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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has approved the country's new military doctrine which allows preventive nuclear strikes against potential aggressors.
"The president informed the members of Russia's Security Council on Friday that he has approved two documents - the military doctrine and the Fundamentals of the state policy on nuclear deterrence until 2020," said presidential press secretary Natalia Timakova.
According to Russian officials, the adjustment of the country's military doctrine was prompted by real threats and challenges faced by Russia.
Russia's nuclear triad comprises land-based ballistic missile systems, nuclear-powered submarines equipped with sea-based ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers carrying nuclear bombs and nuclear-capable cruise missiles.
Under the new doctrine, Russia will continue developing and modernizing its nuclear triad, increasing its capability to overcome missile defenses of a potential enemy.
The new military doctrine also aims to transform the Armed Forces into a more effective and mobile military force. Their structures will be "optimized" through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks.
The previous document was adopted in 2000. It outlined the role of the Russian military in ensuring the defense of the country and, if necessary, preparing for and waging war, although it stressed that the Russian military doctrine is strictly defensive.
Russia's military expenditure has of late been steadily growing, and the country reportedly plans to increase the current defense budget of $40 billion by 50% in the next three years.
MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti)
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The solution to the Ukrainian problem will directly depend on how the military operations unfold in Donbass. If the militia fighters take over the strategic initiative, win back Donbass and extend the war to the Zaporozhye and the Kharkov regions, then Kiev will be more amenable to a compromise