Russia has witnessed a substantial surge in military production during 2023, delivering a formidable arsenal to its armed forces, as disclosed in the end-of-year report from the Russian Defense Ministry obtained by Tass news agency.
The report reveals the delivery of over 1,500 tanks, 22,000 drones, 2,200 armored combat vehicles, 1,400 rocket and artillery vehicles, and more than 12,000 automobile vehicles, including 1,400 armored ones.
According to the documents, Russia, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, has achieved over 84 percent sufficiency in its military capabilities.
This uptick in production aligns with broader efforts to equip the Russian army, particularly for operations in Ukraine, as highlighted in a Reuters report from the previous year.
Bekhan Ozdoev, the industrial director of the armament complex at Rostec, Russia’s premier state corporation in weapons manufacturing, emphasized a significant increase in production volumes, ranging from two to ten times, with certain categories experiencing even more substantial growth, according to Reuters.
The expanded production covers a diverse array of military hardware, underscoring Russia’s heightened commitment to its “special military operation.”
Notable additions include tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, artillery, and advanced missile systems like the Iskander short-range ballistic missile, the Pantsir medium-range surface-to-air missile system, and the hypersonic Kinzhal missile.
Despite the lack of specific production volumes, the growth highlighted by Ozdoev, coupled with the details in the Tass report, underscores Russia’s determination to strengthen its military capabilities in the face of ongoing geopolitical tensions.
Putin Counters Western Weapons Amid Sanctions
President Putin’s directive to escalate production serves as a response to the influx of Western-supplied weapons to Ukraine and aims to counter the economic impact of extensive sanctions imposed on Russia.
The sanctions, led by the US and its allies, targeted crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including the military-industrial complex.
However, Russia has skillfully navigated these restrictions, employing tactics such as rerouting imports through third countries, manipulating customs data, and using civilian entities to redirect items to military firms.
Russia’s resilience is further fueled by its military production’s reliance on foreign components, particularly from nations not participating in the sanctions, such as China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Additionally, Russia has sought supplies from nations like Iran and North Korea that operate outside the international economic system.
In response to Russia’s strategic maneuvering, the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security have taken steps to identify and disrupt supply chains.
They published a list of high-priority items susceptible to diversion to Russia and Belarus, crucial for precision-guided weapons systems
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