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Russian Paratroopers Get a New Commander

Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu named Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov commander of Russia's Airborne troops, the Vedomosti newspaper reported.

Shoigu called Serdyukov a “competent leader” and a “skilled organizer.” He also noted that Serdyukov had fulfilled important assignments in the southwest strategic direction, consistently achieving good results during snap drills and inspections.

In return, Colonel General Serdyukov promised to uphold the traditions of Russia's airborne troops, which he said were “imbued with patriotism, selfless devotion, and indomitable will.”

Serdyukov was born in 1962 in the Rostov region and completed the airborne officer school in Ryazan, western Russia.

Russia's Airborne Forces, known by the acronym VDV, are considered to be an elite part of the Russian Armed Forces. In addition to airborne units, the army also includes airborne mountain troops and a spetsnaz (special operations) brigade.

Typically comprised of volunteers serving on contract, Russian paratroops can be deployed outside the country's borders and have allegedly been involved in the war in Eastern Ukraine. 

The 76th Guards Air Assault Division in particular have been accused of participating in both the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbass.

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