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Russian army creates 20 motorized infantry brigades


YURGA (Siberia), March 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has created 20 motorized infantry brigades as part of ongoing military reforms, the commander of the Ground Forces said on Friday.

Russia's military reforms are focused on the reorganization of the military command and control system from a four-tier (military district - army - division - regiment) to a more flexible and battle ready three-tier structure (military district - operational command - brigade) and are due to be completed in the next 3-4 years.

"The Ground Forces have already formed a number of combat units, including 20 brigades that are similar to the one taking part in the military drills in the Kemerovo Region," Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev said.

According to the general, the Russian Ground Forces will hold about 30 military exercises involving the newly-created brigades in 2009.

"During the exercises we will study the effectiveness [of new units] in terms of operational control, mobility and fire power," Boldyrev said.

In addition, Russia is planning to conduct large-scale theater-level exercises with Belarus and in the Caucasus region this year.

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