After a series of setbacks in Ukraine war, Russia will restructure its military and critical infrastructure  

Russia said on Tuesday that it would make “major changes” to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

In addition to administrative reforms, the Defense Ministry said it would strengthen the combat capabilities of its naval, aerospace and strategic missile forces.

“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the changes had been made necessary by the “proxy war” in Ukraine by the West, sending increasingly heavy weaponry to Ukraine to help it resist Russian forces.

The defense ministry, which has faced sharp domestic criticism for the ineffectiveness of its drive with taking control of large tracts of Ukraine, vowed to boost its military personnel to 1.5 million in December.

It has made numerous changes to its leadership in the 11 months of what it terms a “special military operation”, in which its forces initially seized large areas of southern and eastern Ukraine but have since suffered a series of painful defeats and retreats.

Last week, Shoigu appointed Army General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the military general staff, to take charge of the Ukraine campaign.

The Defense Ministry said on Friday that it had taken control of Soledar – a small, salt-mining town in Ukraine’s Donetsk region that had for weeks been the focus of a Russian assault.

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