Defense Ministry Calls Up Reservists for Nationwide Training

Aug 1, 2014 — 16:41
Russian servicemen march during the Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square May 9, 2014.

The Defense Ministry has called up reservists for military drills to be conducted across the nation from August to October, Interfax reported Friday.

"A number of citizens will be called up for military drills in which they will undergo additional training in their areas of expertise," Interfax reported, citing a statement sent by the Defense Ministry.

The training will focus on teaching the reserves to use and service new and upgraded models of weapons and equipment. It will be conducted at military bases across the country and include personnel specializing in signal communications, missiles and artillery and logistics as well as motorized infantry and Navy coastal forces, the report said.

"All servicemen will be provided with food rations according to the norms during the training period, as well as clothing and equipment. They will be paid according to their position: about 15,000 rubles ($420). Those who are employed will still get their regular wages, while unemployed reservists will still get unemployment benefits," Newsru.com cited an unidentified enlistment officer as saying.

The ministry's announcement comes just one week after neighboring Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko issued a decree to mobilize the country's reservists. However, according to the ministry's statement, the drills and training were scheduled back in November, when the plan for the armed forces in 2014 was prepared. President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to include the military's reservists in the drills on June 27.

Valery Gerasimov, head of the General Staff, first announced plans to begin including reservists in drills and training in March 2013, RIA Novosti reported.

Earlier military drills conducted near the border with Ukraine put Western leaders on edge and prompted speculation about an impending invasion. NATO members have repeatedly expressed concerns over Russia's military activity since Crimea was annexed in March.

As fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops has intensified in recent weeks, British lawmakers warned of "alarming deficiencies" in NATO's preparedness for a Russian threat, according to The Independent.

See also:

British MPs Say NATO Alarmingly Unprepared for Russia Threat