Russia creates Aerospace Forces to merge military branches
Russia's President Vladimir Putin - AFP/Alexei Nikolsky
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MOSCOW: Russia has merged several branches of its military into the Aerospace Forces — a reorganization aimed at enhancing coordination and efficiency.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday that the decision offers “the optimal way of improving the system of the nation’s aerospace defense.”

The new branch will include the nation’s air force, air defense, anti-missile and space forces.

Shoigu said that its creation has been prompted by the increasing importance of air and space components in modern warfare.

The air force chief, Col.-Gen. Viktor Bondarev, has been put in charge of Aerospace Forces.

President Vladimir Putin has launched an ambitious program of modernizing Russia’s military arsenals. The Kremlin has been keen to show off the nation’s military muscle amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.

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