Medvedev’s move to modernize Russia’s military, Chelyabinsk region

(Chelyabinsk Region, Russia)

Medvedev at Chebarkul training ground, Chelyabinsk region

One just had to wonder about his mood only days after announcing that he would give up something he wanted, another term as president, to step aside and make way for the return of Vladimir Putin.

President Medvedev set personal desires aside and moved forward to complete his duties right up until the 7th of May, the day he will relinquish his responsibilities to the Russian people and move forward to the next phase of public service.

So, it was after those exhausting days at the United Russia party congress in Moscow that President Medveded traveled to Chelyabinsk where today he observed the final stage of the Centre-2011 strategic military exercises at the Chebarkul training ground. Only partially tongue in cheek, it occurred to some that after the excitement of facing down and publically firing Finance Minister Alexi Kudrin, perhaps the war exercises were a bit more relaxing and low key.

Following a demonstration of the troops’ exercises, Dmitry Medvedev awarded state decorations to exercise participants and met with commanders of divisions and units of the Armed Forces, Interior Ministry, Federal Drug Control Service and other law enforcement agencies that participated in the exercises.

Mr. Medvedev was accompanied by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The President awarded state decorations to exercise participants. In his address, Mr. Medvedev noted the successful interaction between multi-service and diversified forces by saying, “We are reforming our Armed Forces, consistently creating new features and improving the organisational structure, the training system and support for the army and navy. Nevertheless, there are certain difficulties, which is natural because the task that we have undertaken is enormous. As all of you know very well –­ those of you who have served for a long time and those who began service only recently – our Armed Forces have not seen a reform on this scale in recent years.”

The president enjoyed a light-hearted moment with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.
In response to those that say his desire for modernization is unnecessary, Mr. Medvedev said, “Today we must give priority to comprehensive modern military training and acquisition of new equipment and weapons. We have just seen examples of new technology. All the necessary conditions exist to achieve these objects today. The army should not simply evolve but it must dispose of those functions that are called inessential. The army must carry out its duties rather than engage in housekeeping affairs. The transition to modern staff organisation and troop control system is difficult but absolutely necessary.”
The Center-2011 strategic exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) began on September 19 simultaneously at six training grounds in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and are aimed at practicing the deployment of multi-service forces in the Central Asian direction.
The President also met with Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Mikhail Yurevich.
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