By Andrew Osborn
(RockedBuzz via Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s defense industry chiefs on Friday to step up the bar to ensure the Russian military quickly obtains all the weapons, equipment and military hardware it needs to fight in Ukraine.
Putin, who sees Russia’s war in Ukraine as part of a historic effort to push back on what he calls excessive Western influence on global affairs, made the comments during a visit to Tula, a center for arms production.
“The most important key task of our military-industrial complex is to provide our units and front-line forces with everything they need: weapons, equipment, ammunition and equipment in the necessary quantities and of the right quality in the shortest possible time frame” , he has declared. Put in.
“It is also important to significantly refine and improve the technical characteristics of the weapons and equipment of our fighters based on the combat experience we have gained.”
Putin said this week that the Russian military needed to learn and solve the problems it had suffered in Ukraine, promising to give it everything it needed to carry on a war that was nearing the end of its 10th month.
Since tens of thousands of Russian troops entered Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what Putin called a “special military operation,” Moscow has relinquished about half of the territory it initially captured.
It has lost or abandoned significant quantities of military hardware and, according to US officials, has suffered tens of thousands killed.
Putin admitted a mobilization campaign to add some 300,000 troops had not gone to plan and ordered shortages, which have sometimes included a lack of equipment and basic training, to be urgently addressed.
However, Russia still controls a significant part of Ukraine and Putin has said Moscow will prevail despite fierce Ukrainian resistance and Kiev will receive billions of dollars worth of Western weapons along with military intelligence and other aid.
He said this week that the state would ensure the military’s needs were met, without “restrictions on funding,” but said there was no need to “militarise” the economy.
On Friday, he told defense industry chiefs he wanted to hear their suggestions on how to iron out unspecified problems and wanted defense industry specialists to work directly with front-line forces to regularly refine weapons and hardware.
The defense industry is under pressure to deliver.
A union leader in the Ural region told the TASS news agency last week that firms involved in defense orders have switched to a six-day week with workers working up to 12-hour shifts.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the Kalashnikov arms factory in Izhevsk on Friday and told its director that the state would “significantly increase” orders from the plant next year, military news channel Zvezda said.
(Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan; editing by Jason Neely)