Russia to Double Number of Paratroopers

Russia's armed forces plan to double the number of paratroopers by 2019, state news agency ITAR-Tass reported Wednesday, citing a high-ranking source in the General Staff.

"The corresponding proposal of the paratrooper command has been approved by the leadership of the Defense Ministry," the source was cited as saying, noting that the total number of airborne troops will be brought up to 72,000.

"The increase is taking place primarily on account of the formation of the third air-assault and parachute-infantry regiments in the current composition of two regiments, and also due to a reorganization of many parts of the overall formation," the source said.

By December, he said, the 45th Special Forces Airborne regiment will be transformed into a brigade.

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