditions, we are actively improving the military strength of the troops. 12 military units and subdivisions will be created in the Western military district till the end of the year. The organisational arrangements are synchronised with the supply of the latest weaponry and military equipment to the troops,” he has said.

Shoigu has noted that verification inspections after the winter training period showed a qualitative growth of the training level of forces of the district by 25% (compared to last year). According to him, the military exercise intensity of Baltic fleet ships rose by 42%, air strikes of the district have increased by 4% since the beginning of the year.

In the last eight years, the intensity of flights of the US strategic bomber forces in Europe has risen 15 times (from 3 to 45 a year), guided missile ships started to systematically enter the Baltic Sea, the US and NATO are expanding the scale of military exercise near our borders.

Also, he has added that a series of exercises Defender of Europe with up to 40,000 militaries from 30 NATO members is now held in the West. He says the main specifics of these manoeuvres are the deployment of a fully-fledged division from the USA to Europe and a group of troops in three strategic areas: Arctic, western and south-western.

Maksim Kokunin