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Putin signs decree on establishment of Leningrad, Moscow military districts

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-27 01:27

Russian President Vladimir Putin gets ready to fly on a modernized Tu-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber, in Kazan, Russia on Feb 22. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the re-establishment of the Moscow and Leningrad military districts, according to a document published on the country's official legal information portal on Monday.

The Leningrad Military District will comprise of 10 regions and the city of Saint-Petersburg, while the Moscow Military District will include 18 Russian regions and the city of Moscow.

The Donetsk region, Lugansk region as well as the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions will now be part of the Southern Military District, and the Western Military District will no longer exist, according to the decree, which will come into force on March 1.

Plans to establish two military districts were initially proposed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2022, when he said that these two military formations needed to be created in response to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the alliance's increased military build-up near Russia's borders.

Putin confirmed these plans during a defense ministry meeting late last year, where he said that this decision was taken "following Finland's accession to NATO and Sweden's upcoming membership."

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