Russia's military reforms are focused on the reorganization of the military command and control system from a four-tier (military district - army - division - regiment) to a more flexible and battle ready three-tier structure (military district - operational command - brigade) and are due to be completed in the next 3-4 years.
"The Ground Forces have already formed a number of combat units, including 20 brigades that are similar to the one taking part in the military drills in the Kemerovo Region," Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev said.
According to the general, the Russian Ground Forces will hold about 30 military exercises involving the newly-created brigades in 2009.
"During the exercises we will study the effectiveness [of new units] in terms of operational control, mobility and fire power," Boldyrev said.
In addition, Russia is planning to conduct large-scale theater-level exercises with Belarus and in the Caucasus region this year.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.