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Russia restructures military districts amid warnings of NATO war

Russia restructures military districts amid warnings of NATO war

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed two decrees on February 26 that officially re-establish the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts, codifying major efforts to restructure and reform the Russian military.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, or ISW, the move has two parallel objectives: supports Moscow's effort to consolidate control over Russian operations in Ukraine – and to preparing for a potential large-scale conventional war against NATO at some point in the future.

The re-separated LMD will now run along NATO’s northeastern border, while the MMD will border northeastern Ukraine and Poland, which will allow Russia to simultaneously posture against NATO and streamline command and control for the war in Ukraine.

Until now, most of this territory fell under the Western Military District, which was formed in 2010 via a merger of the two original districts.

"Putin previously claimed that it was necessary to create the LMD after Finland joined NATO in 2023, signalling the Kremlin’s clear intent to use the LMD to posture against NATO," the ISW reports.

The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service has warned that the security situation in Europe and along Estonia’s borders in the near future depends on whether Ukraine, with the support of its allies, can defeat Russia’s invasion.

According to the think tank, the Kremlin has started "information operations" against Moldova as well as the Baltic states, Denmark, and Finland, potentially with the goal of creating similar conditions that preceded the invasion of Ukraine.