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    CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF: RUSSIA IS READY TO REPEL ANY MILITARY THREATS, INCLUDING THOSE ON GLOBAL SCALE

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    MOSCOW, 24 January, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent Alexei Berezin/. -Russia is ready to repel any military threats, including those on a global scale, Chief of General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin said at a board session of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences.

    "Readiness for conducting combat missions in regional wars, local conflicts and anti-terrorist operations has become an additional challenge for Russia in present conditions. But, as before, our Armed Forces remain fully ready to repel any other military threats, including those on a global scale," Anatoly Kvashnin pointed out.

    "To ensure that, we have set up permanent alert units, often referred to as "peacetime bayonets". The overall strength of these "bayonet" formations total 500,000 servicemen. In addition we have a ready mobilization reserve of 200,000 men as well as 140,000 military cadets and other forces," Kvashin said.

    The aggregate strength of the Russian Armed Forces today is 1,100,000 servicemen, the Chief of General Staff told the audience.

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