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Russia To Create New Military Divisions On West Flank 

Russia says it will form three new military divisions on its western flank this year, and deploy five strategic nuclear missile regiments on combat duty.

Local news agencies quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as making the announcement on January 12.

Shoigu said it will also be necessary to improve the infrastructure supporting Russia's nuclear forces, citing the facilities where the strategic missile submarines and long-range bombers are based.

"Our main effort should go into strengthening the potential of our strategic nuclear forces and of fulfilling the space-defense program," the RIA Novosti agency quoted Shoigu as telling a meeting.

He added that every military district should expect to undergo spot checks in 2016.

The announcement comes as Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the conflict in eastern Ukraine has plunged Moscow's ties with the West to lows unseen since the Cold War.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS

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