Russia is proposing that additional new 'emergency' railroad battalions are created and deployed in each military district. Two have already been established in the Western Military District, Russian media reported on 19 August.
Although headlined as civil defence in nature, the proposed new units are certainly dual role.
A fresh look was taken at military rail capabilities following events in Ukraine in 2014, when extensive new track had to be laid. Railroad troops have also proved useful recently in flood relief in the Amur and Irkutsk regions and recovery following mammoth explosions at the Achinsk arsenal in Siberia.
They rebuilt bridges destroyed in conflict in the North Caucasus and laid track in Abkhazia prior to the 2008 Georgia War.
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